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LOCATIONS

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2022

County Wexford
Paranormal Investigation 84
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The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum, situated on Castle Street in Enniscorthy, County Wexford was constructed in 1892 on a former vacant plot in the town. The new-custom built hall was designed by Joseph Kelly Freeman (born 1865) at a cost of £2,207 5s.2p. The Athenaeum was named after Athena, the Greek Goddess of arts and wisdom by the buildings committee treasurers Dr. Nicholas Furlong and Dr. Thomas J. Kelly.  The initial purpose for the new town hall (brought forward in a meeting 4th February 1891) in Enniscorthy was to educate the young catholic men of the town on the subjects of arts, literature and science. For over seventy years the Athenaeum hosted touring companies from Ireland and overseas. Apart from dances and concerts operatic recitals were performed at the hall; including an appearance from world renowned tenor Count John McCormack (1884-1945) at a Feis (festival of music and dance) in 1905. Lectures were also presented to an audience on-site. Notably an address was given by Dr. Douglas Hyde (1860-1949) in the Main Hall in 1901. Hyde was the co-founder and first President of the Gaelic League. He would later become the first President of Ireland from 1938 to 1945. It was on the 17th June 1927 that the founding members of the Gate Theatre company in Dublin (established 1928) Micheál MacLiammóir and Hilton Edwards first met each other at the Athenaeum. It was the Emmet commemoration concert and oration of 1st March 1916 that saw the most rousing gatherings in the Main Hall. Orator on that evening was Patrick Pearse (1879-1916). He spoke passionately about Robert Emmet (1778-1803). Amongst those who attended were the Volunteers of the Irish Republican Brotherhood based in Enniscorthy. Pearse gave knowledge that orders of an armed uprising would arrive soon. On the Thursday 27th April 1916 between 100 and 200 Irish Volunteers led by Robert Brennan, Seamus Doyle and Sean Etchingham took over the town of Enniscorthy. One of the buildings that was commandeered was the Athenaeum. Members of Comann na Mban (Irish Republican Women’s Parliamentary Organisation) raised the tricolour on a flagpole above the building and discharges of gunfire were fired as a salute. The insurgents also managed to fire shots at the R.I.C (Royal Irish Constabulary) from Vinegar Hill (a symbolic site of the 1798 Rising). Other buildings that were occupied in the town included Enniscorthy Castle, the Church Institute on the corner of Castle Street and Church Street; and the Courthouse on Court Street and Friary Hill. On Monday 1st May the British Army under the command of Colonel George Arthur French (1864-1950) succeeded in regaining control of the town. Enniscorthy was the only town occupied by Republicans outside of Dublin during the 1916 Rising and one of the last places to lay down arms in the revolt.

MANIFESTATION/LEGEND

Familiar occurrences of poltergeist activity have been reported at the building, such as doors banging, people being touched and lights switching on and off. Shadow figures have been seen and clear voices (some not friendly) believed to be that of Priests, children and Volunteers of the 1916 Rising are said to be heard. The majority of paranormal and anomalous experiences occur in the Museum area of the Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum

March

County Cork
Paranormal Investigation 85
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Temperance Hall

The community space hall was constructed in 1885 by the League of the Cross, a temperance society established in Liverpool. It is situated on Market Quay (Emmet Place), Sleenen, Kinsale (town centre), County Cork. The Temperance movement was a social campaign against the consumption of alcohol. People who took part in the movement promoted Teetotalism; the promotion of total individual abstinence from alcoholic beverages whilst being teetotal. The League of Cross was set-up by a Roman Catholic voluntary association of laypeople by Cardinal Henry Edward Manning (1808-1892) with an aim to improve religious, social and domestic conditions. The main aims of the League were to pledge total abstinence, and taken without limit as to time; only Catholics could be members; that all members shall live as good, practical Catholics and no one who is not a practical Catholic shall as long as he fails to practice his religion, hold any office in the League. The building has two floors presenting many artistic architectural features. The slate roof has ceramic ridge tiles with fleur-de-lis decoration and a cruciform at the front apex. The building also has red bricks/blocks and yellow brick keystones that surround round-headed windows and a door, and a circular window at the rear. The Temperance Hall sits today in an area which was in-filled and reclaimed at the end of the 18th century from originally wet and marshy land. It stood within the town walls and five main gates: Friars Gate, Cork Gate, Water Gate, World’s End Gate, and Nicolas Gate. The walls and gates were mainly destroyed during the Battle of Kinsale of 1601. In the 18th and 19th centuries boatyards use to occupy Pier Road (next to Market Quay/Emmet Place). The best known ship to have been built in the town was the HMS Kinsale at the Admiralty Dockyard at World’s End, in 1705. Fishing was another important job to have in the area. A total of 4, 612 men and boys were employed on fishing boats in 1829.

MANIFESTATION/LEGEND

The lanes close to Market Quay/Emmet Place are reported to be haunted by a ghostly fisherman who is said to walk down to the quayside, then vanishes. The road from the fort to Desmond Castle (pass very close to the Temperance Hall) is said to see a ghost of the white lady. In Julian Hawthorne’s minor vampire story Ken’s Mystery (1883) is said to be based on an encounter with a phantom woman who travelled from the fort to Desmond Castle, where she vanished (credited Paranormal Database).

Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
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Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall
Temperance Hall

May