Following a €5 million investment, the newly-developed state-of-the-art National Famine Museum will open to visitors at Strokestown Park in early July 2022. Ahead of its general opening, the Irish Heritage Trust is inviting local communities to see the reimagined National Famine Museum on this Tuesday, June 14th, as part of International Museum Week 2022.
“We are delighted to be hosting our ‘Local Museum Day’ on Tuesday, June 14th, and look forward to welcoming the Roscommon community and those further afield as our guests to see the development work undertaken here over the last eighteen months,” commented John O’Driscoll (General Manager, The National Famine Museum, Strokestown Park).
“International Museum Week 2022 is the perfect opportunity to showcase Ireland’s new National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park where the unique story of the landed gentry and their tenants is told in an authentic and moving way”.
Guided tours of the museum on the day will be at 12 pm, 2 pm and 4 pm. “There will also be information on local employment opportunities and the Irish Heritage Trust Volunteering Programme, as well as the chance to learn about the benefits of Irish Heritage Trust Membership” said Mr. O’Driscoll.
Since 2015 the Irish Heritage Trust, a not-for-profit organisation, cares for and manages the property and has overseen this significant redevelopment project. Dr. Emma O’Toole (Collections and Interpretation Manager at the Irish Heritage Trust) worked on the project, including in the early stages, with an international Historical Advisory Panel, which ensured that the sources and texts were thoroughly vetted on an international level.
“The enthralling National Famine Museum uses cutting-edge technology including projections and soundscapes to immerse visitors in the culture and day-to-day life of Ireland in the years before, during and after the Great Famine. A mixture of imaginative scene-setting and innovative audio, audio-visual, and touchscreen resources – as well as our family activity guide – help to make a museum visit a fascinating experience for people of all ages,” said Dr. O’Toole.
“We are proud that the state-of-the-art National Famine Museum and our new café and retail area in the visitor centre result in a world class experience here in in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands,” John O’Driscoll concluded.
Funding for the project came from €3.75 million under Fáilte Ireland’s Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2016-2020 and €1.25 million from the owners of Strokestown Park House, Westward Holdings Ltd, in partnership with the Irish Heritage Trust.