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Kilkenny Castle Receive Prestigious Museum Standards Award by Heritage Council

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is delighted to announce that Kilkenny Castle received full accreditation under the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) at a virtual awards ceremony. In the citation read at the ceremony, the team at Kilkenny Castle was praised for “meet[ing] and exceed[ing] the standards required for Full Accreditation status” and was commended for “the scale and quality of restoration work undertaken, the interpretative offer at the Castle and development of a wide-ranging activities programme of the highest standard”.

Kilkenny Castle joins the ranks of seven other OPW heritage sites which already hold full museum accreditation: Farmleigh House was the first OPW site in 2011 to receive the award and maintained its accreditation at yesterday’s event. It was followed by the Pearse Museum and Castletown House in 2012. Dublin Castle State Apartments and Rathfarnham Castle both achieved full accreditation in 2017, which was confirmed again this week. Earlier this year in February, at a separate virtual awards ceremony, Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the Glebe House and Gallery received their awards for achieving full museum standards.

Congratulating Kilkenny Castle on the museum standards award as well as the other seven OPW sites that have achieved or maintained their MSPI accreditation over the past decade, Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works said, “being honoured by the Heritage Council with full museum accreditation is a great achievement for both the teams involved and the OPW.”

“I commend our staff at our accredited museums as well as the central Collections Management Team in OPW’s Heritage Services, whose leadership, vision and expertise has supported their colleagues to achieve the highest professional standards.”

The purpose of MSPI is to benchmark and promote excellence across the Irish museum sector and the programme assesses all areas, from the care and presentation of museum collections to exhibitions, education programmes, visitor engagement and museum management. The eight successful OPW museums in Dublin, Donegal, Celbridge and Kilkenny have all followed a rigorous process over several years to comply with the set of 34 standards and the result can be seen in the quality of their collections care, visitor experience and collaborations on significant loans and exhibitions.

Minister O’Donovan concluded, “during lockdown, staff found new ways to make their collections relevant and accessible to the public online, but our teams are delighted to be able to welcome visitors in person again this summer. I invite you to discover over the coming weeks the exciting exhibitions and inspiring educational programmes they have developed.”

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