Down County Museum Celebrated Through New Photographic Exhibition

A new photographic exhibition has been launched to celebrate Down County Museum’s evolution from 18th century Gaol to a modern and lively museum.

On Thursday 29 September, Deputy Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Aoife Finnegan launched the new exhibition, ‘Celebrating Down County Museum: A Photographic Retrospective’, which showcases its development from a derelict prison intended as a car park site, to a restored and redeveloped facility.

Photographs have been drawn from the Museum’s archives, revealing four key themes – ‘Unlocking the past: A new future for the Old Gaol’, ‘Collecting the story of Down’, ‘A Museum Community’ and ‘A Museum to be Proud of’.  The photographs showcase the extensive work undertaken to restore the buildings and create spaces which preserve, interpret and exhibit historical Collections of local significance for the local community and visitors. Images of significant milestones in the Museum’s development and the people who helped to achieve them, are also displayed.

At the launch event the Council’s Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Aoife Finnegan said, “This exhibition charts the development of the Museum over four decades and celebrates its role as custodian of the region’s rich cultural heritage and we look forward to the Museum going from strength to strength over the next forty years”.

As the Museum looks to the future and its place in a changing world, visitors are asked to contribute their hopes and visions for the Museum over the next 40 years. Museum Curator, Noreen Cunningham said, “Down County Museum is a fantastic resource for the local area and further afield, and this exhibition pays tribute to all those who have contributed to its success over the years”.

The exhibition is now open to the public free of charge until September 2023. For opening hours, information on events, upcoming exhibitions and other services please telephone 0330 137 4049.