The Cultural Quarters in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, Ireland is a historical building which has been offered to the community rent free to give people the opportunity to renovate and utilise the spaces available for the benefit of the creative community.
With businesses closing and buildings becoming unoccupied on a monthly basis within the town of Ballinamore, the town is crying out for a focal point where people can come together and offer their services and expertise, showcase their talents or craftsmanship or run creative classes and clubs.
The building was built in 1826 and has been used as a RIC Barracks and in 1922 became a Garda Barracks (during which time the famous author John McGarhern’s father was stationed and I.R.A. member John Joe McGirl was imprisoned), since then has been used as a boutique and a bakery. The building has old cells from it former life which have been covered over, we would like to reopen them as a historical attraction for Ballinamore, encouraging tourism. The building consists of 12 large sized rooms with original features, cells and an outside space. It is situated right by a small river and is one of the most beautiful buildings in the town.
Currently The CQ houses Murray’s Vintage Clothing & Tearoom, Memory Lane Antiques, Artist Studios and an Event Room for group meetings, entertainment events and a flea market. There is also a reading room where people can relax in front of an open fire. There is a large lane and garden which will be open to everyone during spring and summer months for gigs and entertainment, help is needed to bring this wonderful space to life. We have already received enquiries with regard to utilising the spaces for projects such as children’s sewing classes, knitting groups, Italian classes, book & writing clubs.
There is no fee to use the building other than a contribution to utility bills and help with the renovation and decoration of the building, which is what this beautiful old building needs.
An initial injection of funding and support is important in order to renovate the building to its potential and to help forward the project to become the focal point of the town.
All money will go towards the renovation of the building and associated works.
We see this as a fantastic opportunity for every member of the community to become involved and help build this community focal point in a self-sufficient way, which we believe will improve the quality of social interaction and well being of the whole community during these difficult times. Also for visitors to come and see the talent and craftsmanship in the area, shop for vintage clothing and antiques and learn about the history of the building and the area of our beautiful and historic town.