Templemore’s distinctive Town Hall building, with its signature Russian-style onion dome, must be kept alive for generations to come despite the abolition of the Town Council in May, heard a special session of the Council on Monday evening.
Moving all the Town files and documents out into boxes for the final departure after years of service was likened to losing a family member, according to the Town Clerk, Tom McGrath. Cllrs are anxious that the building be preserved as a monument to the achievements of Templemore Town Council. Manager Karl Cashen said the 1816 Market House, burnt to the ground by the British in 1920, and rebuilt in 1927, is “the most important building in the town.”
The County Council is seeking expressions of interest from local community groups to keep it in use. A report is to be completed on the building’s structural problems, with costs for refurbishment. The Council will be investing heavily in restoration work, said Mr Kashen.
Cllr Joe Bourke suggested it could be used as a Community Centre, “something that is badly needed.” Cllr Mick Connell said it could be transformed into a museum with displays of Templemore’s long history similar to the Ashe Memorial Hall in Tralee. Cllr Michael Ryan said it could serve as a home for several groups in the town. Cllr Valerie Young said it was “very important for the history of the town that it be kept alive.” Suggestions included a heritage centre, a tourism office, a base for the Historical Society, and a Youth Centre. “This is the heart of the town,” said Cllr Ryan. “It’s important that Templemore be kept alive. Now is our opportunity. We owe it to the people who have gone before us.”
Mr Kashen said interested parties could submit their ideas by March 31st.