Down Museum now opening from Wednesday to Saturday

Down Museum now opening from Wednesday to Saturday

3 August 2022

OPENING hours at the Down County Museum have been extended.

The news — confirmed by Newry, Mourne and Down Council which is responsible for the Downpatrick complex — has been welcomed by local councillor Oonagh Hanlon.

The museum is now open from Wednesday to Saturday between 10am and 4.30pm with the decision to open longer coming after a concerted campaign for this to happen which was spearheaded by a number of individuals, groups and local politicians.

Cllr Hanlon said an independent strategic review of museum services was also ordered to investigate the concerns by a number of people with this exercise currently ongoing. 

She described confirmation of the extended opening hours as “welcome news” and said it is a credit to those groups who continue to champion and lobby for the services at the museum to be enhanced and protected.

Cllr Hanlon said the Downpatrick museum is one of the best tourist offerings and attractions in district and needs to be fully functioning to draw in visitors and scholars alike.

“The visitors the museum draws spend time in Downpatrick and support other businesses, in particular, those in the hospitality sector, which boosts the local economy,” she said.

“Given tourism is a prime driver for our economy, it is vital that the Downpatrick museum’s opening hours reflect this.” 

A Newry, Mourne and Down Council spokeswoman has confirmed that new staff have been recruited and appointed to perform front of house, curatorial and educational duties, but has not provided details of the numbers involved.

And while the local authority has not yet confirmed how many new staff have been recruited, it has revealed that the new employees have already begun in post and others will join over the coming weeks, with work to recruit an assistant curator ongoing.

The spokeswoman confirmed the museum's opening hours have been extended and it is now open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm.