Dun Mhuire not for sale but ‘vi­a­bil­ity un­der dis­cus­sion’

Wexford People - - NEWS - By MARIA PEP­PER

STRONG ru­mours to the ef­fect that Dun Mhuire Theatre in South Main Street, is up for sale, have been dis­missed by a Dioce­san spokesman.

‘There is no plan to sell the parish hall, it’s news to us’, said dioce­san sec­re­tary and press of­fi­cer Fr. John Car­roll said. Fr. Car­roll was re­act­ing to ru­mours which have been cir­cu­lat­ing in Wex­ford town fol­low­ing the re­cent clo­sure of the long-stand­ing weekly bingo ses­sions in Dún Mhuire.

A de­ci­sion was taken to end the bingo last month as it was no longer vi­able due to de­clin­ing at­ten­dances and was op­er­at­ing at a loss. Since then, many peo­ple have been ex­press­ing con­cern that the theatre is be­ing sold but this is ab­so­lutely not the case, ac­cord­ing to Fr. Car­roll.

‘The vi­a­bil­ity of the build­ing is be­ing looked at and dis- cussed, in terms of its cur­rent use and fu­ture best use, Like any other busi­ness, it’s about in­come and ex­pen­di­ture and we need to in­crease the in­come, ’ he said.

‘There is no plan to sell it . The idea of sell­ing the build­ing is news to us. It’s a fa­cil­ity at the ser­vice of the parish and it’s a case of try­ing to make the best use of it’.

Fr. Car­roll ex­plained that in any event it wouldn’t just be a case of plac­ing Dun Mhuire Theatre up for sale as it is an as­set in the own­er­ship of the parish which is over­seen by a parish com­mit­tee and a parish fi­nance com­mit­tee and it would re­quire a col­lec­tive de­ci­sion.

‘For any kind of pro­posal like that, there would have to be a meet­ing of the parish com­mit­tee and it would have to be pro­posed to the dio­cese’, he said.

Dun Mhuire Hall was of­fi­cially opened by Bishop James Staunton in De­cem­ber 1960 and has been one of the main per­for­mance venues in the town but now there is a greater choice of venue and many lo­cal and vis­it­ing drama and mu­sic groups use the Na­tional Opera House and lo­cal ho­tels to stage pro­duc­tions.

The build­ing was for­merly used as an of­fi­cial count cen­tre for elec­tions but is no longer hired for that pur­pose.

Wex­ford Pan­tomime So­ci­ety, Wex­ford Drama Fes­ti­val and Oyster Lane Theatre are still reg­u­lar users of the theatre and have been for many years.

‘It’s a new world out there and it will have to find its place’, said Fr. Car­roll.

Sharon Clancy on­stage at the Dun Mhuire with Oyster Lane Theatre Group in 2016.

Fr John Car­roll.

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