Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cork Chapter Visit to Ennismore and Collins Barracks

Early on a very wet Friday morning (30th October), a group of members met at Ennismore in the north eastern suburbs of Cork City. The weather spoiled the magnificent views from the house down to Cork harbour and also made it impossible to venture outdoors to enjoy the beautiful and historic gardens and grounds. Nevertheless, the visit turned out to be very enjoyable.

Dr. Alicia St. Leger provided a brief history of the house which was built in the 1820s and is an attractive single storey villa over basement. It was associated with the Leycester family until the 1950s when it was purchased by the Dominican Order and is now St. Dominic’s Retreat Centre. Br. Tom Casey welcomed the group and was most informative about the history of Ennismore where he has lovingly tended the gardens for many years.

After delicious refreshments, the group met up again at Collins Barracks museum where another warm welcome awaited from museum curator, Mr. Jim Horgan and Mr. Paddy Cremin. Mr. Cremin provided a most interesting tour of the museum and related fascinating anecdotes about the impressive buildings. The barracks was designed by John Gibson and was first opened in 1806. Although badly damaged in 1922, its buildings were restored and look very striking - even through the driving rain! A visit to the nearby garrison church with its beautiful stained glass windows by Evie Hone, concluded a successful, if damp, outing. Thanks to those at Ennismore and Collins Barracks who facilitated our visit and to Geraldine O’Riordan who organised the outing.

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