Athenaueum to be restored to former glory

By Esther Hayden

Published 30/04/2015 | 10:41

The Athenaeum in Enniscorthy.
The Athenaeum in Enniscorthy.

The Athenaeum in Enniscorthy will be restored to its former glory after a funding injection of €250,000.

The funding was announced by Minister Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin who said: 'I am delighted to announce funding for the restoration of the historical Athenaeum in Enniscorthy. The building, which dates from the 1890s, was the headquarters for the Enniscorthy Volunteers during the 1916 Easter Rising and has a very rich history.

'I look forward to seeing this building restored for the locals of Enniscorthy and for visitors to the area. A wreath laying ceremony will take place here in 2016, in recognition of the importance of the events which took place in Enniscorthy.'

Minister Howlin visited the Athenaeum last week and met with the Athenaeum Committee and the 1916 Centenary Coordination Committee. The Minister also acknowledged the ongoing hard work of the Athenaeum Committee in advancing this important restoration project.

The Athenaeum was the last garrison to surrender in the country and has several events planned for The Athenaeum to commemorate the 1916 Rising. Enniscorthy is just one of five locations to have been selected as venue for a state ceremony to commemorate the events of 1916.

Speaking at the announcement the Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe said, 'The Athenaeum is a truly unique building and symbolises the rich history of Enniscorthy from drama circles, musicals and the historical events that took place there during the 1916 rising. Enniscorthy is going to play a central role in the centenary commemorations and the Athenauem will have an integral part in these commemorations. I am delighted to see it return as a functional venue for the town once again.

'It is expected that the Athenaeum will once again be a location for the benefit of the people of the town and will see a return of plays, musicals and similar activities. It is hoped that the building will be used on a daily basis and as a meeting place which had been lost to the area. The filming of Brooklyn in the Athenaeum was a timely reminder of what can be achieved and the treasures which Enniscorthy holds.'

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