Work begins on County Museum redevelopment

Aldo Andreucetti, Design Lead, Clare County Council; Cllr Mary Howard, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council; Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; and (back row, l-r) Carmel Greene, Project Lead, Clare County Council; Helen Walsh, County Librarian, Clare County Council; Niall Coonan, Project Manager, M. Fitzgibbon Contractors Ltd; and Liam Conneally, Director of Economic Development, Clare County Council – Photo: John Kelly.

Clare County Council has commenced construction on the County Museum redevelopment project, with contractors M. Fitzgibbon Contractors Ltd starting works on site on 4th May following the lifting of Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions for the construction sector.

The project will see the refurbishment and conversion of the upstairs rooms in the building into modern office and meeting room space, while the downstairs will be transformed with the addition of Éamon de Valera’s 1947 Dodge car to the Museum exhibition, together with an improved Tourist Office.

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The iconic 1947 Dodge Plymouth transported two of Ireland’s presidents, including Éamon de Valera, in the early years of the State.

The County Museum redevelopment project was designed in-house by Clare County Council’s Design Office in conjunction with the Property Management unit, with external consultancy services engaged for mechanical, electrical and interior design.

The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Mary Howard, said: “I am delighted to see this investment in the County Museum building, 20 years after it was first opened. Since it was vacated by Limerick Institute of Technology over a year ago, we have been waiting for this day to bring new life and use to the building. It is also a fitting time to give a modern look to the Tourist Office in line with the recently launched County Clare Tourism Strategy 2030 and as we start to welcome visitors back to Ennis and County Clare. The addition of the 1947 Dodge to the exhibition from its previous location at the rear of the de Valera Library will be an added attraction to the Museum and the town centre.”

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said: “This project shows the importance of investment in our existing buildings, particularly those at key locations in town centres. This project will breathe new life into the County Museum building and lead to increased footfall in the town centre.”

It is hoped that the refurbishment works will be completed by August.

Listen to the Clare FM documentary on the County Museum first broadcast in January.

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