By Joe Barrett
The mystery as to why the lake at Emo Court is disappearing has finally been solved.
The lake is not a natural one. It is supplied by a spring located about four miles away.
When a blockage occurs in the watercourse between the spring and the lake, water levels drop significantly, which results in the lake disappearing on occasions.
Visitors to Emo Court often remark that the amount of vegetation on the bed of the lake is taking over when, in fact, the problem is that water levels are dropping and thereby exposing the vegetation.
That’s according to minister of state and local TD Seán Fleming, who was giving an update on works that are currently underway and improvement plans for Emo Court.
To address the problem of the disappearing lake, minister Fleming said that the Off ice of Public Works (OPW) “will carry out a survey on the water course to investigate for signs of blockage or the water supply being syphoned off to other locations. Currently the water levels in the lake are being supplemented from a local well in Emo Court.
“Substantial improvement works are currently being undertaken by the OPW, which includes refurbishment of the first floor, ground floor and basement of the house involving an investment of approximately €2 million.”
Regarding the car park, minister Fleming said: “€570,000 is currently being invested in the provision of a new car park, which is due to open in April 2022. There will be 173 car spaces, eight universal access parking spaces, eight electrical vehicle parking spaces and four bus parking spaces. The surface will be a stone-chip finish. This will be a major improvement to the amenities for everybody who visits Emo Court.”
Minister Fleming said: “The long-term plans for the unoccupied cottages in Emo Court will be for them to be used specifically for artist residencies to support cultural programming at Emo Court. “In the meantime, these unoccupied properties are being used for storage of items and artefacts from the main house while work is ongoing in that building. Currently, the two cottages and the gamekeeper’s cottage are being heated to preserve the buildings and have security and fi re alarms and their condition is being continually monitored. “I have a keen interest in Emo Court and I have been in ongoing discussions with the OPW regarding a number of issues at Emo Court. “I look forward to the new car parking facilities early next year and the works being completed on the house. I would like the issue of the disappearing lake to then be dealt with. Finally, I look forward to the new artist residencies being brought into use in due course. “All in all, this represents a substantial level of current investment and future plans by the government for Emo Court, which is so important from a historical, community and tourism potential point of view.”