Westport Civic Trust was founded in 1999 to acquire the former Bank of Ireland Garden on the North Mall in Westport as a heritage garden and amenity for the people of, and visitors to, the town. The Bank House, together with its attached Courtyard and outbuildings, is a listed property and has legal protection, but the Garden at that time was not listed.

    When the Bank put the 200-year-old walled garden up for sale, it did not accept the Trust's offer and proposals for its future, instead selling to a local developer. Since then the Trust has worked hard to ensure the Garden's preservation as a listed heritage property with protected status. In 2010, a concerted campaign on the part of members and supporters of the project persuaded the Town Councillors to designate most of the Garden 'Open Space' on the Town Development Plan.

    In 2013 the Garden and Courtyard were again put up for sale. The Civic Trust is currently working with interested groups to see if at last the Garden can become the wonderful amenity this Heritage Town needs and deserves.

    Our next major campaign was to retain the Old Railway Line Walk, a pedestrianised track leading from the town centre through fields and wetlands down to the harbour. This had come under threat of being turned into a road to access new building developments. A public campaign involving petitions and protest walks along the trail persuaded the Council to reconsider this decision. Today the Old Railway Line remains a vehicle-free amenity for walkers and cyclists, although its rural ambience has been somewhat compromised through gradual urbanisation.

    The Trust also campaigned to stop the demolition of the old stone road bridge over the Railway Line Walk to make way for a roundabout. With the support of the National Roads Authority, the Trust worked with the County Council to ensure that the bridge was rebuilt with its original stone and graceful humpbacked shape, whilst being widened to accommodate modern traffic requirements.

    Two other campaigns, one to stop the construction of a second bridge with clashing modern lines over the Old Railway Line Walk in order to facilitate a local developer, and the second to prevent the destruction of a section of wetlands where the water rail and other fauna and flora thrived, failed to achieve their goals.

    The Civic Trust continues to work towards the successful conclusion of the Heritage Garden campaign.

    Westport Civic Trust Aims

    Promote and initiate the preservation and protection, renewal and improvement of the buildings and other features of the natural, historical, cultural, scientific and architectural interest of the area, for the benefit of the community.

    Westport Civic Trust


    © 2018 Westport Civic Trust