Great to see Emo Court included in the new RTE Series “Great Irish Exteriors” program which will be shown as part of a three-night series on Jan 3rd at 8.30 p.m. on RTE One. As one of the most prestigious houses of its time, Emo Court, Co. Laois was handed over to the state 25 years ago. Now, the team are tasked with bringing this palatial mansion back to its former glory. Created by Moondance Productions (Creators of The Zoo and It’s a Park Life) with the support of Laois County Council and the OPW.
Emo Court is described as the jewel in Co Laois’s historical crown. This neo-classical mansion dates from the 18th century and was designed by James Gandon for the Earls of Portarlington. In the hands of the State since 1994, it has received a multi-million Euro boost to open extra floors to the public. This huge mansion is a beast of a project, and it needs a lot of TLC. Mary Heffernan from the OPW and Historical Interiors Expert Joanne Bannon are tasked with making this happen, from researching what finishes to use on the stunning staircase; to practicalities of opening a house full of priceless artefacts to the public. These two are in charge of restoring the interior to its former glory. The real challenge, however, lies in filling it with furniture, paintings and precious artefacts now scattered in private and public collections all over the country. We hit the road with Mary and Joanne as they beg, steal and borrow from some of the State’s most amazing treasures and look on as they reinvigorate the interior character of these houses once more.