Kilkenny museums to hold weekend of special events

Museums Now is an all-island initiative

Kilkenny Kilkenny

Dr Audrey Whitty, Chairperson  Irish Museums Association and Head of Collections and Learning at the National Museum of Ireland, with Siobhan Stevenson, Director Northern Ireland Museums Council

A special programme of events will take place in museums in Kilkenny and across the country over the weekend of September 11 and 12, to encourage visitors back into museums.


The initiative — titled Museums Now — is being brought to the public by the Irish Museums Association and the NI Museums Council, which jointly represent more than 150 museums and collection-based organisations across the island of Ireland. It is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media's Cooperation with NI Funding Scheme.


Having been closed to visitors for many months, many of Ireland’s museums have once again opened their doors to the public, and are offering a range of exciting and safe experiences from free entry to special free-flow tours exploring ‘hidden histories’.


Kilkenny highlights from the Museums Now initiative, include:

  • Take in the Butler Gallery's new home and the last weekend of the exhibition Our Stories Through Objects, in which people who have migrated or had to seek refugee status in Ireland tell their stories through personal objects. Free admission.
  • Book a free ticket to Kilkenny Castle and see the new temporary exhibition The Ros Tapestry: A Tale told in thread. 


Commenting on the initiative, chairperson of the Irish Museums Association and Head of Collections and Learning at the National Museum of Ireland, Dr Audrey Whitty said, “Our museums are important community spaces, where people of all generations and interests can come together in person to reflect, learn and have fun. We are excited to be welcoming people back through our doors, to rediscover the collections and see first-hand the work our museums have been carrying out during closure to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit; from new temporary exhibitions and offerings, to putting in place measures to protect our visitors. With almost 250 museums across the island, specialising in everything from art to zoology, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and we’d encourage you to make it a Museums Now weekend.”


Also commenting, Siobhan Stevenson, Director of the Northern Ireland Museums Council, said, “I’m delighted to be inviting the public back into museums across the island of Ireland on the 11th and 12th of September to celebrate the reopening of these special spaces. With their unique collections and engaging events, museums can provide inspiration, hope and entertainment, as well as opportunities for interaction and connection, which should be welcome relief for everyone in the aftermath of the challenging eighteen months that have gone by. The Museums Now weekend will coincide with the European Heritage Open Days 2021, Northern Ireland’s celebration of local history, culture and architecture, making it an extra-special time to revisit your local museum.”


For updates to the programme of events and to find out what museums in the Kilkenny area are open over the Museums Now weekend, see the online interactive map at  

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