Local Fianna Fáil TD, Aindrias Moynihan has urged all those with influence to ensure that the Briery Gap Theatre in Macroom gets the funding it needs to re-open.

“This important local cultural facility has been closed for over two years since a fire decimated its interior. The town and surrounding hinterland has lost both its theatre and its cinema. It has been a heavy blow to the local community.

Deputy Moynihan added that while there is enough funding available at present to reopen, new EU regulations require additional works to be completed to allow the doors to reopen to the public.

“The local community which has a rich arts and cultural heritage has lost a major hub, and while certain activities can take place in other venues, the soul of the local arts community is in the theatre. We need to keep arts to the fore in Macroom.

“I’m led to believe that there is a funding shortfall of €1.5 million. This is a sizable sum of money, and only the Government has the capacity to deliver such a large amount of resources.

“Funding was promised by the Government two years ago. Those with influence should put it to good use in getting the shortfall met by the Department of Arts and Heritage

“Local drama groups, tourists and the wider Cork arts family have been hindered by the closure of the Briery Gap Theatre. Future delays will only accentuate the challenges that they all face.

“The schools drama festival, held at the theatre, brought a lot of business to the town, and with the theatre’s closure, it has had an impact on the town’s economy.

“The former Minister for Arts, Heather Humphreys visited the theatre not long after the fire and committed funding to allow repairs to take place. I am now calling on the new Minister, Josepha Madigan to recommit to funding the shortfall and ensuring that it reopens as soon as possible,” concluded Moynihan.