Limerick Civic Trust have started their fundraising campaign to help raise €350,000 to complete the conversion of St Munchin’s Church, a deconsecrated church, into the Limerick Military Museum
Limerick Civic Trust Seeks €350,000 in fundraising for Limerick Military Museum by 2019
Limerick Civic Trust has launched a campaign to help raise €350,000 so it can complete the conversion of St Munchin’s Church, a deconsecrated church, into the Limerick Military Museum.
Limerick Civic Trust, which was formed in 1983, is an independent, non-profit making voluntary society. It is mainly supported through donations from local government, industry, business, and individuals. Its mission is to protect and enhance Limerick’s heritage and the environment through conservation and preservation, improving civic amenities and education and research.
The Trust undertakes projects that make places more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. Whether it is improving or maintaining a graveyard, a riverside walk, community garden or City Street, the Trust’s work aims to promote civic pride. The Trust also undertakes conservation and preservation projects as well as Educational and Research work.
The Trust began restoring the historically important St. Munchin’s Church, King’s Island and converting it into a museum in 2016. Work completed to date has been funded through the Trust’s own funds but this pot is almost completely expended.
David O’Brien, CEO, Limerick Civic Trust explained, “We are happy with our progress to date but it has been slow and piecemeal because of the lack of funds, we need financial support if we are to open this Limerick Military Museum by our target date of 2019. As with all large historic building projects, the conversion is costly and Limerick Civic Trust, as a voluntary organisation, is dependent on external support.”
“All donations, however large or small, will help us achieve our target of opening next year. Whether it is a €20, €200 or €2,000 donation, personal, corporate or philanthropic, all will be gratefully received and personally acknowledged. Alternatively, individuals or corporate organisations can support our efforts by becoming members of the Trust or we have a number of corporate donation options available too,” he continued.
The “Open Doors” campaign goal is to raise €350,000. This will allow Limerick Civic Trust to speed up the conservation work and to specifically improve accessibility, make minor roof repairs, install a new floor and bathrooms and fit out an appropriate controlled environmental system for the safeguarding of the collections.
“The question is, ‘Does Limerick need a military museum?’ and I think overwhelmingly the answer is, ‘yes’, for two reasons,” said Brian McLoghlin, Chairman, Limerick Civic Trust. “Firstly, the military history of Limerick from the time of the Siege of Limerick right up to the world war needs to be properly recorded and told. Secondly, this will become a unique visitor attraction that will greatly enhance the tourist offering in Limerick’s medieval quarter.”
The Limerick Military Museum, which will be non-political, will commemorate the regiments of Limerick since the Siege in 1691 and provide a home for three historically significant collections; the Armstrong Collection, the Carrol Collection and the Patrick Casey Collection.
The Armstrong Collection is a vast collection of memorabilia from the Armstrong Family in Co. Tipperary that includes military artefacts going back as far as the Boer War. Artefacts include a coach from the mid-1900’s, uniforms, medals, helmets along with correspondence from the decorated hero, Paddy Armstrong, in the form of postcards and old photographs.
The Carrol Collection, which is currently housed in the Trust’s headquarters at Bishop’s Palace, is a very important exhibition bringing together the military memorabilia and family heirlooms collected by five generations of the Carrol Family starting with Major General William Parker Carrol. It includes paintings, swords, photographs, trophies, maps, military decorations and personal family documents relating to the Peninsular campaign, the Boer War and both World Wars.
To expand on the museum’s offering Limerick Civic Trust is working with several interested parties on the repatriation of other artefacts of Irish historical significance from abroad back to Ireland, just like the Bannatyne staircase – a World War 1 memorial that has been donated by Cotswold’s District Council in the UK recently. The Bannatyne staircase will be installed in the museum.
Since the early 1990’s, Limerick Civic Trust has been entrusted to take care of St. Munchin’s Church and graveyard on King’s Island. This now deconsecrated church was once home a 6th Century monk who was a contemporary of St. Patrick. A newer church replaced a crumbling oratory in 1827 and was designed by the Pain Brothers. Up until recently, Limerick Civic Trust used this space as a training centre and a hub where local groups could use the space to launch art exhibitions and the like.
While primarily a visitor attraction centre, the Limerick Military Museum will be developed as a historical and educational resource for the local community and schools. Specific educational outreach programmes will be developed so students can learn more about their local history through a hands-on learning experience.
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