Wednesday 17 July 2019

Several possible locations being explored to house 1798 exhibition

A guided tour in progress at the National 1798 Centre
A guided tour in progress at the National 1798 Centre

Pádraig Byrne

Wexford County Council are examining a number of possibilities for the temporary relocation of the 1798 exhibition within Enniscorthy, after the National 1798 Centre closes its doors at the end of the tourist season. The centre at Arnold's Cross, which has seen numbers dwindle massively in recent years, is due to be taken over by John Stafford of Slaney Farms in Tomnalossett who will turn it into a micro-distillery for their new product Jackford Irish Potato Gin.

While groups took advantage of free guided tours of the centre for Heritage Week recently, it was anticipated that these would be some of the last tours to pass through the centre and that it would close this month.

However, it has now been revealed that the council plans to possibly keep the centre open until October, which will allow them further time to find another location for at least part of the 1798 exhibit. While initially, the 1798 offering seemed nailed on to be temporarily housed within the Athenaeum, District Manager Liz Hore says that this is not the only option that's being explored.

'We are looking at a number of different buildings to relocate it to,' she said. 'The 1798 exhibition will be kept in town. It's just a matter of seeing where would be the best fit. One option, obviously, is the Athenaeum, but a few buildings are being assessed in relation to the project. We also have to look at things like cost and accessibility to the public, but work is ongoing behind the scenes.'

Wherever the 1798 exhibition, or at least part of it, winds up, it is anticipated that it will remain there for at least three years until an estimated €10million tourism project for Enniscorthy town centre, focusing on the Castle and Athenaeum, takes shape. It is currently said to be at tender stage.

Gorey Guardian