St Patrick and the Immaculate Conception is a very impressive protected church overlooking Bandon. Construction commenced in 1856 and was completed in 1861.
Water ingress to the bell tower was the issue. On inspection vegetation growth was evident and mortar joints were perished on the Battlements and Pinnacles. On ascending the tower, it was noted that the bell was badly corroded and the timber supporting beams were perished. Following inspection, costings were furnished and restoration commenced.
Collins Steeplejacks put a traffic management plan in place. We installed scaffolding supports under the Bell to spread the weight and allow access. Using hydraulic jacks we replaced the supports. It was agreed with the Engineer on site to use steel beams instead of timber due to exposure. Following the installation of the beams, the steel was cleaned, primed and painted. We removed the lightning protection system and raked out all perished mortar joints manually to prevent any damage to the stonework. We cleaned the joints of loose debris and repointed them in a lime based mortar. This area was covered daily in hessian and wet regularly to prevent any rapid drying or shrinkage. We reinstalled tested and certified the lightning protection system. Due to our abseil access techniques, we were able to rake and point areas of the tower saving our client considerable time and expense.
As a result of our actions St Patricks Church remained open during the course of the works; they have put in place a preventative maintenance program. Collins Steeplejacks delivered this project with the minimum of disruption and the maximum of safety and value.