Building Conservation officers are on their way to the Great Blasket Island off Co Kerry to carry out surveys of the old village with a view to stabilising buildings there, the Office of Public Works (OPW) said yesterday. The island management committee, involving ferry owners, conservationists, islanders’ descendants, Fondúireacht an Bhlascaoid – the body set up in the 1980s to conserve the island’s heritage – and other stakeholders is also being re-established, and will be chaired by the OPW. Last week Minister for the Environment John Gormley and the Minister of State responsible for the OPW Dr Martin Mansergh jointly confirmed the purchase of the majority land holding on the Blasket, at a cost of €2 million. This means most though not all of the island is now in State ownership. A number of other individual landowners may wish to sell their property to the State, and discussions are set to take place with them over coming weeks.