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Displaying items by tag: Foynes Flying Boat Museum

The Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum on the Shannon Estuary is gearing up to mark yet another milestone, the 30th anniversary of the opening of the museum itself.

On July 8, 1989, the late Hollywood star, Maureen O’Hara Blair officially opened the museum at a colourful ceremony attended by hundreds of overseas and local supporters and dignitaries.

Now, almost thirty years to the day, the museum will celebrate its continued growth and development with a day of family fun, entertainment and fireworks on Sunday, July 7 in Foynes.

“It’s hard to believe that 30 years have passed,” museum director Margaret O’Shaughnessy said, recalling the big efforts that went into establishing the museum. “It all started with a big idea,” she continued, “but there was huge support for that idea from the late entrepreneur Tony Ryan and his company, Guinness Peat Aviation, Shannon Development and from former flying boat crew members and staff as well as from the local community council and in 1988 a small group of dedicated people set about making it a reality.”

From the beginning, also, the support of Maureen O’Hara for the project was crucial in helping open doors, Ms O’Shaughnessy added. “Her late husband, Captain Charlie Blair, had flown many times into Foynes and flew the first passenger nonstop flight Foynes-New York and holds many records on the North Atlantic. He also took the last commercial flight out of Foynes and came back to visit in his Sandringham Flying Boat in 1976.

The museum was intended to record and to celebrate Foynes’ unique place in Irish aviation history and its pivotal role as a transatlantic aviation hub from 1937 to 1945. It was also intended to remember those men and women who had flown and staffed the flying boats in what were difficult times and to illuminate the stories of those who passed through Foynes in those heady days.

“Many of those on the passenger lists were household names or became household names, people like Bob Hope, Gracie Fields or John F Kennedy and this generated huge excitement in the village,” Ms O’Shaughnessy said.

The original GPA Flying Boat Museum was a modest affair, housed in four rooms leased from the then Foynes Harbour Trustees to the rear of the building which once served as the flying boat passenger terminal.

In the three decades since, new memorabilia, new artefacts and new elements to the story have been added and the museum has expanded to house them as well as the full-size replica of a B314 flying boat. It now occupies the entire original terminal building along with new extensions and the control tower has been restored. The museum has also extended its reach to include the maritime history of the estuary, the story of Irish Coffee and the Maureen O’Hara collection. The museum complex now also houses a restaurant “O’REGANS” named after the late Dr Brendan O’Regan.

Now known as the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, it has garnered many awards and continues to be the global repository for the memories and memorabilia of the flying boat era and is the only museum of its kind in the world.

The museum now employs 26 people and attracts 60,000 visitors each year and these figures continue to increase, making it one of the prime destinations for tourism in Limerick.

“So many people have contributed in so many ways over the years to help make the museum the success it has become, and the support of the local community has been vital,” Ms O’Shaughnessy said. “We are grateful to all those who have played a role, big or small and we hope they will all join with us in our 30th birthday celebrations on July 7.”

The celebrations begin at 1.30pm with a recital by the Army Band No 1 Brigade in Museum Square. From 2pm to 5pm, family entertainment will continue in Museum Square with Disney characters, a circus show, face painting and much more.

At 3pm, in keeping with the spirit of the day, there will be a fly-past by members of the Irish Historic Flight foundation (Weather permitting) and at 3.30pm, local band “Escapade” will entertain the crowds in Museum Square.

At 11pm, there will be a spectacular fireworks display over the Shannon.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#FUN ON THE SHANNON – Today is the last day of the Foynes Irish Coffee Festival, where there is still plenty to do and see during this afternoon's line-up of the festival programme.

In port the public will be able to visit the Naval Service coastal patrol vessel L.E. Orla (P41) between 2–5pm.

Keeping to matters nautical, the Munster Mermaid Championships is been held in the Foynes Yacht Club which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion there will be a series of competitions and a fun day held on the water.

There is a Food and Irish Craft Fair, Pet Farm, a Ceile Mor, historical walks of the town and a McFaddens Carnival, for further details of times and locations see the events guide.

During the mid-afternoon there will be Irish Coffee making demonstrations in the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, where current Irish Coffee Making Champion Roisin Sweeney will be there.

In the evening the festival culminates when finalists will be competing for the Powers Irish Coffee Making Champion 2012. The event will also be held in the museum which features a replica of a flying boat that once served the mid-west hub airport.

Published in Shannon Estuary

About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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