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Rock Hall, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

One of the oldest parochial halls in Ireland, Rock Hall was built by local volunteer labour and contributions from fund raising
and opened its doors on
Monday 25th May 1892. The official opening was marked by a concert and was attended by
"a most respectable audience" according to the local newspaper. In its earliest days the hall was used for meets, lectures, talks, functions
and promoted live drama before the days of TV's and movies. The hall was also very involved with the promotion of the Irish language and
culture. An event held in 1903 (see below) was advertised as only including "Irish songs, Irish dances and Irish music."
In the 1930's the Rock Hall was home to Ballyshannon's first permanent cinema (as were most parish halls back then)
and they were also running dances for local organisations and charities. In the late 1940's the hall underwent extensive
renovations and reopened with a dance on September 17th, 1950 to the sounds of the Rock Orchestra. Throughout the 1950's the
Rock Hall ran regular dances, although with the opening of the Astoria and the Abbey ballrooms by the O'Connell brothers,
the competition was heating up, but the little hall kept going running smaller bands and speciality dances in aid of
local charities (unlike the big ballrooms built to make a profit). As the sixties wore on, the hall found it harder and harder to compete
and by the end of the decade it had stopped regular dances (but by no means stopped having dances). In the nearly 50 years
since then, the Rock Hall has been a vibrant centre for the local community and continues to host church functions,
talents shows, lecture, meeting and every kind of local event.  

     


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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006