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    Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

    Medieval gold ring brooch and stone, Cloosmore, Dingle, Co. Kerry.

    A medieval period gold ring brooch acquired by the National Museum of Ireland in 2016 is to be sent on a short-term loan to Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne, Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, close to where it was found. The curator at the museum in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Isabel Bennett, was instrumental in reporting the find. and the National Museum of Ireland is very grateful to her and especially to the finder, Mr Ian Andrew, who found the brooch by chance while walking on the beach at Cloosmore, Dingle.

    Ring brooches were worn in medieval times by both men and women in order to fasten their gowns or cloaks at the neck. They may have been offered as a sign of affection or as betrothal gifts. Approximately 150 ring brooches are known from Ireland, but would usually be of copper alloy. Only a very small number including this example are made of gold.

    The finder Ian Andrew was on a holiday visit to the Dingle peninsula, where he has strong family connections.  While walking along a rocky coastal foreshore, he noticed a bright light shining between some rocks. After taking a closer look, he identified and retrieved this tiny but exquisite gold ring brooch.  It is an example of a rare type of 13th/14th century ring brooch with projecting hands. The brooch has a blue stone setting of tourmaline. The inscription in Gothic style lettering is legible but their meaning is unclear.a


    Monday, September 10th, 2018

    The Enemy Within – The Spanish Flu in Ireland 1918-19, a new exhibition on the Spanish Flu that swept across Ireland 100 years ago, opens tomorrow at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The Spanish Flu claimed 23,000 lives and infected some 800,000 people in Ireland over a 12-month period from 1918 to 1919. No group, location or aspect of life was spared. However, the epidemic remains an almost forgotten event in 20th-century Irish history.

    Globally the influenza pandemic infected 500 million people and was one of the deadliest natural disasters un human history.

    The exhibition will explore the folk medicines and rudimentary cures used by the public to combat the illness.  It is to be opened by Professor Ingrid Hook, former Head of the School of Pharmacy at Trinity College and a current member of the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

    Noel Campbell, curator with the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life stated: “The Spanish Flu has been eclipsed in our collective memory by the political events of that decade and the loss of life during the Great War in particular. It remains an understudied event in history despite claiming more lives worldwide than the Great War. The National Museum of Ireland has developed a programme of remembrance and research which will be informative, engaging and also challenging as we attempt to understand the Spanish Flu’s true significance and probe why this epidemic has been almost forgotten in our study and understanding of 20th-century Irish history.”


    Thursday, January 25th, 2018

    The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life has made a collection of early travel and tourism posters, used to promote Ireland in the infancy of the tourism sector, available to view online for the first time.

    The posters form part of the National Folklife Collection and were previously on display at the museum in the exhibition Come Back to Erin: Irish Travel Posters of the 20th Century, which was curated by the late Dr Séamas Mac Philib.

    A number feature images that have become almost iconic representations of a romantic Ireland which marketers were keen to promote throughout the 1900s. The Museum collected the posters to help inform the story of Irish folk culture from 1850 to 1950, which is represented in the Country Life branch in Castlebar, Co. Mayo.