Towering plans to put Laois heritage site on a par with Glendalough for visitors

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly

heritage week

Inspection Timahoe Round Tower

A group in a Laois village has ambitious plans to make a round tower in their community a national heritage attraction for visitors on a par with the world-famous Glendalough in Co Wicklow.

Timahoe is home to a remarkably well-maintained tower on the site of a monastery established by Saint Mochua in the 7th century. A number of months ago Tigh Mochua Le Chéile, a local organisation set up to enhance the village, approached Catherine Casey the Heritage Officer of Co Laois, with a view of applying for funding from the Town and Village Renewal scheme.

The funding was applied for funds to carry out remedial works on the Heritage Centres roof and windows. They also applied to install a heating system, kitchenette, toilet upgrade to the building. Other money was sought to upgrade equipment and information stands with the aim of improving the visitor experience going forward.

The group was delighted last week when Minister Heather Humphreys announced a €100,000 grant towards the updating and refurbishment of the centre at the tower which was built in the 12th Century.

"It's our plan to begin as soon as is possible to carry out the works on the building," said Roghan Headen of Tigh Mochua Le Chéile.

"Timahoe has the finest round tower in Ireland and we want to share the story of the Monastic Heritage of Laois. It is our goal with the assistance of the OPW to become a site similar to Glendalough.

"Pre-Covid 19 visitor numbers to Ireland were increasing steadily each year which put pressure on our national visitor sights such as Glendalough when Ireland reopens we want to be there ready to open up to visitors," said Mr Headen.

He thanked the Laois Heritage Officer for her assistance in securing the funding.