A HISTORIC house that is being lovingly restored will hold a fundraising open day on Wednesday 22 August, featuring supporters dressed in period costume and a variety of children’s entertainment.
The open day from 11am to 4pm at Tenakill House in Raheen near Mountrath will highlight ongoing restoration work at the 18th century mansion, which was once home to the famous Lalor family.
As part of Heritage Week, the open day will see restoration committee members attired in period costume from 2pm to 4pm, while children can look forward to a bouncy castle and face painting. Radio producer Seamus Hosey will launch a ‘Sponsor a Slate’ promotion at the event to raise funds for the restoration and there will be a range of refreshments and entertainment.
Restoration work has begun at the imposing house that was once home to famous patriot James Fintan Lalor, whose writings greatly influenced Irish leaders such as Michael Davitt, James Connolly, Pádraig Pearse and Arthur Griffith. As a result, the restored house will be of great interest to historians both nationally and internationally.
The house is also the ancestral home of Honest Pat Lalor, the first Catholic elected to the House of Commons in Britain to represent Queen’s County (Laois) from 1832 to 1835. One of his sons, Richard Lalor, also served as an MP in Westminster from 1880 to 1892. Another son, Peter, led the gold miners’ revolt at the Eureka Stockade in Australia and is regarded as one of the fathers of Australian independence.
Built around 1770, Tenakill House is regarded as one of the foremost nationalist family homes in Ireland. The restoration project received initial funding that included a structures-at-risk grant from Laois County Council and a conservation survey grant from the National Heritage Council.
The new ‘Sponsor a Slate’ promotion is part of a series of fundraising events in aid of the restoration project, which will conserve a building that is of major importance in local and national heritage.