Air sampling in the Belturbet area, following a fire that destroyed the historic Erne Palais in the town, has shown that there are low levels of airborne asbestos fibres in the immediate vicinity of the building.
Cavan County Council has issued a statement in the last few minutes confirming that they hired a specialist consultant to conduct this work and monitor the area on Tuesday, September 25, the day after the blaze.
The property owner has also engaged the services of a specialist consultant to carry out a survey of the building and surrounding areas. This work will be completed by the end of today, September 27. This survey will inform the extent of the cleanup operation.
A specialist contractor has also been engaged to carry out the cleanup operation and the removal and safe disposal of Asbestos off site.
This operation will commence tomorrow morning (Friday), September 28, and will be carried out in three phases.
The first phase will involve the removal of the remaining asbestos sheeting on the building. Phase two concerns the clean-up of areas around building including around private dwellings; while the final phase will see the removal of asbestos from the interior of the Erne Palais.
Cavan County Council has issued a public information sheet which was prepared by the HSE to residents located close to the building and this sheet is available to view also on the Council’s website.
"At present, the public park and playground are currently cordoned off as a precautionary measure and it is expected that we will be in a position to reopen same early next week.
"We will issue a further update on the situation at the earliest opportunity," said a spokesperson for the council.
"Cavan County Council recognise and appreciate the cooperation of the Belturbet residents in relation to this incident and apologise for any inconvenience caused."
For further details please contact Cavan County Council Environment & Waste Management Section on 049-4378409.
The former cinema, built 1947, has a long history as a public meeting place. After its life as a cinema it was later used as ballroom, then community centre, before falling into disuse. Last May the Celt reported that the building was to be demolished to make way for social housing.