independent

Saturday 14 December 2019

Council close to Dun Mhuire purchase but say no change to demolition plans

The Dun Mhuire Theatre premises
The Dun Mhuire Theatre premises

Simon Bourke

An agreement has been reached between Wexford County Council and parish authorities for the purchase of the Dun Mhuire Theatre.

However, contrary to some reports, the building has not received a last second lifeline and the council's original plan to demolish it remains in place.

It is expected that the purchase will go through early in 2020 and that, ultimately, the site will be part of the urban regeneration in the Trinity Wharf area.

Speaking at the meeting of Wexford County Counil, Director of Services, Mr Tom Larkin said, 'An agreement has been reached to buy the building, we intend to acquire it and close it for urban regeneration. The intention is to reinvigorate that area.'

Mr Larkin stated that the entire process, from acquiring the building to being granted planning permission, could take as long as a year and said in the interim the council were open to local drama groups continuing to use the premises.

'It had been the plan that it would close, but we have been meeting with some of the groups and, if feasible, we would allow the building to be used during this time.'

Underlining the council's stance, County Manager Mr Tom Enright said it was still their intention to 'knock the building'.

Admitting that there was a lot of sentiment attached to the Dun Mhuire, Cllr Lisa McDonald highlighted the work of local drama groups affiliated to the building, and argued that it continued to offer an affordable alternative to the National Opera House.

Meanwhile Mayor of Wexford George Lawlor stressed the importance of ensuring local drama groups are catered for and considered as the future of the Dun Mhuire was discussed.

'All the groups involved with the Dun Mhuire should be catered for as sympathetically as possible. If it is to go in future we need a smooth transaction. I'd be hopeful that any proposed development at Trinity Wharf would facilitate Oyster Lane Group and those who use the theatre.'

Wexford People

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