The gates are open but nobody at home!

By Dan Walsh

The gates are wide open, the fish are leaping merrily in the pond on either side of the Bridge of Democracy, but it is ‘press your nose up against the window’ time to catch a glimpse of the interior of the National 1798 Rebellion Centre at Enniscorthy.

WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL CEO TOM ENRIGHT said ; If the 5,000 petition signatures supporting the National 1798 Rebellion Centre at Enniscorthy had paid their way into the Centre it would have been a more positive approach towards keeping the door open.”

Wexford County Council is refraining from any kind of hysterical celebration about the news that “the sale is off” while only a tiny number of locals have bothered to show any kind of emotion. So where do we go from here?

CEO Tom Enright told Monday’s meeting of Wexford County Council that if the 5,000 signatures that appeared on a recent social media petition had visited the Centre in person it would have been a more positive approach to keeping the door open.

Mr Enright pointed out that the future of the National 1798 Rebellion Centre rests firmly with the members of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council.

However, he added that there is a plan for tourism in Enniscorthy and a whole inclusion of the 1798 heritage is incorporated.

The 1798 Centre saga has been festering for a number of years – falling visitor numbers and lack of local and national interest – and as Carolyne Godkin, Acting Director of Services, told the recent meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council; “there is not enough revenue coming in to pay the electric bill.”

No sale. No plan. Stalemate; where goes the National 1798 Centre into 2021 and the following years?

It has been rumoured that the Fr Murphy Centre at Boolavogue could become the National 1798 Rebellion Centre, and my spies in that patriotic part of the county inform me that funding has been applied for, so perhaps, the future of Wexford and 1798 could still lie in ‘heart of the action’ country.

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