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Museum of Country Life Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Museum Christmas Activities 4-18 Dec 2013
By Bernie Byron
1, Dec 2013 - 11:32

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* Museum Closed Wednesday 04 December * Christmas Festivities begin! * Programme of events

* Temporary Exhibitions * Museum Shop & Café * On-line Resources * Other Details

The National Museum of Ireland's four sites, including the Museum of Country Life, will be closed next Wednesday 04 December 2013 for staff training. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Christmas charm of yesteryear at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life
As the countdown to Christmas begins, it gives us all permission to indulge in a little nostalgia. Memories of our own childhood Christmases mingle seamlessly with much-loved traditions from films, books and history. Where better than the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life to draw all these elements together in a festive feast of attractions and activities with a firm focus on families? Saturday 7th December is Christmas Family Day (Santa and his elves return to the Museum) but the entire month is a whirl of festive action for all the family to enjoy. Further details below.

Visit to find out about local Irish history & heritage and to contribute photos and stories about your locality.

The Christmas charm of yesteryear at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life (December 2013)
Enjoy a festive feast of activities in the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life this December. Saturday 7th December is our Christmas Family Day but the entire month is a whirl of festive action, suitable for all the family to enjoy. Come along as there is no booking required.

A glimpse of traditional Christmas magic. Activities include.......

7-31 December: Christmas Past
Charming exhibition of festive artefacts - from the archives and from the public. Visit for Your Christmas stories

7-31 December: Christmas Greetings Tree
Designed by Mayo ArtSquad and decorated with greetings from our visitors

Santa & his Elves*, Festive Music, Exhibitions and Activities
*Santa tickets available from Museum Reception from 11am, cost €3 per child. Bring your Santa ticket to Brambles in the Museum Café and get your FREE tea/coffee/children's drink.

Santa and his Elves are making their annual appearance from 2-4pm in the Hearth & Home area. From 2.30pm festive tunes will fill the air as the Museum's talented Music Circle and the wonderful uileann piper Diarmuid Moynihan join forces to celebrate Christmas in their very special style. Visitors are invited to explore their creativity too from 2pm when Tom and Aoife will guide you in making magical 3-D star decorations to bring home with you. Nostalgia ... Traditions ... Memories....
Check for details of other Museum events taking place during December.

Saturday 14 December: 11am. Drop-in Activity. Mayo Genealogy Group. Adults.
If you have an interest in finding out about your family history come along for free practical tips with the Mayo Genealogy Group. No booking required. New researchers welcome.

Saturday 14 December: 2-4pm. Drop-in Activity. Christmas Textile Decorations. Family 7yrs+.
Join members of the Connacht Textile Crafters to make your own textile decorations for Christmas. No booking required. First come, first served.

Wednesday 18 December: 2-3pm. Performance. The Master's Play' with Killocraun NS. All Ages. Step back in time to an Irish classroom, where you will meet the imposing 'Máistir' and hard of hearing parish priest! A visit from the 'Cigire' who listens to the compliant pupils sing some old Irish songs and recite some 'dánta' ensures that the Máistir will receive his pay packet the following month from the Department! No booking required.

Wednesday 18 December: 3-4pm. Performance. Christmas Carols with Foxford NS. All Ages. Get in the Christmas spirit put on that Santa hat and join the Foxford National School Band for our annual Christmas carols sing-along. No booking required.

HAIR HURLING BALLS: Earliest Artefacts of Our National Game
This exciting new exhibition firmly establishes the antiquity of our national game of Hurling with radio-carbon dated hurling balls from 800 years ago! The hair hurling ball collection of the National Museum of Ireland is displayed with an ancient hurling stick. These hurling balls are of matted cow-hair with a plaited horse-hair covering. This exhibition looks at these bog finds in relation to where in the country they were discovered, how they were made and the scientific analysis undertaken by the Museum. This revealed so much more than the naked eye could see... The exhibition runs until May 2014.
Other exhibitions include:

In a partnership between the National Museum of Ireland (NMI), the Irish Times and the Royal Irish Academy, 100 objects have been chosen by journalist Fintan O'Toole to take us through the history of people in Ireland over 7,000 years. 4 of these objects can be seen in the NMI-Country Life, Turlough Park.

· No. 81 EMPTY COOKING POT, 1845-9

· No. 82 EMIGRANT'S TEAPOT, 1850-1950.

· No. 93 BOYNE CORACLE, 1928

· No. 95 EMIGRANT'S SUITCASE, 1950s.

No. 66 CRUCIFIXION STONE, 1740 & No. 77 WICKER CRADLE, 19th & 20th Centuries are also from the NMI-Country Life's Folklife collection and are based in NMI-Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin.

Further details can be found on: and on

Visit for details about temporary exhibitions which are ongoing in the Museum Galleries
Café art Exhibition
Buildings of County Mayo
The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage is carrying out a survey of the post 1700 built heritage of the country. This photographic exhibition, which is currently running in the Museum Café, marks the publication of the Co Mayo survey. The purpose of the survey is to highlight a representative sample of the architectural heritage of each county and to raise awareness of the wealth of architectural heritage in Ireland. The full survey is published on the website Photographers: James Fraher, Bogfire, Eamonn McCarthy, Images of Mayo, Simon Wall.

Museum Shop: the Museum Shop offers a broad range of affordable quality gifts for the festive season. Unique products to suit all budgets and requirements.
Museum Café: Are you organizing a Christmas lunch for work colleagues, family, friends? Speak to our Café Manager about holding your lunch in the Museum Café. For queries and bookings contact the Museum Café: 094 928 9972; E-mail:

Visit for details of the current programme of events.
Contact if you would like to join the Museum's e-mail distribution list.

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Your Stories - Our Histories: Memory Book Project
During your Museum visit, please take a seat at our Memory Book to record personal memories and stories related to the objects and exhibitions you have encountered in the Museum. The Memory Book form can be downloaded and returned to the Museum. This form can be completed even if you haven't been to the Museum yet as we would still like to hear your memories relating to Irish country life.

Blog by the Museum's Documentation Department
The Documentation Department in the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life have launched a blog as a spin off from the Museum's Inventory Project - Visit this blog to get some information on objects in the Museum's collection.
Website for local heritage features articles on local history and heritage from around the country. Anyone with an interest in their local area can contribute to this website which, it is hoped, will eventually reflect the local history of the island of Ireland. Groups and organisations are welcome to promote their cultural and heritage events via the online events form.

Museum: Tuesday-Saturday: 10am - 5pm Sunday: 2-5pm. Closed Mondays (incl. Bank Holiday).
Museum Shop & Café: open during Museum hours with extended opening from 12pm each Sunday.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Museum Reception: 094 903 1755
MUSEUM CAFÉ: 094 928 9972; e-mail:


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