Pictured at the presentation of awards by the Heritage Council’s Museum Awards Standards Programme (MPSI) are Sinead Carr, Julia Walsh, Marie McMahon, Minister Heather Humphreys and Michael Parsons.
Tipperary County Museum has successfully retained its Full Accreditation with the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MPSI). The Programme, which started in 2006 with just 12 participants, now has 57 museums across the island of Ireland, participating in it. It recognises excellence in caring for collections, museum management, education, exhibition and visitor services.
Since it was awarded Full Accreditation in 2013 as South Tipperary County Museum the museum’s responsibilities have grown, with the amalgamation of the Tipperary local authorities, to include north as well as south Tipperary and it has been renamed Tipperary County Museum accordingly. The museum’s educational work continues to maintain the high standards that led to its winning of the Best Education and Community Engagement Award in the 2009 Museum of the Year Awards. The current Education Policy and Plan assesses its education programme as one of the museum’s strengths but the difficulty of sustaining such a high standard without additional funding is also noted as is the challenge of providing an educational service for schools in North Tipperary, situated so far from the museum in Clonmel.
Its Assessor recommended Tipperary County Museum is to be congratulated on a thorough application for Maintenance of the thirty-four Interim and Full Accreditation standards. She said, ‘The museum has met all the required standards and I have pleasure in recommending to the Heritage Council that it be awarded a certificate confirming Maintenance of Full Accreditation’.
Four museums were awarded Full Recognition for the first time - Dublin Castle State Apartments, Galway City Museum, Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, and Rathfarnham Castle. Eight museums – Cavan County Museum, Drogheda Museum Millmount, The Glucksman in Cork, Kerry County Museum, Muckross House, Muckross Traditional Farms, Muckross House Research Library and Tipperary County Museum, retained the Full Accreditation they had previously been awarded. A further four museums – Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Seanchaí – Kerry Writers’ Museum, The Heritage Centre (Royal College of Physicians of Ireland) and The Little Museum of Dublin – were awarded Interim Accreditation.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, said “I am delighted to present these awards in this tenth anniversary year for the Museum Standards Programme Initiative. Maintaining and cherishing our museums is of great importance to me and I was very pleased recently to be able to announce funding of almost €135,000 for twenty-three projects around the country under the Local and Regional Museums Funding Scheme 2017. At a local level there has been great work done to raise the standards of care across Irish museums, and I would like to congratulate and thank all those involved, especially those who are receiving awards here today.”
The Chairman of the Heritage Council, Mr. Michael Parsons, said, “What we see through this programme is that Ireland’s museums are exciting and vibrant places where the staff are working hard, often with very limited budgets and resources, to ensure that the collections in their care are protected and made available to the public. Not only is this important work from a cultural point of view, it also supports tourism in a locality and helps people feel proud of the place where they live”.
Mr. Parsons said that taking part in a museum standards programme is a public promise by each museum to care for the heritage of its community. Achieving accreditation in the MSPI demonstrates that a museum is meeting its promise.
“Through MPSI, the Heritage Council is working to improve all aspects of Ireland’s museum practice and, in particular, to raise the standards of care for collections across Irish museums and galleries. A voluntary programme, it has attracted involvement across the cultural spectrum, from national institutions to small, volunteer-led organisations”, concluded Mr. Parsons.