County Museum's Phased Development

Clare Champion, Friday, May 21, 1999

Clare's new county museum is on schedule to be completed by this time next year, Ennis Urban District Council chiefs have announced this week. The news that phase I of the £2.4m project has been finished was delivered by Council chairperson Mary Coote-Ryan while work is now imminent of the final leg of the project.

Phase one provides many facilities including a multi-purpose auditorium which will be used temporarily by Clare County Council as a Council Chamber. It is intended that the auditorium will facilitate many events such as readings, launches, lectures, seminars and meetings. Phase I also houses office space, toilet facilities, reception area and a new Tourist Information Office. It's expected that the new Tourist Office will be open to the public by the end of this month.

Work is set to commence on Phase 2 in the coming weeks. This will include the design and installation of the museum exhibition galleries along with temporary and permanent display/exhibition areas. The museum will be officially opened in May. The project was this week lauded by acting Assistant County Manager, Tom Coughlan. "Now that Phase I has been successfully completed on target I am confident that phase 2 will also run according to plan. The entire project has tremendous potential and will contribute significantly to the cultural infrastructure of Ennis and will greatly enhance the attractiveness of the town as a tourist destination. The main function of the museum is to collect, preserve, document and display the material culture of county Clare. Along with ensuring the preservation of the county's heritage it will act as a major economic asset for the area for many years to come".

The entire project will cost £2.4m. Funding has been secured from a number of sources. The Department of Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht and the Islands approved £1m for the development of the Clare County Museum under the Cultural Development Incentive Scheme, administered under the Operational Programme for Tourism 1994-'99. The remaining £1.4m is co-funded by Ennis UDC and Clare County Council.

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