Thursday 12 December 2019

Johnstown agricultural museum one of the best of its kind in Ireland

Austin O'Sullivan (left) and Peter Miller (right) pictured holding the silver salver with Past President of IHAI Mary McMahon.
Austin O'Sullivan (left) and Peter Miller (right) pictured holding the silver salver with Past President of IHAI Mary McMahon.

By David Tucker

Staff at The Irish Agricultural Museum, Johnstown Castle are celebrating after winning a major national award for a museum described as one of the best of its kind in Ireland.

The museum scooped the 'Best Museum 2014' prize at an awards ceremony organised by the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland.

The Association said Johnstown was widely acclaimed as being one of the best and most important agricultural museums in Ireland and the UK with a wonderful collection of farming equipment and machinery and also with an important collection of rural domestic objects.

Museum Chairman Peter Miller and Secretary Dr. Austin O'Sullivan attended the evening held at ESB's Head Office in Dublin and were presented with a silver salver by Jim Dollard, Executive Director of Business Services Centre & Electric Ireland. Also in attendance was the Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin Larry O'Toole.

Brendan Delany, President of IHAI said 'these awards seek to give recognition to individuals and organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to promoting and safeguarding industrial heritage on an all Ireland basis.'

Mary McMahon, Past President of IHAI, gave a glowing tribute about the museum and its pioneering role in preserving the heritage of rural Ireland for over 30 years. She said that 'since its early days the museum has greatly enlarged and occupies around 1,600 square metres of gallery space. The most recent addition was made in 2014 when the Harvesting Machinery Hall was opened.'

She also praised the museum's staff and, in particular, their educational work in developing the collection as a resource for schools and families visiting with children.

Museum Chairman Peter Miller said the award was great recognition for the museum and all the hard work carried out by our staff, directors and volunteers.

'It is a real boost for tourism in Wexford, he said.

Austin O'Sullivan, who founded the museum in the 1970s said it had come a long way since 'I first started the collection all those years ago'.

We are now open year round and are fully accessible for all visitors.. this myear we will be further extending our opening hours with summer opening planned from June to August'.

Wexford People

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