Clare Heritage Circle

Local Authority News, March 2004

A network of community heritage centres, as outlined in the Clare County Heritage Plan, was recently established with an exhibition at the Vandeleur Walled Gardens, Kilrush.

The feasibility of a heritage network involving community based heritage centres and museums was begun in May 2003 at a meeting convened by the curator of Clare Museum, to investigate the potential of setting up a network of community based heritage centres operating within Clare.

Representatives from Corofin Genealogy Centre, the Burren Centre (Kilfenora), East Clare Heritage Centre (Tuamgraney), Lahinch Seaworld, and Dysert O’Dea Archaeology Centre, attended the first meeting with the aim of devising systems of exchange and networking for the purpose of enhancing the heritage assets that exist in the county.
As a result, the Clare Heritage Circle was born.

Joined later by Shannon Dolphins and the Vandeleur Walled Gardens in Kilrush, the long term goals of the network include developing a co-ordinated education plan, increased standards in collection and visitor care, and joint promotion.

Collectively the group promotes and preserves all aspects of Clares’ heritage, including its folklife, history, archaeology, geology, genealogy, and natural and built heritage.

Heritage Council funding was successfully obtained late last year for the purchase of showcases for each centre. This initiative will allow outreach exhibitions to be exchanged between centres and will be a valuable education and promotional tool.

At present, artifacts from the Patrick Hillery collection at Clare Museum are on display at the Vandeleur Gardens.

In the coming weeks a booklet promoting the attractions in the network will be launched in time for the summer season.

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