The redeveloped Fitzwilliam Square in Wicklow Town was officially opened by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD on Monday August 30th.
The renewal of the square has now created a more attractive and universally accessible public space. A new outdoor venue for community events, performances and exhibitions, and outdoor dining is now available. The Halpin monument which was concealed is now made more visible and contributes to tourism and the town’s maritime heritage.
The newly created space is also now responding to the recent health and safety challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and will go towards helping to support the recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector.
The objective of the €2m refurbishment project, funded by an amount of €1.5m under the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government URDF scheme, was to create a multi-functional space within Wicklow Town that would improve accessibility, enhance the presentation and public realm of the Town Centre at Fitzwilliam Square.
Speaking at the opening, the Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Shay Cullen, thanked the Minister and his Department for the funding saying: “Project Ireland 2040 and in particular the Urban Regeneration Development Fund has been very beneficial for Wicklow. Minister I can assure you that we have a further pipeline of very exciting projects planned for the town and for the County, we aim to build on the success of the projects that we celebrate today.”
Cathaoirleach of Wicklow Municipal District, Cllr Gail Dunne, added: “You have only to look around you to see the transformational impact this has had on Wicklow, there is great vibrancy and vitality about the town. These major projects have been complemented by other initiatives such as the lighting of the historic sites and the development of the Heritage Trail. Together with the planned development of the Abbey Grounds will make this town an even better place to live, work, visit and do business in.”
Frank Curran, Chief Executive, thanked Colm Lavery, Director of Services and his team and all who were involved in the project including Margaret Hartnett Project Engineer. The project was developed by WS Atkins & Brady Shipman and Martin landscape architects and the works were carried out by Shareridge Ltd, overseen by Resident Engineer O’Connor Sutton Cronin.