Carlow County Museum achieves top National Award from the Heritage Council on day of recognition for the Irish museum sector.
Thirteen museums from across the country were celebrated at a ceremony in Kilkenny Castle on Thursday July 13th, 2023, having achieved official accreditation under the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI). Established to promote professional standards in museums, selection under the MSPI is a major accolade with accredited museums considered to be in keeping with best international practice. Carlow was one of two museums receiving the top award, Full Accreditation.
Cllr Andrea Dalton Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council and Chairperson of the Board of Carlow County Museum accepted the award on behalf of the Museum saying “Full MSPI Accreditation is a major accolade and a fully independent attestation of the high standards of excellence in operation in our County Museum. Its achievement is due to the hard work and professionalism of our Museum staff and volunteers under the expert guidance of our excellent and most committed curator Dermot Mulligan. Full accreditation is the culmination of a number of years of work and we in the Museum will now strive to ensure these high standards are maintained going forward”.
The MSPI programme sets in place a professional framework serving to support the governance, management, care of collections, administration and delivery of services for the museum sector. The programme strengthens the contribution that museums, galleries, and collecting agencies make to the preservation, protection, promotion and understanding of our national heritage and complements statutory provisions undertaken by the National Museum of Ireland.
Presenting the awards, Heritage Council Member, Sheila Pratschke said “It was a real privilege for me to be in Kilkenny Castle, another MSPI-accredited site, and to be able to personally congratulate all of this year’s award winners. I know how hard these museums have worked for their accreditation and are richly deserving of this recognition.”
There are seventy-three museums participating in the scheme with Carlow County Museum the first and thus far only museum from County Carlow participating in the scheme. There are four stages in the programme from the application to achieving Interim Accreditation, which Carlow did in 2020, onto the main award Full Accreditation, which Carlow was presented with this year, with the fourth stage being Maintenance of the award. Carlow County Museum received Full Accreditation along with Cork Public Museum, also a local authority Museum which is the oldest local authority museum.
Pat Delaney, deputy interim Chief Executive of Carlow County Council said “Congratulations to the team at Carlow County Museum on achieving Full MSPI Accreditation. It is a well deserved recognition of the standard of care of the Carlow collection. I encourage everyone to visit the Museum which is free to visit.”
Carlow County Museum made the formal application in September 2022 and after it was reviewed by the Heritage Council three independent assessors from Britain visited the museum last December. Following the Heritage Council’s confirmation in May that Carlow had achieved Full Accreditation the ceremony in Kilkenny Castle was the culmination of all the work put into the programme by the staff, the Museum Board and Carlow County Council. This accreditation will have long term benefits for the Museum.
Returning from the ceremony in Kilkenny there to congratulate the Museum on their achievement was a delighted Kevin Kennedy, the last of Carlow Historical & Archaeological Society founder members of the Museum in 1973.
Dermot Mulligan, Museum Curator, said “Achieving Full Accreditation under the MSPI programme has been a major objective for County Museum. By developing the various policies and implementation plans to achieve the standards we have a clear road map for our future and for the continuing development of the Museum, it’s collection and our services. The hard work involved is a team effort by the Museum staff, the Museum Board, the Members and staff of Carlow County Council, the Carlow Historical & Archaeological Society, our committed volunteers, Carlow Tourism, County Carlow Development Partnership, and the Graiguecullen Killeshin CE Scheme. It is a proud day for the Museum”.
Commenting at the ceremony, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council Virginia Teehan said: “the MSPI has become an integral part of the sector. Seeing the variety of museums represented at the ceremony, along with the increase in participants year on year, further underline its importance.” https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/projects/museum-standards-programme-for-ireland
The Heritage Council MSPI Award Winners 2023 are:
Carlow County Museum
Cork Public Museum
Maintenance of accreditation
Donegal County Museum
Drogheda Museum Millmount,
Michael Davitt Museum
Muckross House Research Library
Muckross Traditional Farms
The Glucksman, University College Cork
Tipperary Museum of Hidden History
Glenveagh Castle, NPWS
Nano Nagle Place
Congratulations to all 2023 MSPI Award winners from Carlow County Museum.