Athenaeum restored to its former glory 08/04/16 : the

Athenaeum restored to its former glory 08/04/16

| April 7, 2016

Athenaeum         16   cmyk

Often described as Enniscorthy’s GPO, The Athenaeum, is a Theatre and Town Hall built in 1892 which the volunteers selected as their command post during the 1916 Rising.

The volunteers occupied the building and made it their Headquarters with the Irish Tricolour hoisted on top of the building by Mrs Una Brennan, Marion Stokes and Greta Comerford.

Every aspect of the Rising in the county was co-ordinated from the building and the garrison in The Athenaeum was the last in Ireland to surrender. This association with the Rising has assured the building a unique place in Irish history.

At its peak it was a hugely successful theatre with many travelling dramatic companies performing on its stage. However, in more recent years it had fallen into a poor state of repair and there were genuine fears for its future until the government, in the form of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, rode to the rescue last year.

The building was selected as one of the Permanent Reminders of the Ireland 2014 Centenary Programme and with support from the Department it has been restored to its former glory.

It will be officially opened later this month and will house the Co. Wexford 1916 Exhibition.

Members of the public were given a sneak preview of the refurbished building recently and it was given a  big thumbs up by everyone who visited it.

It is hoped that the building, with its unique connection to the Rising and the exhibition which it will permanently house, will prove to be a major attraction for tourists and visitors to Enniscorthy in the future.

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