Restoration campaigner welcomes sale of Bell’s Castle

March 18, 2013

By Christine Keighery

The local man who spearheaded last year’s community campaign to save Bell’s Castle has told The Examiner he and his group of campaigners are “absolutely delighted” that the recent sale of the historical building has led to immediate repairs being carried out.

Killeavy man, Deaglan Mulgrew said the group’s interests were always in the preservation of the castle and extended their full support to the new owner, who has indicated that he is keen to return the building and estate to its former glory.

The historic castle, which sits on the slopes of Slieve Gullion, was sold at auction last week to an overseas bidder for £1.19m.  Originally put on the market last October with a guide price of £975,000, the castle was the initial focus for Mulgrew’s group, who tirelessly lobbied for the grade one listed building to be rescued from its rapid state of deterioration.

It would seem those wishes are set to be realised as Best Property Services, agents of the sale, have revealed the new owner has a five to ten year restoration project planned for the castle.

“There has been significant local and media interest in the property in recent months and the local community have a huge desire to see the Castle restored to its former glory so it’s certainly going to be very interesting to see how the new owner develops the property”, said Garry.

According to Mr Mulgrew, the “Save Bell’s Castle” campaign served to raise awareness of the castle and, he believes, helped in the promotion and sale of the building.

“This is exactly what we aimed to do – promote the fabulous Killeavy Castle as one of our major historical land marks and ensure its future is bright. The castle will hopefully be restored sympathetically and I would love to hear from the new owner as it has been our initial focus but also has enabled us to research our local history on the once ribbon society families, which include the Foxall, Bell, Chambré and Seaver families.

“Throughout this campaign we have learned so many stories about the history of the area, which we would love to share with the new owner who, I am sure, appreciates the area and the intriguing history which surrounds it.

“This initial interest in the castle has opened up so many different windows of opportunity and we, as a group, have realized that there are so many buildings in South Armagh of historical and architectural importance, which also need our help.

“I look forward to seeing Bell’s Castle being restored and I hope that the community will also support the new owner and appreciate the amount of time and work that is needed to spend on the castle.”