Designated Museums in Ireland

In February 2002, Clare Museum became a designated museum with statutory powers under the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997. John Rattigan, Curator of Clare Museum became a designated person under the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1994.

What is different about a designated Museum?

Designated museums like Clare Museum are legally entitled to retain objects on behalf of the State. They employ a full-time professional curator and have the resources and skills to care for objects. The National Museum of Ireland will only lend objects for display to designated museums.

What do I do if I find an object?

All archaeological objects found, with no known owner, belong to the State. You must report your find to the National Museum of Ireland or to Clare Museum. Leave the object where you found it unless it appears to be in danger of destruction or theft. Finder’s rewards may be paid for discoveries that the museum retains. There are severe penalties in place to protect our archaeological heritage.

Will the object be cared for?

Designated museums have to meet strict guidelines in the care of objects. All objects remain State property and will be registered with Clare Museum

Will it go on display in my Museum?

Your local designated museum will only accept an object if it is of local interest and can be used for educational or display purposes. In general, objects that are primarily of national interest will normally be acquired by the National Museum of Ireland. Arrangements exits to allow any object found locally, to be exhibited in a designated museum.

Can my local museum advise me about an archaeological site?

Designated museums will be happy to provide advice or information on any aspect of our archaeological heritage, particularly in relation to archaeological objects.

Can a designated Curator protect archaeological objects from damage?

Curators of Designated Museums are empowered to act on behalf of the Director of the National Museum of Ireland to ensure that objects discovered are investigated, reported and preserved as State property.

Links to other Designated Museums:

Distribution leaflets regarding designation are available at all designated museums.

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