02/10/2014 Minister Humphreys launches Richmond Barracks restoration project
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, today formally launched the restoration and adaptation of Richmond Barracks as a modern heritage site. Funding of €3.5 million has been approved for the project as part of the Department’s capital programme for the 1916 Commemorations.
Richmond Barracks is of particular historical significance, as after the surrender of the 1916 Rising leaders, over 3,000 personnel of the Rising were confined in the Barracks.
Most of the signatories of the Proclamation and other leaders were interned, court-martialled and sentenced to death in the Barracks. Among those held in the Barracks were Eamon De Valera, W.T. Cosgrave, Michael Collins, and Con Colbert.
The €3.5 million restoration works, which have been developed in collaboration with Dublin City Council, St. Michael’s Estate Regeneration Board, the Inchicore-Kilmainham Heritage Group and other stakeholders, will allow the Barracks to become a cultural, education, heritage facility, which will be enjoyed by local residents and tourists.
Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said: ‘Richmond Barracks is particularly remembered as the place of confinement for so many of the personnel of the Easter Rising. It is in that context I welcome this regenerative proposal for the Barracks, which will recognise it as one of the key heritage projects in our centenary programme’.
“I would also like to acknowledge the position of the soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment who were stationed here in 1916 – I’m sure that most of them could never have imagined being called upon to fight Irishmen in Dublin when they signed up; they must have felt themselves to be in an impossible position.
“It is right that we should remember all of those associated with Richmond Barracks who lost their lives due to conflict, and I am very keen to see their stories told. I would like to commend the work carried out by the St. Michael’s Estate Regeneration Board in advancing proposals for the development of this site as well as highlighting the important role that these buildings played in our national history.
“This project is part of the €22 million capital funding package announced by my Department, which will see a number of other projects completed in time for the 1916 Commemorations, including the interpretive centre at the GPO, and the visitor facility at Kilmainham Gaol. I look forward to these projects progressing over the next 12 to 18 months.”