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Donegal’s Museum Curator appointed to the board of the National Museum of Ireland


Donegal County Museum’s Curator Judith McCarthy has been appointed to the board of the National Museum of Ireland. 


Judith Mccarthy


This appointment was announced by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD on Friday last.


Speaking following her appointment, Judith McCarthy said that “it is an honour for me personally and for the County Museum to be appointed to the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.  I have been Curator of Donegal County Museum for over 20 years and in this time have worked closely with local communities and with groups nationally and internationally to promote and preserve our cultural inheritance.  These experiences will guide me in my new role as a Board member of the one of our foremost National Cultural Institutions and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”


Donegal County Museum, which is part of Donegal County Council, has been to the fore in a number of local, national and international initiatives including the Decade of Centenaries commemorations, securing a visit of the St. Conall Cael Bell and Shrine from the British Museum and promoting the Museum Standards Programme of Ireland.


“The Museum has been involved with commemorating the Decade of Centenaries since 2012 when we organised an exhibition on the Ulster Covenant in association with the Thiepval Memorial Loyal Orange Lodge.  We held a very successful exhibition on Donegal and World War I in 2014 & 2015 and continue to work with organisations both nationally and locally on forthcoming commemorations”.


“In 2016 the Museum is playing an integral role in the Donegal 2016 centenary programme. The Museum’s programme includes an exhibition charting the story of Donegal in 1916, a lecture series, and schools activities including a schools’ education pack and interactive drama workshops”.


“In 2014 we successfully negotiated the loan of the Bell and Shrine of St Conall Cael from the British Museum for display in Donegal County Museum for a 4 week period.  We were honoured to host this visit last summer and it was made even more special when we were able to negotiate the display of the artefacts in the Dolmen Centre in Kilclooney. This was a very momentous occasion for the entire community”.


During her time as curator of the museum, Judith has acquired extensive experience of working in the local museum sector and has been involved in a number of national initiatives.


“The Donegal County Museum has been involved in the Museum Standards Programme of Ireland since the first Pilot Phase during which participants devised and tested the standards. The Museum has achieved both Full and Maintenance of Accreditation in this programme.  We play a very active role in the preservation and protection of the archaeological heritage of Donegal and liaise closely with the staff of the National Museum of Ireland and the National Monuments Service to monitor, provide advice and report on the preservation of archaeological sites and artefacts discovered in the county”. 


Judith concluded “I am delighted with this appointment to the board of the National Museum of Ireland and look forward to continuing to play a role in the development of this very important sector.  Locally we have a very key role to play in preserving and protecting our cultural inheritance not only because of it’s importance to the local community but also it’s intrinsic value from a national and international perspective.”




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