Comhaltas plans for new 90-seat auditorium
Ambitious plans for a 90-seat auditorium complete with a dance and performance area, as well as retractable seating is proposed for Tullamore.
Killeigh Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann have advertised for tenders for the refurbishment of a three-storey building on Offaly Street.
Proposed works provide for a new state-of-the-art auditorium area with sprung floor and seated balcony, new stairways, passenger lift for wheelchair access, new toilet facilities, ticket office, storage and changing area.
Existing facilities, in the former St Vincent de Paul building, at second floor level will remain unchanged except where the construction of the new lift and stairs encroach.
Adrian Reynolds, Chair of Killeigh CCE, says the new auditorium and performance area will be used for concerts as well as more smaller intimate performances.
"We hope that the Fleadh will come back to Tullamore at some stage in the future and we think that having a HQ here in the town would compliment that," Adrian Reynolds told the Offaly Independent.
"It would be available for use for all comhaltas branches across the county, not just Killeigh Comhaltas. We envision that community groups could also avail of it," he continued.
"Obviously you've got the Tullamore Arts Centre just down the road which will be able to cater for the bigger audiences and performances, but we hope to see smaller events and intimate performances in this space," he explains, adds that Killeigh CCE have full backing from the County Board.
"The fact that we are in the centre of town, and with Tullamore Dew here beside us, we would envision running events that would compliment the tourist offering in the heart of the town."
Mr Reynolds explained that all nine branches did exceedingly well in the Leinster Fleadh in Athboy last weekend, and so Offaly as a whole will be well represented at this year's All Ireland Fleadh in Drogheda this August.
"We are the top ranked county qualifier per head and it's great to see so many young people coming up.We have 60 children at music classes in Killeigh NS, while on Sundays we have over 20 in Tullamore.
Last year, the third floor of the Killeigh Comhaltas building in Tullamore, the former Saint Vincent de Paul building, was revamped and currently hosts music class throughout the week.
“We’re currently at the etender stage, so we hope to catch the interest of contractors. We plan to apply for funding to Offaly Local Development. There are a lot of variables that have to be taken care of yet but we think this would be a real asset to the town and especially for the Comhaltas community.”
The closing date for the tenders is July 31.