Monday, 24th February — Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has welcomed a significant partnership between the State and the Bank of Ireland which will result in the creation of a new Cultural and Heritage Centre at Parliament Buildings, College Green.
Bank of Ireland has made the space available for this centre to the State for a ten year period, and will cover the costs of refurbishment and operation of the centre. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht - in partnership with Bank of Ireland - will manage, operate and animate the space for this period.
When open for use the Cultural and Heritage Centre will be accessed by the public via the Gandon-designed entrance to the College Green buildings on Westmoreland Street. Bank of Ireland will also facilitate guided access to the House of Lords for visitors to the Cultural and Heritage Centre.
The ten-year licence for use of the centre runs alongside the Decade of Centenaries. It is envisaged that exhibitions at the Cultural and Heritage Centre will include a significant focus on key events in Irish history - up to the centenary of Civil War - which led to the creation of modern Ireland.
Minister Deenihan commented:
"I welcome Bank of Ireland’s decision to make this space available to the State. The importance of the College Green buildings is recognised by us all. These are nationally and internationally important heritage buildings which have played a significant role in Irish history.
"I am delighted that today's announcement will deliver a public cultural and heritage centre at the heart of the College Green buildings. This is a very significant development, and I want to thank Bank of Ireland for making this space available and for strongly supporting this initiative.
"I now look forward to work taking place to prepare this space and to plan the exhibitions. I hope this Cultural and Heritage Centre will be enjoyed by as many people as possible when open, and that the centre will be an integral part of Dublin City in the years ahead."
Richie Boucher, Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland said:
"Bank of Ireland is delighted to facilitate this new Cultural and Heritage centre for the State. Bank of Ireland has been at the heart of commerce in Ireland for over 200 years and will be for many generations to come.
"We recognise that whilst we are focussed on making a very significant contribution to Ireland’s future economic progress, we are also custodians of the Bank’s own history and heritage and that our College Green buildings are a very important part of Ireland’s history and heritage. We are conscious that over the next few years Ireland will commemorate and celebrate the centenaries of a number of major events in its history including the founding of the State.
"Bank of Ireland is pleased to demonstrate its important, longstanding role in supporting the communities we serve in Ireland through this initiative and we look forward to working with Government in the development of this new Cultural and Heritage Centre".
Whilst work is underway to prepare the space for use as a Cultural and Heritage Centre, Minister Deenihan will ask an expert committee drawn from the national cultural institutions and other city institutions to advise him on a programme of exhibitions and events to take place at the centre. This programme will have a significant focus on the social, economic and political events of the Decade of Centenaries.
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