A motion was passed at last Monday night’s meeting of Wexford Borough Council which may lead to the conversion of the towns old Gaol into a museum. Sinn Féin Cllr Anthony Kelly tabled the motion calling on the Borough and County Councils to carry out a feasibility report on the project with a view to applying to the OPW and other appropriate bodies for grant aid.
“Wexford's old County Gaol is the perfect location for a town museum,” Cllr Kelly said, “The building and grounds have played a historic role in the development of the town. First constructed in 1812, the building was taken over by the Free State and transformed into a military barracks in 1922. On the 13th of March 1923, republicans Jim Parle, John Creane and Pat Hogan were executed in what is now the town’s republican garden.”
“As we approach the decade long period of commemoration which will no doubt be associated with the centenary of our the rising, war of independence and civil war, it would be fitting for Wexford to have a museum which could educate people in a mature and non biased fashion about what really happened during this troubled period.”
“As well as being a wonderful education asset, the museum would also be a tourist attraction and would create local employment. It would not have to be defined by its own history either. Our town and county have a rich heritage. It would seem fitting that our maritime history and artefacts pertaining to other periods should also be housed at the gaol.”
“The recent funding allocation for Johnstown Castle is proof that the conversion of the Gaol into a museum is no longer just a pipe dream. We can make this happen and I welcome what I hope will be a prompt and successful feasibility study so that we may move forward with a project that can only benefit Wexford town and the surrounding area.”