A NATIONALLY and internationally acclaimed performer who began his career with Tullamore Musical Society has called on Offaly County Council to proceed with the development of an arts centre.
Dave Lawlor was prompted to contact the Tribune with his concerns after reading last week’s statement from the Musical Society in which its PRO said the group’s very future was in jeopardy if an arts centre wasn’t developed in the county town.
“The elected councillors need to get behind this and make noises,” said Mr Lawlor advising people to make the matter an issue when candidates canvassed them in the lead-up to the local elections next May.
He said he was made aware of “people power’ two decades ago when he and other residents of the O’Moore St area stopped a road being developed through the town park.
Mr Lawlor pointed to the magnificent redevelopment project which had since been completed at the park under the leadership of the since abolished Tullamore Town Council.
He added; “As far as I see it it’s plain and simple . . . the officials and councillors of Offaly County Council need to put their shoulder to the wheel.’
Mr Lawlor said he had spoken to Des Doyle of the Arts Centre Committee and offered his services in any way needed to make the arts centre dream a reality.
The multiple award winning star said he has performed in towns right across the country and is often amazed at the arts centres towns much smaller than Tullamore have at their disposal.
“I was alarmed when I read the statement from the Musical Society but I am confident if we all get together we will have an arts centre within the next few years,” added Mr Lawlor.
But he warned: “If we leave it to the officials nothing will happen.”
Mr Lawlor compared the arts centre story to the long running saga of the indoor swimming pool but noted that the latter had eventually come to fruition after a two-decade long battle.
“The arts centre is a very similar situation with what is going on. People have worked their backsides off collecting money for it,’ he pointed out.
“This fund-raising started in 2010 and now it’s going to be a case of ‘here we go again’ I fear,” added Mr Lawlor.
Saying he had enjoyed a “wonderful career” in music, Mr Lawlor said it all started with Tullamore Musical Society in 1981 and he performed with them over the next decade.
During that time he won AIMS awards for his roles in “The Student Prince” and ‘Magyar Melodies.”