THE Australian ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews will visit
Tinakill House on Wednesday 14 February.
Earlier that morning, Mr Andrews will visit county hall where he will meet councillors and officials as well as members of the Tinakill House Restoration Committee.
The visit of the ambassador has been in the pipeline for some time. There is a long association between Australia and Co Laois and particularly with Tinakill, the ancestral home of the Lalor family, of which Peter Lalor, who played a prominent role in the establishment of democracy in Australia, was a member.
Mr Andrews is expected at Tinakill sometime around noon, where he will see the restoration work, which has been ongoing since last year. This work consisted of the stabilising of the windows and walls and the removal of vegetation and trees, which posed a threat in stormy conditions.
On his arrival, Mr Andrews will be greeted by children from Tobar an Léinn National School and Kevin and Mary Lalor-Fitzpatrick, current owners of the property, members of the Tinakill House Restoration Committee and people from the locality.
Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick is a grandnephew of Peter Lalor.
Mr Andrews will view the house and will be given a detailed account of the committee’s plans for the restoration project, which has attracted considerable interest at home and abroad.
It is felt that the house will be a major link in the Ancient Ireland East tourism drive, as it’s intended to establish a museum there, which will reflect the considerable contribution of the Lalor family to its history.
It is also hoped to establish a library that will house the contributions of Honest Pat Lalor MP and his son Richard, who was also an MP in Westminster Parliament. Speeches and texts by James Fintan Lalor on the Irish agrarian problems of the 19th century and the contributions of Peter Lalor to the parliament in Victoria, Australia will also be included.
Following his visit to the house, Mr Andrews will be brought to the old cemetery in Raheen, where he will lay a wreath on the tomb of Honest Pat Lalor.
Chairman of the restoration committee Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick said lsat week that it is a great honour to have the ambassador visit Tinakill House. He added that he was immensely proud of the contribution which this illustrious member of the Lalor family made to the development of Australian democracy and self-determination. He extended a welcome for everyone to come and meet the Ambassador on his visit.