The Athenaeum 1916 Museum
In 1916, a small rising occurred at Enniscorthy on cue with the rising in Dublin. On Thursday, 27 April 1916, Enniscorthy town was taken over by about 600 armed patriots almost without opposition. The volunteers made the Athenaeum Theatre their headquarters, taking over the town and blocking the roads and the railway line.
The Athenaeum Theatre was renovated to its former glory in early 2016 and two rooms on the ground floor were chosen to host a 1916 exhibition covering the local history of the rising. Given the importance of the building in the 1916 context Mirador Media opted for the creation of a permanent structure re-using some the building's original features in creating a novel 'walk-through' visitor experience.
In this experience the main room saw a reconstruction/ interpretation of the actual headquarters of the Wexford Irish Volunteers in 1916. Not as an exhibition, as such, but almost like a set, where the information people need is all around them - on props, graphics, old radios, notes, old telephones etc.
The separate zones were given titles such as Common Room, Emergency Hospital, Secretary's Office and War Council. The artefacts on display include the original flag of the 1st Battalion Enniscorthy restored by textile conservator Rachel Phelan of Dublin; and, most poignantly, a letter signed by the Enniscorthy Leaders - Captain Robert Brennan (1881-1964); Captain Seamus Doyle (1885-1971); Lieutenant Michael de Lacy (1879/80-1951); Captain Seamus Rafter (1873-1918); Captain Sean Redmond Etchingham (1868-1923); and Captain Richard Francis (Dick) King (1890-1938) - requesting permission to send an envoy to meet with Patrick Pearse at Arbour Hill, Dublin, to confirm an order of surrender.