Enniscorthy Volunteers Headquarters now permanent home to 1916 Exhibition (Museum Development)

Posted: Monday, 26 September 2016

Enniscorthy's Athenaeum re-opened this September following it's closure since 2015 for conservation and restoration work. The Athenaeum is one of the nine capital projects developed as Permanent Reminders under the 1916 Centenary Programme, receiving a funidng allocation of €250,000. 

The newly restored 150-seat theatre will act as a community and arts venue catering for drama productions, concerts and other public events and also features a new permanent exhibition on Wexford's role during the Rising.

The Athenaeum played a highly prominent role during the 1916 Easter Rising in County Wexford, when it was occupied the Irish Volunteers in support of the Dublin Rising. Using it as their headquarters, every aspect of Rising activity in County Wexford was co-ordinated from there. When not out on duty the Volunteers ate and slept in the building, while Cumann na mBan established a hospital in the auditorium and dormitories in the dressing rooms on the first floor.

The newly refurbished building now houses a permanent exhibition attesting to Wexford's illustrious role during that turbulent time. The exhibition includes a reconstruction of the actual HQ of the rebels in 1916 with the information presented on a series of props, graphics and supplemented by audio narratives. Dedicated spaces within the exhibition include a war council room, secretary's office and an emergency hospital and kitchen.

The exhibition, which has been curated by Wexford County Council archivist Grainne Doran, also showcases a large-scale model of Enniscorthy Town and depicts a number of the buildings that featured prominently during the Rising. The space also features a multimedia exhibition.

Click here to visit The Athenaeum website.