Mountmellick's future as a market town explored in new exhibition

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Mountmellick's future as a market town explored in new exhibition

Mountmellick town

An architecture exhibition and research project exploring the importance and possible future of small market towns in Ireland will be coming to Mountmellick in two weeks’ time.

The Laois town is one of four stops for Free Market, which is organising public events, collecting stories and sharing ideas.

People are invited to take part in walking tours, a scavenger hunt, vox pop recordings, discussions and public lectures and take home a copy of the newspaper, ‘Free Market News’. The exhibition includes architectural models, drawings, maps, photographs and sound recordings. Free Market was Ireland’s national representation at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, in 2018. The exhibition won widespread acclaim for its exploration of the unique identity of Irish rural towns. Now this ambitious exhibition travels to four towns in Ireland.

Mountmellick is the third stop on the Free Market national tour. Free Market will set up on O’Connell Square, Mountmellick with the accompanying exhibition in O’Connell House on the square from September 5 - 7. The Free Market pavilion will be the focus of three days of activities and fun in the town centre.

“For generations, small town market places played a vital role in the life of rural communities. The market square was an economic and social hub. Today many of Ireland’s market squares are used for car parking and their role as a place for exchange and congregation is diminished. How we shop has changed. But it is still vital that our towns have beautiful public spaces to host social, political and cultural exchange, community debate, banter and incidental interactions,” say the Free Market team.

The launch will take place on Thursday, September 5, at 6.30pm in O'Connell Square. There will also be a public lecture with Guilia Vallone, senior executive architect, Cork County Council, on the subject of town centre regeneration, which will be held in the Balcony Theatre, Mountmellick on Friday, September 6, at 6.30pm.

More details on the tour and the full programme of events in Mountmellick can be found at  www.freemarket.ie