“LET’S make Tinnakill great again!”
Clan chairman Kevin Lalor-Fitzpatrick looked across the Atlantic for inspiration as he made the ambitious presidential-style declaration in Raheen.
The grounds of Tinnakill or Tenakill House, ancestral home of Irish revolutionary James Fintan Lalor, were an appropriate setting for the Lalor Clan open day on Tuesday 22 August. As plans to restore the historic house get underway, officials and dignitaries joined members of the clan to celebrate the past and prepare for the future.
With the help of grants from the Heritage Council and Laois County Council, preservation work will begin shortly at the 18th century house, which was also home to ‘Honest’ Pat Lalor MP, Richard Lalor MP and Peter Lalor of Eureka Stockade fame in Australia.
Following essential preservation works to secure the house from further decay, a survey will be carried out to provide a blueprint for full restoration of the two-storey Georgian building which was built in the 1770s.
Among those attending the open day were county council cathaoirleach cllr Pádraig Fleming and chief executive John Mulholland, Dáil deputies Seán Fleming and Brian Stanley, cllrs Jerry Lodge and Caroline Dwane Stanley, O’Lalor Clan chieftain Fergal Lalor, Heritage Council acting chairman Michael Parsons and Laois heritage officer Catherine Casey.
Australian ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews, who was to be guest of honour at the event, unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute but has made a commitment to visit Tinnakill House this autumn.
Still in family ownership, the ancestral home has been vacant since 1958, when Richard Lalor-Fitzpatrick, father of current clan chairman Kevin, moved into a new house nearby.
The building is of considerable importance in Irish history, as James Fintan Lalor’s writings had a profound impact on famous national figures such as Michael Davitt, James Connolly, Pádraig Pearse and Arthur Griffith. Most of his writings were completed at Tinnakill House.