Military museum on the march for funding

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Brian McLoghlin and David O'Brien outside St Munchin's Church. Picture: Shauna Kennedy

A MAJOR campaign to have a military museum in Limerick city has been launched by Limerick Civic Trust.

The Trust needs to raise €350,000 so it can complete the conversion of St Munchin’s Church, a deconsecrated church, into a Military Museum that would provide a significant boost to tourism in the city.

The organisation began restoring the historically important St. Munchin’s Church in 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.

Chief executive David O’Brien said they were happy with 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 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”.

“The question is, ‘Does Limerick need a military museum?’ and I think overwhelmingly the answer is, ‘yes’, for two reasons,” said Civic Trust Chairman Brian McLoghlin.

“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 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.

While primarily a visitor attraction centre, the museum will be developed as an 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.

Donations can be made via www.limerickcivictrust.ie or by contacting David O’Brien at 061-313399

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