Future of heritage centre in County Limerick village debated at closed meeting

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Adare Heritage Centre: In line to be completely overhauled

Adare Heritage Centre: In line to be completely overhauled

THE FUTURE of Adare Heritage Centre was the subject of an intense debate at a private council meeting this week.

The councillors of Adare Rathkeale attended a private meeting with council officials this Tuesday, in which they discussed the future plans for the facility.

The meeting ran for over an hour after it was supposed to finish.

Earlier this year, the council unveiled draft plans for an open plaza at the front of the building, a project which would cost €100,000 and would be funded under the Towns and Villages Renewal Scheme.

That is part of a bigger plan for Adare Heritage Centre, announced by the centre in 2016, which would see €1.4m being spent on a “complete redesign”.

It is understood that the centre requires funding for the major overhaul inside. The centre caters for a much higher volume of tourists than it was originally designed for.

But councillors were said to have clashed over what to do about the centre, and how best to support it in meeting its objectives going forward.

The building houses a restaurant, and questions were raised during the meeting about whether or not it was appropriate that council funds give it “an unfair advantage”, when it is in competition with other rate-paying eateries.

The long-term plan is to incorporate the building, which currently houses separate retail units, into one heritage facility with a more open-plan and unified feel.