Rose Cottage War of Independence Centre to be officially opened

Exhibition and coffee shop in newly refurbished facility at significant historic site

Press Release: 6 November 2023

Longford County Council is delighted to announce the opening of the Rose Cottage War of Independence Centre in Ballinalee by on Sunday, 12 November.

This project is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, Ballinalee Community Group, and Longford County Council.

This historic cottage played an important role during the Battle of Ballinalee, which took place 103 years ago on 4 November 1920.

In the heart of the village of Ballinalee, the building has been transformed into the Rose Cottage War of Independence Centre. The centre hosts the exhibition which will tell the story of the War of Independence and the Battle of Ballinalee. The centre will also function as a community hub and cater for visitors with a coffee shop on site.

This centre has been developed with a vision to support the regeneration of their local community, while celebrating local heritage and preserving local history for future generations. They community of Ballinalee has been pivotal in bringing the project to fruition.

The work was completed by local firm Ciaran Hourican Contracting Ltd, with Will Design Associates as engineering consultant, and interior design by Nine Yards Design. The interpretation project that will be displayed in the centre has been put together by In Hand Guides Ltd.

Ahead of the opening, Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Colm Murray said “I’m delighted that Rose Cottage War of Independence Centre is soon to be officially opened. Longford’s strong history and involvement in the War of Independence is rightfully being acknowledged with the restoration of Rose Cottage and I congratulate the local community here on driving this project forward to ensure its completion.”

Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon welcomed the opening, adding, “It’s important that we recognise and commemorate Longford’s rich local history and Longford County Council is committed to supporting these kinds of projects that celebrate our past, enhance our local areas and encourage visitors, supporting our local economies.”

On Sunday, 12 November, there will be a series of events to commemorate Ballinalee’s role in the War of Independence, starting with Mass of Remembrance at the Holy Trinity Church at 11am.

This will be followed by a reenactment of the speeches of Thomas Ashe and Michael Collins, performed by the Ballinalee Players from 12 noon.

The newly redeveloped Rose Cottage War of Independence Centre will be open to members of the public from 12.30pm to 2pm. An exhibition of items from the time period by Lord Edward's Own will be displayed in a marquee in the Holy Trinity Church car park also from 12.30pm.

A reenactment of the Battle of Ballinalee will then take place at the crossroads 2pm. Traffic management and road closures will be in place from 2pm to 4pm, with motorists advised to follow all diversion signage in place and heed the advice of both An Garda Síochána and stewards who will be on hand on the day.

The official opening ceremony, including a plaque unveiling at Rose Cottage War of Independence Centre will take place at 3pm, with speeches to follow at the Sean McEoin monument.

Longford Pipe Band and an Army Colour Party will also participate in this ceremony, leading dignitaries to the Sean McEoin statue for a ceremonial wreath laying.

Further information is also available on or by following Longford County Council on social media.