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Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

29-01-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

06-02-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Blast from the Past Vintage Run

Blast from the Past Vintage Run

20-02-2022 12:00 pm
£10.00
NI Digital Marketing Conference

NI Digital Marketing Conference

24-02-2022 8:00 am -1:00 pm
£35 Non Members/ Free Members
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

06-03-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Sustaining and Building Cross Border Co-Operation and Trade

Sustaining and Building Cross Border Co-Operation and Trade

09-03-2022 9:00 am -1:00 pm
Online
Free
Foster and Allen

Foster and Allen

16-03-2022 8:00 pm -10:30 pm
St Patrick's Day Parade

St Patrick's Day Parade

17-03-2022 - 17-01-2022
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

26-03-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

03-04-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

30-04-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

01-05-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

28-05-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

05-06-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

25-06-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

03-07-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

30-07-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

25-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

26-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

27-08-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

27-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

28-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

29-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

24-09-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

29-10-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

26-11-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
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A license for a wireless owned by Hal’s father, Henry, dating from 1946. Wirelesses were essential for news and popular for entertainment in the years when Hal was growing up. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
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The Staff at Newry and Mourne Museum have been saddened by the recent death of Hal O’Brien, former Editor of the Newry Reporter who, over the years, gave the Museum much valued support and encouragement. With a deep interest in history and heritage, Hal rarely missed a lecture or an exhibition launch. He was always keen to know what new events were planned and was among the first to book a place once booking for a lecture opened or to send a reply when invited to a launch. 

‘Mickey Mouse’ gasmask owned by Hal O’Brien as a child and a certificate appointing his father, Henry, as an ARP Warden. Both these items are on display in the temporary exhibition – War Declared – in the Museum. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
‘Mickey Mouse’ gasmask owned by Hal O’Brien as a child and a certificate appointing his father, Henry, as an ARP Warden. Both these items are on display in the temporary exhibition – War Declared – in the Museum. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

However, Hal’s interest in local history chiefly manifested itself in a series of generous donations which he made to the Museum in the years leading up to the opening of the new Museum at Bagenal’s Castle. Believing in the preservation of local material culture for future generations and its educational value, Hal was particularly enthusiastic about the development of a new museum for the Newry and Mourne area. This stimulated him to donate over three hundred artefacts to the Museum Collection.

A Meccano gears set, dating from the 1950s, owned either by Hal or his brother, Derek. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
A Meccano gears set, dating from the 1950s, owned either by Hal or his brother, Derek. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

The items donated by Hal reflect his childhood and early family life in St. Mary’s Terrace in Newry during the 1930s and 1940s, his career as a journalist and Editor of the Newry Reporter his interest in photography. The oldest items date from the 1930s and more especially, from World War II when Hal’s father, Henry, was an ARP Warden in Newry. The donation includes various certificates and leaflets from Henry O’Brien’s work. Included too is a child’s ‘Mickey Mouse’ gasmask, a booklet from the popular wartime radio series, ITMA (It’s that Man Again) and a wireless license from 1946. 

Hal’s career as a journalist put him in a unique position to collect material from many aspects of local life. He reported on many significant events and developments in the history of the Newry and Mourne area and, as Editor of the Newry Reporter, was invited to many important occasions. The archival material donated by Hal relates to various Council and civic events, church events, the opening of new businesses, particularly factories, and the number of programmes from productions by local drama and musical groups attest to the importance of the local performing arts in Hal’s personal and professional life. The material donated by Hal also contains bus and train timetables and various tickets, some of which date from the 1950s early 1960s when the local transport network saw many changes. 

Throughout his life Hal had an interest in photography and was a founder member of the Newry Camera Club which first met in the Snack Bar in Hill Street in the 1950s. He was Secretary of the Club and continued as a member until it closed in the 1990s. Hal donated a number of cameras and various pieces of photographic and developing equipment to the Museum which he used when a member of the Club.

ARP Warden’s badge worn by Henry O’Brien. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
ARP Warden’s badge worn by Henry O’Brien. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

The artefacts donated by Hal O’Brien are, in many ways, a commentary on the social and economic history of Newry and its hinterland from the 1950s up to the 1990s. As such, many of them have been featured in various exhibitions, including our current temporary exhibition on World War II. We are indebted to Hal for being so public spirited and leaving such an invaluable legacy to the people of the Newry and Mourne area.

Songbook from ITMA – It’s That Man Again – a comedy radio show which ran from 1939 until 1949. Highly popular with adults and children alike, it was famous for brightening the gloomy days of the 1940s. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Songbook from ITMA – It’s That Man Again – a comedy radio show which ran from 1939 until 1949. Highly popular with adults and children alike, it was famous for brightening the gloomy days of the 1940s. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

The Museum is currently offering free tours of the exhibition galleries on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11.00 am. These must be booked in advance by calling our Education Officer at 0330 137 4422. 

Newry and Mourne Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 am – 4.30 pm. Please call 0330 137 4422 or email museum@nmandd.org for further information.

Photograph donated by Hal O’Brien of elephants from Chipperfield’s Circus parading through Newry in July 1956.  Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Photograph donated by Hal O’Brien of elephants from Chipperfield’s Circus parading through Newry in July 1956. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

 

Souvenir booklet from the opening of St Brigid’s Church in Newry in 1970, one of the many church events attended by Hal during his career as a journalist.  Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Souvenir booklet from the opening of St Brigid’s Church in Newry in 1970, one of the many church events attended by Hal during his career as a journalist. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Hal’s copy of the programme for Newry Civic Week in 1967.  Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Hal’s copy of the programme for Newry Civic Week in 1967. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Press Accreditation Badge worn by Hal at the World Freshwater Angling Championships which were held in Newry in 1982.  Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Press Accreditation Badge worn by Hal at the World Freshwater Angling Championships which were held in Newry in 1982. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Dating from c.1960, this Rank Aldis camera is one of a number of cameras donated by Hal to the Museum.  Newry and Mourne Museum
Dating from c.1960, this Rank Aldis camera is one of a number of cameras donated by Hal to the Museum. Newry and Mourne Museum
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