Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh Officially Opened

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has officially opened the Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh in Conamara, one of the Government's major capital projects at the centre of the Historical Reflection strand of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

The centre, at Pearse's Cottage, Ros Muc, County Galway, will serve as a lasting legacy of the commemorative events.

Pearse's Cottage is set in Ros Muc where Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, spent his summers from 1909 to 1915. In Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh, visitors can get a taste of the Irish language and the culture of the Gaeltacht while enjoying the surrounding countryside. This is done in the context of Patrick Pearse's story and through the lens of what attracted him to Ros Muc.

The development comprises four elements including: the new visitor centre, Cosán Chonamara (which includes 10 acres and a looped walk), Slí na Coille (an interpretive space focussing on Patrick Pearse himself) and Pearse's Cottage.

The development of the new centre is headed up by Údarás na Gaeltachta as part of a steering group comprising Galway County Council, the Office of Public Works, Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Speaking at the event, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, said: "It is fitting that we are opening this centre today, the 10th of November. It is no coincidence that today is also Pearse's birthday, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. There is no better way to celebrate his birthday or pay tribute to him than by opening a new cultural centre in his name on this spot, at Pearse's Cottage.

"The language and culture of this area greatly impressed Pearse when he first came here in 1903 to examine students on behalf of Conradh na Gaeilge. They made such an impression on him that he decided to spend his holidays each summer, from 1909 to 1915, here at Pearse's Cottage.

"Pearse had a central role as a revolutionary in the events of the Easter Rising 1916. But he also had other important roles – as an educator, writer and passionate activist for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht. In this new interpretive centre every effort has been made to add to the wonderful insight already provided to visitors in Pearse's Cottage.

"The centre also gives visitors an overview of the importance of Irish and of Gaeltacht culture as a rich reservoir of our heritage and, of course, these elements are as central to our sense of identity today as they were in Pearse's era."

Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Seán Kyne, added: "The official opening of this new cultural centre on Pearse's birthday is a big cause for celebration. It is not difficult to understand what inspired Pádraig Pearse's writing when he came here – the windswept landscape, the bogland, the lakes, the mountains and the sea, not to mention the language and culture of the people. 

"And I must say, looking around me here today, that I believe a great job has been done in bringing all of these elements together in this development. I am confident that the four aspects of the development – the cultural centre, Cosán Chonamara, Slí na Coille and Pearse's Cottage itself – give visitors a substantial taste of those elements. 

"What we see here today is an excellent example of the efforts and trojan work of the various parties over the years to bring extra tourism and cultural value, not just to the community of Ros Muc, but to the entire region."


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