New County Museum a Credit to Clare
Clare Courier, October 13, 2000
Last Monday evening, Minister Síle de Valera, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, officially opened the new Clare Museum. Located in the Town Plaza, off O'Connell Street, the museum is housed in one of the most historic sites in Ennis in the one time home of the Sisters of Mercy.
Entitled "The Riches of Clare", the exhibition housed in the Clare Museum has generated significant interest in the locality. The imaginative use of audio-visual equipment and the layout of the artefacts will ensure a unique journey through the ages in county Clare. Indeed, the visually attractive architecture reflects a modern, confident expression of county Clare in the new millennium.
At the official opening of the museum, Minister de Valera reiterated her support for the project. The minister's department contributed £1m to the development and in her address she welcomed the completion of the project. "It is my wish that the remaining artefacts relating to county Clare, currently housed in the National Museum, will one day be returned to the county to be permanently on view in this marvellous museum", she added.
The overall cost of the project was £4.2m. The Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands contributed £1m, eircom Ennis Information Age Town supported the high tech equipment to the value of £137,000 and the remainder was evenly spread between Clare County Council and Ennis Urban District Council.
Assistant County Manager, Tom Coughlan, addressed the 200 invited guests and spoke of his confidence that the Clare County Museum will become a major attraction for visitors and locals alike. Mr. Coughlan spoke of the educational value of the museum and suggested that the facility would be of immense benefit to students and he looked forward to welcoming many school tours in the coming years. "Future generations of Clare will be able to enjoy and learn from those who have gone before them and helped shape the county to be among the best in the country in many aspects of life. To have such a marvellous resource in the county will, I am confident, result in a greater interest and understanding of our heritage and this is to be welcomed".
The Clare Museum is now open to the public.