West Cavan Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed confirmation that
Cavan County Council will complete the purchase of the Market House in
Blacklion and secure the building for public use in the future with a
particular emphasis as an interpretative centre for the Marble Arch
Geopark, especially the Cavan Burren located just outside the village
of Blacklion.

‘I am delighted that the County Manager, Jack Keyes has agreed for
Cavan County Council to purchase the freehold of this building which
has, since its construction been a focal point for the village of
Blacklion. I have lobbied consistently on behalf of the community for
the Council to take over this building and secure the future use of
the Market House for Blacklion and the surrounding area.’

The Market House was built in the early years of the 1800’s and in
conjunction with the Fairgreen was a major part of life in the area
for many years. The property passed into private ownership in the
early 1900’s. During the Troubles the foreground of the building was
taken over by the Gardai and the Defence forces and was the site of a
permanent checkpoint for almost thirty years. The building was for
that time almost inaccessible and fell into very dangerous disrepair.

Some years ago, with the co-operation of the then owner, the late Brian
Dolan the local community secured a lease of the property and with the
cooperation of Cavan County Council and the funding agencies
especially the SEUPB the building was restored. Killinagh Community
Council have for over ten years operated the top floor as a general
purpose facility with the ground floor operating as a gift-shop and
tourist information outlet.

‘Killinagh Community Council, of which I am the present Secretary have
worked to restore this building, not just the physical building but
also the Market House to its role as a centre for the community. It
has over its lifetime been a Market House, Courthouse, Army Barrack
and more lately a Tourism information facility. We hope that into the
future it will be a key element in the Geopark.’

‘Last year, having had many meetings with Vincent Reynolds, CEO of the
Enterprise Board, Brendan Smith TD and Jack Keyes County Manager we
looked at every option to secure the long-term use of the Market House
for the benefit of the community. We have secured the agreement of the
owners to the sale of the building to Cavan County Council with the
building, subject to final agreement, to become an Interpretative
Facility for the Cavan Burren. It will be a vocal point for the
Geopark in County Cavan.’

It is now intended that Killinagh Community Development Limited will
undertake, subject to finance, a further redevelopment of the building
to enhance it for future use.

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