The beautifully refurbished Barron Hall in picturesque Stradbally was officially opened last Friday night.
The special evening was attended by Waterford’s well-known historian Julian Walton, and Waterford senior hurling star, and local man, Michael “Brick” Walsh.
The hard work carried out by the determined restoration committee over the past few years eventually came to fruition when the project they worked so hard on was displayed to the entire village.
The committee wanted to restore the community hall as a legacy to the Barron family who built the hall, and to create a superb facility for the people of Stradbally and the surrounding areas.
“We could have done it cheaply, knocked it down and built some sort of shed, but that’s not what is was about. We wanted to preserve history,” said Barron Hall Committee Chairman Tom Hickey.
“It would have been easier and cheaper for the committee to bring in a bulldozer and knock it down, but you can’t buy this. This is 200 years of history, and it is a monument to Pierce Barron. This will always be here for him,” he added.
The hall (originally a school) was built by Pierce Barron in 1806 and left in the ownership of the people of Stradbally and the surrounding areas.
At the time, the Barron family were one of the most influential in all of Waterford, were well-known nationally, and were very generous to the parishioners of Stradbally, Faha and Ballylaneen.
When Stradbally’s new boys’ school opened in the late 1960s, the building fell into disrepair.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story or subscribe to our PDF version.