Róisín and Attracta on the balcony overlooking the stage in Teach Ceoil
“IT'S Killeigh Comhaltas' secret in Tullamore.”
The words of Killeigh CCE Cathaoirleach, Attracta Brady referring to the ambitious new Teach Ceoil development which has been completed at Offaly St in the heart of Tullamore.
The three storey amenity, which cost just over €300,000 to develop, was financed by proceeds from Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann held in Tullamore in 2007, '08 and '09 together with grant funding from Offaly Local Development Company.
“Comhaltas allowed us to keep funds from the fleadh to allow us to develop a community project to remember the event,” Ms Brady told the Tribune last week when she and her daughter Róisín gave a socially distanced tour of the impressive new facility.
“If we hadn't hosted the fleadh we couldn't have developed a building such as this,” stressed Ms Brady.
Covering an area of 4,500 square feet, the three storey Teach Ceoil's focal point is the 93 seater auditorium which includes a balcony seating area providing clear views of the stage.
The specially designed sprung floor is ideal for dancing said Ms Brady who added that the auditorium will be used for concerts, sessions, music and dance classes and other events when the new centre opens.
“Teach Ceoil will be open to the community to hold meetings and other events,” said Ms Brady adding that the auditorium is particularly suitable for the staging of productions by local drama groups.
Teach Ceoil also has a number of classrooms, a kitchen, toilets including disabled facilities, storerooms, lift, a box office and a Green room.
“We hope that these classrooms will be multi-functional,” said Mr Brady who added the facility has wi-fi and broadband facilities.
Teach Ceoil will open to the public as soon as Covid-19 measures allow she continued.
“We don't want to be responsible for people getting Covid,” stressed the Killeigh Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann branch chief.
Ms Brady paid tribute to the hard-working committee behind the project comprised of Mary Berry O'Connell, Carthage Keyes, Clare Carthy, Clare McNally, Garvan Hickey, Hannah O'Connor, Laura O'Connor and Adrian Reynolds.
She said the wider community had also been supportive and paid tribute to the HSE, located nearby on Bury Quay, which stored a family piano for the past 11 months until it could be moved to Teach Ceoil.
Ms Brady also paid tribute to the building contractor, Aidan Bracken and said the company's work was completed to a very high standard.
Construction work commenced on the development in November of last year and it is now complete apart from the erection of signage at the front of the building on Offaly St.
Teach Ceoil is the only Comhaltas facility of its kind in either Laois or Offaly and is likely to prove a very popular venue when it opens in 2021.