Council to rename Civic Square in memory of famous tenor

One of Athlone’s most famous natives, tenor John Count McCormack will be honoured with a new exhibition in the civic offices it was decided this week.

At Monday’s town council meeting councillors also voted to rename Civic Square John Count McCormack Square in recognition of the world famous singer.

The council had hoped to gain funding from Fáilte Ireland to re-establish the John McCormack exhibition which had been put into storage during the refurbishment of Athlone Castle. However Fáilte Ireland didn’t feel that the interactive exhibition proposed by the council would generate enough tourism to justify the cost. Instead the tourism board advised the council to investigate other means of funding and to put forward a more modest proposal.

As a result councillors have voted for the civic square to be renamed John Count McCormack, with a modest exhibition including display cabinets being installed in the civic offices for members of the public to view.

Other proposals for the promotion of McCormack as a tourist attraction include a summer school or music festival for the town.

“I support the renaming of the square, I think it’s very fitting,” said Mayor of Athlone Gabrielle McFadden. “It’s not ideal to have a smaller exhibition but we need to have something. A summer school is also something we could sell as a town,” added the Fine Gael councillor.


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