Seamus Lawlor, the elderly museum curator who was left tied up by raiders at his Bennetsbridge home earlier this month, reopened his renowned Nore View Folk and Heritage Museum today (Monday).
The 75-year-old endured a 10-hour ordeal as he struggled to escape his ransacked home, while bound and gagged. His museum has remained shut ever since, but he is now opening the doors once again for Heritage Week, which begins today.
Though shaken by his ordeal, Seamus is determined not to be bested by what happened. His vast collection of more than 12,000 exhibits will undoubtedly draw visitors.
The collection includes threshing engines, relics of the famine era such as battering rams, household items from down the ages, military memorabilia, Cromwellian cannons, and farm tools and items dating to 2000 BC.
A replica of a 1920s pub and a piece of the Cusack Stand (retrieved when the stand was demolished in Croke Park) are among the exhibits. A specially-commissioned replica of the Confederate Flag (recalling the days when a parliament in Kilkenny ruled Ireland in the 1640s) hangs inside the museum entrance.
The museum is known internationally; Seamus even received a personal letter of commendation from German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this year.