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'Turn theatre site into much needed museum for Mallow'

A LEADING historian has called for an idle building in Mallow — initially designed to be a theatre — to now be used as a museum.

Despite the construction of a specially designed theatre at O'Brien St a number of years ago, an ongoing legal dispute between Mallow Town Council and the developer delayed its opening.

Meanwhile, however, St Mary's Secondary School has gone ahead with the construction of a state of the art theatre; a few hundred yards away.

This has spurred local historian Dan Doolan to call for the development of a museum for the town in the disputed and empty theatre shell.

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Mr Doolan stressed that a museum is becoming increasingly important as the bi-centenary of the birth of one of Mallow's great sons, Thomas Davis, will be celebrated in 2014.

The urgent appeals for a museum come as Mallow town plans to host an international festival that will commemorate the life of one of Ireland's most famous patriots.

Born in Mallow on 1814, Davis was integral to the birth of a strong feeling of cultural nationalism in Ireland, forming the 'Young Ireland' party and establishing The Nation newspaper.

"It would be fantastic to have a museum for the bi-centenary," said Mr Doolan.

Meanwhile, at last week's Mallow Town Council meeting, Cllr James Kennedy called for the sourcing of the most suitable site to locate a full sized bronze statue of Thomas Davis. Cllr Kennedy said he hoped that the groundwork and plinth for the statue could be ready by 2012.