Mr Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, this week announced funding of €40,000 for the development of the Michael Davitt Museum which is situated in the historic village of Straide.
The €40,000 is in addition to LEADER funding of €15,000 that has also been approved for the Museum by the Local Action Group. The funding will support plans to develop the Michael Davitt Museum as a Centre of Excellence and will be used to support the employment of a cultural development officer with expertise in museum management, the museum standards programme for Ireland, and social enterprise.
Announcing the funding, Minister Ring said: "I am delighted that this funding will support developing the Michael Davitt Museum as a Centre of Excellence. The centre helps us to remember the great work completed in the past, it helps to remember our culture, and these type of initiatives bring immense benefits to the local area from a social inclusion perspective."
Mayo North East LEADER Partnership (MNELP ) will be responsible for managing the development of the Museum in line with the aims and objectives of the Mayo Local Economic and Community Plan.
Justin Sammon, CEO of MNELP, welcomed the funding stating: "We want to thank the Minister for supporting the centre in this way. There is great symbolism in supporting Social Inclusion measures by funding a centre that remembers the life and work of an outstanding person that happened to have a disability. Supporting cultural measures such as these bring huge benefits from a Social Inclusion perspective by deepening and embedding an awareness of our past."
The Michael Davitt Museum houses an extensive collection of historical artefacts including original documents, photos, Land Acts, letters, postcards, posters, rosary beads and other items connected with Michael Davitt’s life and his campaign work within the National Land League. Michael Davitt was a social reformer, Member of Parliament, author, GAA Patron, Patron of Glasgow Celtic FC, labour leader and international humanitarian.
Minister Ring pointed out that there is a strong Social Inclusion focus to the Development of the Museum which is very important in a small community village like Straide. The Museum itself, brings to life an important part of nineteenth century Irish history. He paid homage to the Michael Davitt Visitor Centre and the beautiful surrounding grounds of Straide Abbey.