Limerick’s Jim Kemmy Museum needs new home

David Hurley


David Hurley

THE curator of the Jim Kemmy museum says it needs to move out of its current location at City Hall as soon as possible.

THE curator of the Jim Kemmy museum says it needs to move out of its current location at City Hall as soon as possible.

Before Christmas, the museum, which is home to thousands of artefacts dating back to the foundation of the state, was moved from its previous home at Castle Lane to Istabraq Hall to facilitate the multi-million euro renovation of King John’s Castle.

It was hoped the museum would move to the former National Irish Bank premises on Patrick Street but this did not materialise for budgetary reasons.

Addressing members of the City Council’s Cultural and Sporting Policy Committee, Brian Hodkinson said the current location - Istabraq Hall- is “not a good place to be”.

He said the temperature at the exhibition space is “shooting up and down” and that it is too dry, which is not good for the items on display.

Due to space restrictions only a quarter of the collection is on public display and some items - such as the Liimerick Silver - are not on display as the location for security reasons.

Ironically, Mr Hodkinson told members of the committee that footfall at the museum has increase since it moved from Castle Lane to its current location.

A motion tabled by Cllr Jim Long calling on Limerick City Council to “make available an appropriate premises” until a permanent premises is identified was passed and will now come before the next full meeting of the local authority.

Director of Service, Kieran Lehane, has established a working group in the hope of identifying a new premises in the short term. “It is urgent, absolutely urgent. All I need is money,” he said.

However, Mr Lehane said whatever premises is identified must meet certain criteria.

“The museum has particular requirements in terms of not having too much daylight inside in it, of being at a certain temperature, a certain humidity. It has to be in a position where people can access it easily so ideally somewhere in the city centre in a good location so there a lot of requirements to be met,” he said.

Whatever premises is identified to house the Jim Kemmy Museum in the short term will be used for a number of years as it could take up to a decade to identify a permanent location.