Thepanch's Blog

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A Shambles In Two Acts

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In response to the shambles that has become The Athenaeum “Restoration” fund, let me just say this.

To whom it may concern (I’m not writing two letters…..)

I am genuinely surprised that it took this long for egos to creep in and poison the well of creativity and good spirit that drew me to the project in the first place. Many a discussion was had by me and good friends regarding what could be done to bring some culture back into this town. Top of the list was always, “It’d be great to get the Athenaeum opened again.” Then this was quickly followed by joyous stories of doing shows with just three curtains rested on a massive loo roll holder to hide your teenage shame. My first experience on that stage began with some encouragement from the late Mr. Michael Talbot, a beautiful, quietly creative man that hailed from Galway and came to teach kids in St. Mary’s CBS, Mill Park Road.

He asked me and three other lads would we mind helping out “backstage” at the musical in town as part of our Gaisce Award in Transition Year. The Musical Society was under the direction of Mr. Ray Quigley and it took him about two days to persuade us to actually appear on stage. And that was it, I can’t speak for the other two guys but I was hooked. The buzz, the smiles, the laughter and the applause, I loved it all. My first experience of performing to people took place in the Athenaeum. And if I had space, I could list out over two hundred people in the same boat.

My how perspectives have changed since then. Now we’re not talking about a building that had the pleasure of playing host to Matty Kinnaird, Harry Ringwood, countless productions of the Musical and Drama Society. Not to mention the part the building played in 1916. No, now we’re stuck in a battle of school children’s egos. “It’s my building.”… “I’m the director… No, I’m the director….. I’m the director and I’m in bar for eternity and I have a force field, no comebacks.”

Hang your heads. Hang your heads in shame. Anyone that has had the pleasure of being on that stage and anyone with a love for the old bricks and mortar does not care one iota who is leader of a board. On the subject of boards, sort it out or leave and form another board, preferably full of outsiders. More importantly, sort it out and get the building opened so that the future generations of thinkers, dreamers, lovers, actors and musicians can enjoy the energy that hits you just upon waking into that hollowed building.



Jamie Murphy


Written by thepanch

May 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Thoughts, Uncategorized

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