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New Maritime Museum in Foynes to be Officially Opened

16th September 2013
New Maritime Museum in Foynes to be Officially Opened

#NEWMaritimeMuseum - Minister of State at Department of Tourism & Sport, Michael Ring TD, will attend the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum on Tuesday 24 September to perform the official opening of the new maritime museum.

As previously reported on the new maritime section which opened earlier this year,tells the story of one of Ireland's great maritime assets... the River Shannon. The exhibits on display detail the geology, personality and mythology of the estuary stretching from Limerick docks down to Loop Head, marking the mouth of the Shannon at its seaward limits.

The diversity of topics on display includes:

• Navigational charts and maps of the river including stories about pilots who raced their rowing boats to vessels, to be the first to guide the ships along Europe's largest navigable estuary
• The geoglogy, tides, weather and leisure on the Shannon
• The story of transportation and emigration on the river including the manufacture and export of confederate uniforms shipped from the Tait factory based Limerick through the federal blockade of southern ports during the 1860s.
• Development of Foynes harbour throughout the centuries including the type of cargo unloaded and the influence of the local gentry on Foynes and its inhabitants
• Different types of ships and boats used on the river including a replica wooden frame model of a canvas currack, very common in the Shannon region during the 1800s
• The story of transportation and emigration on the river including the manufacture and export of confederate uniforms shipped from the Tait factory based Limerick through the federal blockade of southern ports during the 1860s.

All of these stories and many more are on display with a combination of interactive technology, artefacts, replica exhibits, and a stunning view of Foynes from the recently reinstated Control Tower.

The Shannon Foynes Port Company recently launched the company's master plan vision up until 2041, which looks forward to the future and the museum is doing its part to preserve the past for the future.

This new addition to the award winning Flying Boat Museum completes the overall plan that was first envisaged back in 1987 when a small group of interested people got together to look at the possibility of establishing a Flying Boat Museum in Foynes.

The new museum was part funded by Failte Ireland under their National Development Plan 2007 – 2013 programme. Total investment in this phase was €1.5M –75% funded from Failte Ireland. Remainder was funded through Museum's own resources and with financial assistance from Limerick County & City Council.

This now brings the total investment in Foynes Museum to €4.5m over the past twenty five years. Sixteen jobs are supported and 40,000 visitors will have passed through the Museum this season. The Museum has achieved the 2013 Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor and features in many TV holiday shows and documentaries both at home and overseas. (2014 it will feature in BBC Getaways, TV3 Documentary "The Island" and a Documentary on Ireland's role in aviation which is to be screened on RTE and go on general release).

For the second time it has been given a Silver Award for best visitor attraction by CIE Tours in 2012.

The O'Regans Restaurant,named after the great Brendan O'Regan, offers snacks and light lunch and has become a favourite meeting spot for both visitors and locals alike.

Foynes also boasts a new playground and beautiful wooded walks developed by Coillte along the banks of the river.

The village is proud to have been nominated by Limerick County & City Council for this year's Pride of Place Competition and this season welcomed a pair of cruise ships.


Published in Shannon Estuary
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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