Published 10/09/2013 | 05:30
What a difference a year makes. The glum rains and grey clouds of 2012 made way for sunshine and smiles this time around for tea on the lawn of Edermine House.
Pat and Carmel Doyle handed their home beside the N11 over to a team of 68 volunteers from the Oylegate community centre for the day. And the invitation to come and enjoy the afternoon in the grounds and surrounds generated double the crowd of 12 months ago, with visitors arriving from as far away as Dublin and Waterford.
Members of historical societies around the country were well represented as the organisers provided walks and talks that offered an insight into the past. The gem of a chapel at Edermine House was turned into a lecture theatre for the occasion, with Carmel Maher and Maureen Somers taking it in turn to address the crowds.
Carmel focused on the work of architect Augustus Pugin who designed the chapel, while Maureen spoke about the Marmion monks from Belgium who lived in exile at Edermine during World War One. Meanwhile, Tom Miller was followed by more than 100 walkers as he gave his guided tour of the neighbourhood.
Tents were available for afternoon teas, served by staff in Edwardian costume, but many of their customers preferred to move out from under the canvas to enjoy the perfect weather and listen to Máire O'Tiarnaigh playing the harp on the steps of the house. At least 700 lapped up the Edermine experience and they were given great value for their fiver admission charge.
The money raised will go to reduce the €60,000 debt on the recently completed Oylegate community centre which chairman Ray Quigley and his committee hope to have paid off in 2018.