Fr Mathew Hall Campaign
The issue of the proposed re-development (Art Gallery) at Fr Mathew
Hall, Athlone is a very emotive one with the townspeople. The Athlone
Town Council (ATC) greatly underestimate this depth of feeling and
disrespect the wishes of Athlone people who already submitted similar
sentiment to those listed below in the earlier public consultation.
We are appealing to the people to view the plans on display at
the Athlone Civic Centre and make submissions to the ATC at the
earliest opportunity. An artist's impression of the proposal can
be viewed on our website at www.djansonline.com.
We are in the process of organising a public meeting and are getting
in touch with our guest speakers, venue, etc. As soon as we have
this in place we will publicise it in the local media.After viewing
the detailed drawings, our members are unanimous in objecting to
The following is a brief summary of the points raised at our meeting,
Thursday 8th January '09:
1 We consider the proposed re-development of the existing structure
to be a mutilation of the existing design. The interference with
the structure to incorporate new openings spoils its character.
2 The proposed extension would obstruct the view of the bridge over
the River Shannon - Athlone's most important landmark.
3 The building is on the site of the medieval town defences, namely
the Connaught Tower. This is of significant archaeological importance.
We have this information confirmed from an authoritative source.
4 The development would necessitate the removal of a considerable
number of trees from the promenade.
The above points will be contained and expanded upon in our submission
to the ATC.
We are requesting the careful restoration and refurbishment of the
building. We recommend future uses should be the housing of the
town tourist office and a Count John McCormack museum. John McCormack
gave performances here, as did Percy French.
Minister John Gormley TD, recommended that Fr. Mathew Hall should
be included on the Record of Protected Structures, considering it
to be of special interest from an architectural, historical, cultural
and social point of view.
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However, the Athlone Town Council has
the final say on the matter. We are very concerned that the proposed
development would be detrimental to the design and structural integrity.
Athlone Town Council's revised plan for Fr.
Mathew Hall revealed
Connecting Athlone's Past
Formed in September 2007, Athlone Architectural Heritage Group
is a voluntary group established to carefully monitor all building
developments in Athlone town and its environs which may effect
the aesthetic appearance, integrity and historical value. We are
committed to promoting awareness and understanding of Athlone's
heritage, and the importance of valuing its preservation.
We will be continually adding content to our website. Hoping you
find it enjoyable and informative. Your comments are welcome at
Thank you for visiting.
Architectural Heritage Group would like to acknowledge the
National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) for
their kind permission to use content from their website.
The NIAH is a section within the Department of the Environment,
Heritage and Local Government. The work of the NIAH involves
identifying and recording the architectural heritage of
Ireland, from 1700 to the present day."
introduction to the
Architectural Heritage of
in local bookshops. ISBN is 0755771761.
It can also be ordered online from www.wordwellbooks.com