Re: Re: Images from the Irish Capuchin Archive

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Photographic print of Father Mathew Hall, Church Street, Dublin c. 1900

The foundation stone of Father Mathew Hall, Church Street, was laid by the Most Reverend William Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin, on 2 Feb. 1890. It was formally opened on 25 Jan. 1891. The total cost of the building was £4,000 to which was added another £2,000 for internal furnishing and fittings. An elaborate plaster proscenium arch from the Celtic Revival, including life-size figures representing music and drama, was erected in 1910. Initially a Temperance Hall, it was used over the years to stage the annual Capuchin-sponsored Feis Maitiú (Father Mathew Feis) and hosted various lectures, plays, and Irish music recitals. The Hall was regularly frequented by those interested in promoting the Gaelic cultural revival including Pádraig Pearse. It was also where Eamon de Valera first met his future wife, Sinéad Ní Fhlannagáin. The Hall later functioned as a field hospital during the 1916 Rising. The building closed to the public in 1997 – its last use was as a bingo hall. Both the exterior of the Victorian building and the proscenium arch within the Hall were added to the list of protected structures by Dublin Corporation in 2000. In 2001, Father Mathew Hall was purchased from the Capuchin Order by Harry Crosbie who restored the structure and subdivided it into three office units. The building is still awaiting office tenants.

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