A Matter of Concern


The old market house in Ballybay, County Monaghan. It was built in 1848 to replace an earlier building serving the same purpose which stood on another site but found to be in poor condition and demolished. Markets were held on the ground floor under the arches, while the space upstairs was used for a variety of purposes: a schoolhouse, a courthouse, a library and an assembly room for dances and concerts. Designed by William Walker, last year the building was offered for sale: now the old market house stands sadly neglected with the threat that it could yet go the same way as its predecessor.

10 comments on “A Matter of Concern

  1. Ciara McCormac says:

    How does this happen? Seriously ?

  2. David Britton says:

    And Ballybay really needs three blocks of apartments ? And planning permission has already been granted – I give up !

  3. John Bates says:

    Any developer who fails to see the potential benefit of incorporating this building into whatever design is proposed is not thinking clearly.

  4. Kevin Hurley says:

    The Market House is on the Monaghan Record of Protected Structures (RPS 41401911). It features in the NIAH Buildings of Ireland for county Monaghan and is listed as being of ‘Regional’ importance and features in the ‘Highlights’ of the survey. Usually it is in only exceptional circumstances that a buildings on the RPS is demolished on the understanding that the replacement buildings make a greater contribution to the area. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is a very disappointing decision that such a building could be demolished.There doesn’t appear to be any Conservation Officer on the council but there is a Heritage Officer on the council staff. Perhaps the lack of the former contributes to such a situation. They have a nice blurb on their website pasted from the Heritage Council about valuing heritage…..

  5. Planning Dept Monaghan County Council says:

    Please correct this article. A planning permission for the redevelopment of this protected structure has not been received or granted by Monaghan County Council.

  6. Paul Rea says:

    I can not understand at all why anyone would even consider building three blocks of apartments in Ballybay, particularly when half of the houses on the main street lie empty. Redevelopment of this building would be the single worst thing to happen to Ballybay as it is the nicest building in the whole town. As someone who use to work in the area and is familiar with Ballybay, I fail to understand this at all.There are several empty sites in the centre of Ballybay more suitable to redevelopment than this if someone so desires.

  7. Ursula O'Shaughnessy says:

    Interesting to see the scourge of misinformation take hold here. A quick check of Monaghan County Council planning files indicates no planning permissions whatsoever related to the market house in Ballybay. More alarming is the fact that Monaghan County Council is allowing the market house and court house in Castleblayney to collapse, having this year turned down a major grant from the Historic Towns Initiative run by the Heritage Council. It is rumoured the local authority would prefer to demolish the building…

  8. keith kurman says:

    don’t know if it’s cool for “Yanks” to comment here but, as an artist and historian, this kind of thing drives me nuts. i have personally observed the natural order of progress in urban renewal (gentrification if you prefer) here in the States. an area of town is abandoned and left neglected in the interest of profit, as a consequence the rents plummet… a downward spiral. then, in search of inexpensive studio working space, the artists (young mostly) move in and clean the place up, appreciating the ‘qualities’ afforded by the older archetecture. Then a cafe opens, and a vintage clothing store. Then an old bar, or Pub!, is revitalized, and a botega, and a laundry. then there’s a bookstore, an architectural firm opens a chic new office, a gallery opens…. then parking becomes a problem. you see where i’m going with this. someone in this string mentioned that houses on the street stand empty, seems to me that this building is a likely candidate for triggering such a transformation. Some kind of public/private coordination could signal a movement towards such a revival. I only hope something happens before the greed of development destroys what might be a draw for such organic movement.

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