A piece of Carrick-on-Suir’s social history will disappear from the town’s streetscape over the next week with the demolition of the Wadding Charity building, which a local historian has described as sad but understandable given its dangerous state of dereliction.
The dilapidated Castle Street building that has lain vacant for nearly 50 years is one of the sites historian Tom Walsh shows tourists in his summer walking history tours of the town.
He said it was sad to see the loss of another of Carrick-on-Suir’s historic buildings but he wasn’t surprised it was being knocked down.
“It was either going to be demolished or it would fall down on someone. It was obvious that nothing was going to happen with the building. Nobody had given any indication that anything was going to be done with it.”
Mr Walsh, who has just completed writing the latest edition of his Carrick-on-Suir History booklet, says the Wadding Charity building has been unoccupied since the 1960s.
He doesn’t know how old the building is but recounted it was formerly owned by the Earl of Bessborough and in the late 19th century became the home of the Wadding Charity that housed and provided for local destitute Catholics.
The Wadding Charity, founded by wealthy Waterford merchant Thomas Wadding, was originally based on the site of the Nano Nagle Community Resource Centre but moved to Castle Street following the construction of St Nicholas Church.
Mr Walsh said the Wadding Charity continued to operate until its last elderly residents passed away in the early 1960s. It was then used as a hall for the local scouting movement for several years before being taken into private ownership.
He said the building reputedly has an underground passageway that leads down to the quays. “I don’t know what it would have been used for. They found gates at the entrance to the passageway underneath the house. It possibly led to old stores down on the quays. “
The demolition of Wadding Charity building began earlier this week and will take about two weeks to complete, according to Carrick Muncipal District Engineer Nichola Keating.
The building will disappear forever from the town’s landscape just like Carrick-on-Suir’s two other historic institutions that housed the poor namely the former workhouse that was located on the site of Comeragh College and St Vincent’s that was based on the grounds of the Franciscan Friary in Carrickbeg.
But Tom Walsh is determined to keep its story alive through his walking history tours of old Carrick and local history writings.