I am delighted that the OPW have listened to me and the business people in Shop Street who raised the issue with me.
I commend the OPW for their swift, decisive action in doing what is right to recognise and honour the heritage of the building.
I look forward to the opening of the building which is a great boost for the town centre and will bring further footfall into the centre of Tuam.
The following is the reply I received this morning to the query when I contacted the OPW
As part of the planning permission for the fit-out works to the building it was proposed that the cement rendering to the front façade of the building would be removed to reveal the original sandstone underneath. From the outset it was proposed to repair any damage to the original sandstone fascia and bring it back to its original condition. The OPW, Department of Social Protection (DSP) and Galway County Council had agreed the erection of a stainless steel sign over the sandstone identifying the building as a DSP Office.
It was only when the cement rendering was removed that the “etched” lettering for the previous “Bank of Ireland” sign was revealed. A considerable amount of renovation work was undertaken by a stone conservation specialist in order to bring the sandstone features back to their original condition, in particular to the two medallions that bookend the sandstone fascia.
Following internal discussions and with due regard to representations from local residents, business people and yourself it has been agreed that the large stainless steel sign will not be erected over the sandstone. The OPW, Department of Social Protection and Galway County Council have agreed to erect a smaller, less intrusive sign to the left of the entrance door, leaving the sandstone uncovered.
We trust that this solution will be acceptable to all concerned, allowing members of the public to identify the new Department Office while at the same time recognising and honouring part of the history of the building.