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New Abbey Theatre site signifies end to 20 years of planning


 by Alan Condon

 

The Abbey Theatre has purchased a building on Eden Quay, adjacent to the theatre, in

preparation for its long-awaited redevelopment plan.

It was decided last year that the theatre should remain at its current location throughout the reign

of the current Government.

Among the sites rejected for the Abbey Theatre’s relocation were the GPO on O’Connell Street, the

Carlton Cinema site and the Dublin Docklands.

This purchase of a new site  next door puts to rest a two decade period of quiescence and signifies a

start to the development plan.

Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, welcomed the Abbey purchase.

“I welcome the acquisition of property beside the existing theatre building as a clear road map for

the future, and believe that the fundraising focus for the Abbey must now be on delivering the

maximum amount of private support possible to allow for redevelopment to take place on this site

over time.”

Fiach Mac Conghail, Director of the Abbey, announced that they purchased the site so they can

develop a new building for the Abbey on their own site, “at some point in the future.”

He said that the purchase was a common-sense solution to securing the future of the Abbey

Theatre.

There is a desperate need for the redevelopment of the Abbey Theatre as the building has not been

properly refurbished since its completion in 1966.

It is considered inadequate and lacking the features of a modern theatre. Recently, during its

production of ‘The Plough and the Stars,’ the Abbey was forced to relocate to the O’Reilly Theatre in Belvedere College due to asbestos being cleared from the building.  

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