Knock Museum was this week highly commended in two categories at cross border Museum Awards which were hosted by the Heritage Council, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Museums Council to coincide with International Museums Day.
The Mayo Museum was highly commended in the Museum of the Year category and Best Collections Care Project.
Speaking at the awards, Michael Starrett, chief executive of the Heritage Council, said: “Congratulations to Knock Museum which was highly commended under the Museum of the Year Award for its unique and compelling story of the Knock apparition of 1879 and under the Best Collections Care Project for their project which includes the conservation of an early Knock banner, 1883 and the earliest statue of Our Lady of Knock, 1880. These awards are a testament to the hard work and commitment of the staff at the museum.”
Chris Bailey, director of the Northern Ireland Museums Council, commented: “The Museum Awards are a fantastic cross-Border initiative that reward and acknowledge the excellence and growing professionalism within the sector. Over 70 entries were received from museums across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is fitting that on International Museums Day, the contribution of these museums is being recognised through this award scheme.”
The museum and gallery sector has, for many years, secured and conserved our heritage in return for public funding. This is a bargain with the State that is a necessity in bad times as well as good. Presenting the awards, Professor Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art and Design and chairman of the judging committee took the opportunity to call for a new deal for the museum sector and for its work to be valued as an essential resource for the whole of society.