THE Kilmallock Tourism group has ambitious goals for bringing footfall into the town and one of those is the restoration of the Medieval Stone Mansion which they plan to convert as a visitor centre.
Local Councillor Mike Donegan (FF) is one of seven board members of Kilmallock Tourism and he explained that the project is expected to cost in the region of €1.5 million to transform the derelict remains of the last Medieval house in the town.
“What we want to do is create a visitor centre with a cafe where people can go and get information about the town. We’re working with the Office of Public Works, who own the building.”
The vision for the Stone Mansion is to create a tourism and visitors centre, with a cafe and a medieval market.
“It would encourage more footfall and be a place where visitors could get information about the amenities and heritage sites,” Cllr Donegan told the Limerick Post.
There is currently €300,000 ring fenced with the local authority for the project and local businesses have come on board to see the Stone Mansion return to the town as a living entity.
Kilmallock Tourism Development Ltd was set up in 1994, one of its core objectives is: ‘to develop and revitalise Kilmallock, to establish Kilmallock as a recognised tourist destination and promote tourism initiatives in Kilmallock’.
The company has a Board of Directors drawn from across the community. It is responsible for administering the local Community Employment scheme which maintains and enhances the public spaces throughout Kilmallock. It is also responsible for commissioning the logo and brand for Kilmallock, for the high quality street signage and for producing the first town trail brochure.
They were also represented on the town walls restoration project and co-hosted the Kilmallock Walled Towns day over the last number of years.
The Tourism body also promotes the town’s five looped walks, which take in all of the historical landmarks in Kilmallock and which the visitor can explore alone or with Kilmallock Walking Tour Audio Guide on Spotify, ApplePodcasts, Audible and via the Abarta Heritage Guide.
Kilmallock Tourism works closely with other organisations in the town, including the local Community Employment scheme, with whom they have a service level agreement to maintain the walks.
Kilmallock Tourism’s Sinead Loftus said “the real beauty of Kilmallock lies in the magnificent historical buildings that form the foundation of this Medieval town.
“There is the Dominican Priory, built in1291. The extensive remains contain a number of beautiful and fascinating artistic and architectural features that make it a site worth spending time exploring.
“The Dominican Priory is one of many fine structures that are part of Kilmallock, the others being the Collegiate Church, The Stone Mansion, Kings Castle and Blossom gate. Some of these buildings are open to the public to enjoy and to picture life as it may have been for our ancestors.
“Amazingly, 80 per cent of the original town wall that surrounded Kilmallock still stands today, the majority of which has been reinstated and restored. The West Wall is the longest stretch of a town wall remaining in the Republic of Ireland and is in excellent state of repair.
“All of these remarkable Medieval buildings form part of a beautiful, recently developed and magnificently kept Town Walk,” she said.