Some 800 people attended the re-opening of Cashel’s Halla na Féile on Friday, marking a new era for the theatre hall/conference centre which has served the town for over 50 years.
marking a new era for the theatre hall/conference centre which has served the town for over 50 years.
South Tipperary Development Co. Chairman Martin Quinn cut the ribbon on the newly re-vamped front extension - designed by Cashel firm ‘Fortress Planning’ - while Halla na Féile Committee Chairman Séan Murphy told guests how plans evolved after the financial crash in 2008 to save the Halla containing “one of the best dance floors in Ireland.” Phase I included the construction of a two-storey facade and car park. “We’ve done a lot of work in previous years. Halla na Féile is part of the community,” he said. Local contractors were employed during construction, and “it was a community effort,” said Mr Murphy. “We have a fantastic building which we can be proud of in Cashel.” Fr. Christy O’Dwyer, and Revd. Gerald Field blessed the extension, while former Cashel Town Cllr. Paddy Downey - who has been involved in the Halla for over 40 years - said it was a credit to the builder Noel Hall, and to all the people who have supported the building work over the last four years. He paid special tribute to Thurles architect and Project Manager Séan Ryan of Ryan Architectural Solutions. STDC Chairman Martin Quinn said he looked forward to the new Cashel radio studio, to be housed in the complex. STDC CEO Niall Morrissey, Development Worker Michael Begley, and Rural Development Manager Isabel Cambie were instrumental in ensuring the project came to fruition. “They worked late into the evenings, making sure all the documents are supplied. There is a rigorous assessment process, so we were delighted to be able to support the Halla na Féile application, and witness what you have achieved. Congratulations to the people of Cashel, and long may you continue to support this project,” said Mr Quinn.
Entertainment was supplied by the Cashel Palace’s Denis Heffernan, who sang a rousing rendition of ‘Cashel My Home Town’, the Michelle Lawrence School of Irish Dancing, and Derek Joy, who gave a demonstration of Taekwondo.