The Michael Davitt Museum, dedicated to the founder of the Land League, and based in his home village of Straide, has been awarded Interim Accreditation in the Museum Standards Programme of Ireland (MSPI ), which is run by the Heritage Council. The awards’ adjudication was announced at a ceremony in the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin this week by the chairman of the Heritage Council, Conor Newman.
The Heritage Council has confirmed the museum meets all 25 standards required for Interim Accreditation. This is a significant achievement for this small museum which is owned by a voluntary body, the Michael Davitt National Memorial Company, and operated by Foxford Development Association in a community employment scheme funded by the Department of Social Protection.
The museum is housed in the pre-penal church where Michael Davitt was christened. The museum received grants from the Heritage Council to help install UV filters on all the church windows and LED lighting to filter out light harmful to the collection. The museum is currently showing an exhibition of Glasgow Celtic football jerseys, historic and contemporary: Michael Davitt was the first patron of Glasgow Celtic football club.
The Heritage Council and the museum’s assessors commended the commitment and perseverance of the museum’s board, in particular its honorary curator, Nancy Smyth. Much credit is also due to manager Yvonne Corcoran-Loftus, supported by an enthusiastic team, for the immense effort and commitment they have put into the accreditation process. The museum will submit an application for full accreditation this September.