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Pressure group set up to safeguard historic King House

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  • Pressure group set up to safeguard historic King House

    Pressure group set up to safeguard historic King House
    MARESE McDONAGH

    AN ACTION committee has been formed to preserve the future of King House, the ancestral home of the King family in Boyle, Co Roscommon.

    The group was formed amid local concerns that the historic building is to be downgraded as a tourist attraction.

    Roscommon County Council has confirmed it intends to relocate Boyle library to the long gallery on the ground floor of King House, built about 1730 by Sir Henry King, MP for Boyle.

    It also served for many years as the barracks for the 4th (Special Reserve) battalion of the Connaught Rangers after the Earl of Kingston moved to the nearby Rockingham Estate. The building had been earmarked for demolition in the 1970s to make way for a car park, but was rescued by the council which began to refurbish it in 1989.

    Chairman of the Connaught Rangers Association Oliver Fallon said that it may now be forced to move its museum from King House because of the uncertainty over the future of the building.

    “Our main concern is that there has been absolutely no consultation – Roscommon County Council has not communicated with us about the plans,” said Mr Fallon.

    He said that while King House was the ideal place for the museum, the association was considering an invitation from the recently refurbished military museum at Renmore Barracks, Galway to relocate its collection there.

    The council has insisted that “very careful and due consideration” was given to the decision to relocate the library from the basement of the house to the ground floor, and said it is committed to using the building as a tourist attraction and civic building “to ensure its long-term viability”.

    The council intends to move its Boyle area office into the existing library and it is understood the move will save up to €15,000 a year on rent for office space.

    Locals are furious that the long gallery will no longer accommodate the Boyle Civic Art Collection, assembled by co-founder of the Boyle Arts Festival Fergus Ahern, who died last year.

    “The Boyle civic collection is worth over €1 million,” said festival chairwoman Irene Madden who explained that many of the paintings had been displayed in the long gallery.

    “It now seems that they intend to hammer shelves on to those walls.”




    Photo on the above link
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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