Paul McCarthy, treasurer, Suellen McKenna, manager, Councillor Cyril Burke, Minister Alan Dillon, Fr. Michael Farragher, chairperson, Con Lydon, restoration project, Peter Hynes, director, and Mary Kelly, director, Ballintubber Abbey Trust.

Ballintubber Abbey Trust welcomes €5.8m. for restoration project

BALLINTUBBER Abbey Trust has welcomed the announcement by Minister Heather Humphreys of the allocation of €5.842 million from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund to the Ballintubber Abbey restoration project.

This funding marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts of Fr. Frank Fahey, Fr. Michael Farragher and the Ballintubber Abbey Trust, who have diligently worked on the East Wing restoration project since 2008.

It will start a new chapter in the story of this remarkable institution and will herald a new dawn for the entire community who have worked so hard and so long to get to this momentous day.

The restoration project will transform the derelict ruins of the East Wing of the abbey into a state-of-the-art three-storey culture and heritage visitor centre. This exciting development will serve to engage and inspire visitors, showcasing the remarkable historical, cultural, and spiritual legacy of Ballintubber Abbey, often referred to as the 'abbey that refused to die'.

Image of proposed new centre. Image copyright: Howley Hayes Cooney Architecture.

The centre will provide a significant boost to the local community and will enhance the Mayo visitor experience. Coupled with other significant investments like the Westport House Estate, Ballintubber Abbey Cultural and Visitor Centre will contribute to Mayo’s growing appeal as a high quality and must-be-experienced visitor destination.

Currently attracting over 30,000 visitors and pilgrims annually, including those walking the Tóchar Phadraig - St. Patrick's Pilgrim Path, this new development is poised to drive substantial growth in visitor numbers.

Ballintubber Abbey Trust has extended heartfelt gratitude to Minister Alan Dillon for championing the project, as well as to Deputy Michael Ring for his unwavering support.

The Trust also acknowledges the invaluable assistance of all local councillors.

They also extended deep appreciation to Mayo County Council management and staff - Kevin Kelly, CE, Joanne Grehan, director of services, and David O’Malley, executive engineer, and their team for their tireless efforts in securing this critical funding.

“We are truly excited to embark on this transformative project and eagerly anticipate commencing construction before the end of 2024,” said Fr. Farragher, chair of Ballintubber Abbey Trust.

Said Minister Dillon: “I was delighted to work closely with Mayo County Council, Minister Humphreys and the Ballintubber Abbey Trust to secure this significant funding.

“This is a very important project to me, one that I have worked on for some time. It is a huge vote of confidence for Mayo tourism, the Ballintubber community and its residents. They truly deserve this wonderful news.

“I’m looking forward to seeing works commence later this year.”