#foynes – The Foynes Flying Boat Museum took a major step toward receiving full accreditation from the Heritage Council under a programme that aims to raise minimum standards in the sector.
The County Limerick tourist attraction, which entered the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) in 2010, was presented with interim accreditation by Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan at a ceremony in the Architectural Archive in Dublin this week. Minister Deenihan said the accreditation was being presented for excellence in caring for the collection, museum management, education, exhibitions and visitor services.
Administered by the Heritage Council, the voluntary programme includes seven categories consisting of 34 standards, 25 of which are interim standards and nine are full. Nationally to date,15 museums have achieved full accreditation and 10 have received interim accreditation.
'Museum Standards for Ireland, working towards the care of Ireland's heritage, certify Foynes Flying Boat Museum has been awarded Interim Accreditation in the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland
Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, Cllr. Jerome Scanlan congratulated the staff and Board of Foynes Flying Boat Museum for their continued efforts to further enhance the West Limerick museum's status as one of Ireland's leading visitor attractions.
"In receiving this accreditation, the management and staff of the Museum have once again underlined their commitment and creative approach to remembering and celebrating Limerick's and Ireland's unique position in aviation history. As a result, the story that this museum first told remains as fascinating today as it did when the facility was established in 1989," stated Cllr. Scanlon.
He added: "From the installation of the replica Yankee Clipper to the completion of works on the reinstated control tower, those involved with the Museum have helped to conserve and protect a key part of the history and heritage of the local area. Limerick County Council is committed to continuing its support for a project that has produced huge dividends for the local economy and the tourism product that County Limerick has to offer."
Reacting to the news, Museum Director Margaret O'Shaughnessy said: "I'm absolutely delighted we have achieved this accreditation. It presents further recognition of the quality museum that is operated by staff and the Board of Directors. It is especially pleasing that we have secured interim accreditation under the MSPI less than two years after we commenced our participation in the programme."
Ms. O'Shaughnessy explained that the Museum will seek to receive full accreditation before the end of 2013.
"The 25 interim standards that we have already achieved are wide ranging and have helped to further enhance the product on offer at the museum. They include a strategic management plan for next three years, a financial plan, safeguarding the condition of the museum collection, the cataloguing of the collection, presentation of collections, development of community education initiatives, and the development of a comprehensive visitor care and access plan."
Last March, the Museum launched the country's First National Aviation Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Tony Ryan, who as founder of Guinness Peat Aviation became the museum's first sponsor, was the first recipient of the National Aviation Award.