Photomontages from renowned Newry artist Sean Hillen documenting his personal response to The Troubles are just some of the many new items added to Newry Museum in a recent revamp.

The changes funded by the Northern Ireland Museums Council as part of its ‘Museums Engagement Initiative" were launched las week by Council Chairperson, Councillor Mickey Ruane.

To maintain and increase its high visitor figures, the Museum follows a strategy of making periodic changes to the content of the main exhibitions. This makes more of the Collections accessible to the public by enabling the Museum to put new donations on display.

Cllr Mickey Ruane, Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council with Artist Sean Hillen and Cllr Davy Hyland.
Cllr Mickey Ruane, Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council with Artist Sean Hillen and Cllr Davy Hyland.

Amongst the wide range of new artefacts added to the main exhibitions on this occasion are an expanded display of early 19th century glassware made in Newry; maps, drawings and documents reflecting the architectural, commercial and political history of the Newry and Mourne area and receipts signed by John Martin, a local Irish Patriot. Artefacts relating to the 20th century include the title page from Newry’s Roll of Honour, a certificate given to the family of Thomas Lundy from Newry who fought in the First World War, a calendar and tourist guide for South Down from 1912, a Drama Feis poster from 1935 and photomontages by the Newry born artist Sean Hillen, created in the 1980s and 1990s which were his personal response to The Troubles in Newry. A number of new artefacts relating to McCann’s Bakery are also on display.

The presentation of Bagenal’s Castle has also been improved with a series of new lecterns explaining architectural features of the building and how the various rooms may have been used in the 16th century and a new panel in Gallery 1 looks at the history of the Cistercian abbey. 

Speaking at the launch the Council Chairperson said, “Newry and Mourne Museum is very fortunate in having great support from the community manifested in the high number of quality artefacts donated to the Museum over the years. I would like to thank all who have donated material. We are indebted to them for their generosity and their desire to see local heritage preserved for future generations”.

Chris Bailey, Director of the Northern Ireland Museums Council added “These changes to the main exhibitions not only reveal further fascinating aspects of the history of Newry and the surrounding area, but it is done in an engaging, entertaining and fascinating manner, with true curatorial flair. I would encourage everyone with an interest in their local history to visit Newry and Mourne Museum. NIMC is pleased to be able to support the museum for this project.”

For further information, contact the Museum Curator on 028 30313182 or Assistant Curator on 028 30313177. Newry and Mourne Museum is open to the public seven days a week with admission free of charge. For opening hours, information on events and exhibitions, other services and bookings please phone 028 3031 3178 or visit

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