Lismore Heritage Centre’s Courthouse Theatre was filled to capacity on Friday 10th September as locals and visitors gathered for the Centre’s open evening.
Lismore Mochuda Development Company, Waterford Garden Trail, Lismore Adult Education Centre and the town’s Foróige, Golf and GAA clubs, choir and Tidy Towns Committee all hosted tables at the event. Mr Frank Curran, Chairman of Lismore Heritage Company, praised the spirit of cooperation that brought so many local groups together.
The Heritage Centre’s main objective, according to Mr Curran, remains attracting visitors to Lismore to benefit the local economy as a whole.
The chairman praised a number of new enterprises launched by the Heritage Centre in recent months believing that this is why Lismore Heritage Centre “is currently bucking the national trend which is reporting that tourist figures are down by over 20% in the first six months of this year. I am pleased to state that visitors to the Heritage Centre have increased by approximately 30% to the end of August.”
The County Manager, Mr Ray O’Dwyer, reminded the crowd that the open evening was part of a nationwide event; Community Celebration Day, a day designed to highlight the valuable work of the community and voluntary sector in Ireland. The government funding which is invaluable to enterprises such as the Heritage Centre suffered huge cuts in last year’s budget. While Mr O’Dwyer acknowledged the stringent economic climate he insisted that the services and employment provided by Community Services Projects across Waterford are crucial. He pointed to the Heritage Centre’s services to the locality; providing a facility for performance, operating a box office service, marketing the town and its attractions both nationally and internationally and providing administrative support for events and festivals in the area. Mr O’Dwyer affirmed Waterford County Council’s on-going support of the Centre. He described the Heritage Centre as a “catalyst which will continue to stimulate economic growth through it various activities”
There was entertainment on the night by The Booley House musicians, dancers and singers who presented a medley from their ever-popular summer show. Proving that in Lismore the past is truly always present Lismore Dramatic Society donned period gowns and doublet and hose to bring some of the town’s formidable historical sons (and daughters!) to life. Delicious lamb skewers, seafood chowder and O'Flynns’ sausages served by Noel and Annemarie Costello of the Brideview Bar and A Taste of West Waterford kept the crowd well nourished.
Mealla Fahey, on behalf of the management and staff of the Heritage Centre, extends her sincerest thanks to all the individuals and groups who contributed to the success of Friday evening describing it as “a wonderful occasion for the Heritage Centre and for the town.”