Pearse Cultural Centre Connemara opens as part of Ireland’s 2016 Centenary Programme
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D. has officially opened Marcon’s latest project – the new Pearse Cultural Centre Connemara (Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh, Conamara), at Pearse’s Cottage, Ros Muc, Co. Galway.
Working closely with interpretive designers Bright, Marcon completed the interpretive fit-out of the new centre which is one of the major capital projects at the centre of the Historical Reflection strand of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, which will serve as a lasting legacy of the commemorative events.
Pearse’s Cottage is set in the striking landscape of Ros Muc where Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, spent his summers from 1909 to 1915. In Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh, visitors can get a taste of the Irish language and the culture of the Gaeltacht while enjoying the surrounding countryside. This is done in the context of Patrick Pearse’s story and through the lens of what attracted him to Ros Muc.
The development comprises four elements, including this new visitor centre, Cosán Chonamara (which includes 10 acres and a looped walk), Slí na Coille (an interpretive space focussing on Patrick Pearse himself) and Pearse’s Cottage. The development of the new centre is headed up by Údarás na Gaeltachta as part of a steering group comprising Galway County Council, the Office of Public Works, Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Speaking at the event An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., said: “It is fitting that we are opening this centre today, the 10th of November. It is no coincidence that today is also Pearse’s birthday, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. There is no better way to celebrate his birthday or pay tribute to him than by opening a new cultural centre in his name on this spot, at Pearse’s Cottage. The language and culture of this area greatly impressed Pearse when he first came here in 1903 to examine students on behalf of Conradh na Gaeilge. They made such an impression on him that he decided to spend his holidays each summer, from 1909 to 1915, here at Pearse’s Cottage.”
“Pearse had a central role as a revolutionary in the events of the Easter Rising 1916. But he also had other important roles – as an educator, writer and passionate activist for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht. In this new interpretive centre every effort has been made to add to the wonderful insight already provided to visitors in Pearse’s Cottage. The centre also gives visitors an overview of the importance of Irish and of Gaeltacht culture as a rich reservoir of our heritage and, of course, these elements are as central to our sense of identity today as they were in Pearse’s era.”
Marcon completed the internal and external elements of the project over two phases, successfully carrying out the manufacture and installation of bespoke joinery and the intricate coordination of display cases, interactives, audio visual and graphics.
Harry Fisher, Project Director at Bright adds, “Bright are pleased to be working with Marcon who have shown a very professional approach to our project and the quality of their build is excellent.”
Martin McErlean, Contracts Manager, Marcon concludes; “We are proud to have played such a key role in the opening of the new visitor centre at Pearse’s Cottage. The new centre will provide introduction to Irish language and Gaeltacht culture along with being a community hub and destination for visitors to Co. Galway. This is the latest cultural exhibition project completed by our experienced heritage team.”
Image Caption above: An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D. arriving at Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh, Conamara for the official opening ceremony.
Image Caption above: Alan Stewart, Business Development Manager, Marcon; Sonya Nic Lochlainn, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Martin McErlean, Heritage Contracts Manager, Marcon in the new exhibition at Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh, Conamara.