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The Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny has retained Full Accreditation in the Museum Standards Programme of Ireland (MSPI), which is run by the Heritage Council


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The awards adjudication was announced at a ceremony in the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin today by the Chairman of the Heritage Council, Mr. Conor Newman.


Originally awarded Full Accreditation in 2011, the Heritage Council Assessor said: “Donegal County Museum is to be commended on its success during challenging financial times in maintaining all the core elements of the Museum, including a good programme of exhibitions, lectures, workshops and other events.


This was achieved largely through successful grant applications from many funding bodies, and by developing partnerships with other museums, groups and organisations, thus tapping into further sources of support and funding.


“An example of the latter is the PEACE III funded Plantation to Partition project of 2012/2013, a major initiative led by Derry City Council’s Heritage and Museum Service, and involving Donegal County Council and its County Museum as well as other District Councils in Northern Ireland”.


“Other exhibitions organized by Donegal County Museum on themes such as the Ulster Plantation, the Flight of the Earls, the two World Wars, and Donegal Sporting Heroes, are intended for touring…. Another noteworthy achievement is a grant in 2014 from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for digitizing the original records of Letterkenny Workhouse.  With Donegal County Museum based in the only remaining part of the original workhouse, this project is a highly appropriate one”.


The Museum Standards Programme of Ireland was started in 2006 with just 12 participants, and now has 57 museums around the country, both North and South,  participating in it.


The Donegal County Museum was one of seven of Ireland’s museums to be awarded the top standard of Full Accreditation, which requires complying with all 34 designated standards under the MSPI. It takes about five years to achieve all the standards and now, of the 57 participants in the programme, 29 museums have achieved full accreditation and 11 others have been awarded interim accreditation.


Speaking at an awards ceremony today, in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, the Chairman of the Heritage Council, Mr. Conor Newman, said the MSPI “sets out to improve all aspects of Ireland’s museum practice and, in particular, to raise the standards of care for collections across Irish museums and galleries. A voluntary programme, it has attracted involvement across the cultural spectrum, from national institutions to small, volunteer-led organisations”.


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