Promotional Drive for County Museum

Clare Champion, Friday, February 1, 2002

The National Museum of Ireland is to give artefacts on temporary loan to the Clare County Museum as part of a new drive to promote the facility that attracted only 4,422 visitors last year. Details of this new initiative to boost visitor numbers to the "Riches of Clare" were revealed at this week's meeting of Clare County Council by County Librarian, Noel Crowley.

"I have been talking to the Director of the National Museum, Dr. Patrick Wallace and he has agreed to give four or five artefacts on loan. A major educational programme is being planned on a pilot basis and a recommendation is that all students will be allowed free access. This will enable us to develop school interest", said Mr. Crowley.
"It is vital that the museum is relevant to the people of Carrigaholt as it is to those in Ennis. We have to seek ways of bringing the museum to the people", added the County Librarian.

Earlier this month the "Clare Champion" revealed that some people had never heard of the museum, some had heard of it but didn't know where it was while others knew where it was but had never been there. Now, work is already underway at spreading the "Riches of Clare" gospel. "There is no doubt that much work needs to be done to promote the facility and major work has been undertaken over the last few months in relation to promotion.

"A new joint management committee has been set up to include Eamon Naughton, Tom Coughlan, Josephine Cotter-Coughlan and John Rattigan. I would like to recommend that a member of Clare County Council and Ennis Town Council be added to this team", said Mr. Crowley. "Clare Library's I.T. staff have recently designed an outstanding museum website which will set the standard for county museums in Ireland. This is the first detailed County Museum website in the country and has potential for promotion and virtual tours", added the County Librarian.

Details of this promotion drive were revealed to councillors after a motion by Fine Gael councillor Pat Breen calling for "a new vibrant campaign to promote the museum". Councillor Breen revealed that the poor visitor numbers at the "Riches of Clare" contrasted with the experience in other museums around the country. In 2001 over 11,000 visited the Donegal County Museum, the Waterford County Museum had over 30,000 visitors while over 70,000 visitors to the Kerry County Museum.

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