Public meeting to be held tonight to discuss possible Edenderry Theatre and Arts Centre

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

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Would Edenderry benefit from such a project?

Edenderry based Offaly County Councillor Noel Cribbin has been speaking about his wish to secure a theatre and arts centre in the town through joint funding for library services announced recently. Cllr Cribbin is holding a public meeting in Byrne's Lounge, Edenderry, tonight, Monday, February 20, at 7pm to highlight this issue and start the process of putting a group together whose priority it will be to secure funding and approval for such a facility.

"Will Edenderry ever get a better opportunity to deliver a €2m upgrade to our library services and to co-share that with an Arts Centre and Theatre," Noel Cribbin pondered. "Now is the time to strike whilst the iron is hot," he said. Noel Cribbin bemonaned the fact that the people in Edenderry have come to accept that there is nowhere in the town suitable for holding events from the world of the Arts, including musicals, plays, concerts and club functions or fundraisers.

"Indeed, any function of a decent size, along with every wedding, has to go out of the town. We have fine clubs and public houses, but have no premises large enough to hold such functions in Edenderry. With the positive news of the €2 million secured to upgrade our library services, which will most likely see the library services move to a new home, now is the time to come together and form a small but dedicated group who can put a plan together to look for funding for an Arts Centre and Theatre," Cllr Cribbin explained to the Offaly Express.

He went on to suggest that one building could function as a multipurpose venue for library services, as well as the staging of arts and music productions, something that would bring footfall and revenue to the town of Edenderry. "We here in Edenderry are renowned for our musicians, our long association with drama, musicals, and so on, and our own hometown celebrities Eugene O Brien, Neil Delamere, Fr Liam Lawton, Greg 'Elvis' Traynor and Sean Norman, none of whom have a proper facility to perform in their own town," Cribbin continued. 

He went further by saying that, "Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys is playing her part by making money available to rural towns and villages to upgrade their facilities and to encourage the Arts, and to continue the great tradition of the arts in our area." "In the last few months, since the funding for our library services was announced, I have spoken to many involved in the arts, the CEO of Offaly County Council, our County Librarian, our local TD and Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, and to all who fully support a proposal to look for funding and to have a multipurpose building that would be a home to our library, Arts Centre and Theatre."

"It's about bringing a building to Edenderry that we can all be proud of, that can accommodate all the various strands of music, arts, drama, and so on. It would help in allowing our young people continue the great traditions that we have here in the Edenderry area," Cribbin concluded.

The public meeting to discuss the proposal takes place tonight, Monday, February 20, in Byrne's Lounge at 7pm. 

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