Seanad and the National Museum

 

A chara, – On Tuesday I visited the National Museum, Kildare Street. I am a frequent visitor, and have attended their excellent educational programme on occasion also. During the two hours I was there, five different school tours of varying ages, two tourist groups and many individuals like myself visited.

The space there is limited, but in spite of cramped accommodation, the quality of the display and the objects presented are world class.

I was thus horrified to hear that evening that the Seanad proposes to move into the one educational space for up to two years! What has the board of the museum done to resist this? Indeed, what have the members of the Seanad, particularly those elected on the culture and education panel, done to resist this?

The chronic underfunding of the museum has clearly shown the inability of the Government to appreciate the essential service provided by a dedicated staff with a very high level of expertise, but this move shows contempt for the important work done here. It is an issue not just of national importance, but of European and world heritage also.

The OPW has space in Dublin Castle, Dublin City Council chamber is large enough, the Mansion House is nearby, so surely some other solution can be found than restricting the already limited space available to the museum!

The idea that all the visitors to the museum will have to contend with members of the Seanad, journalists and lobbyists while trying to gain access to one of the most important museums in Europe is appalling.

It seems to me that the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Senators would benefit from a guided tour of the National Museum so that they can understand how disruptive this move will be to the excellent service provided there. – Is mise,

SÍLE UÍ­ LAIGHIN,

Cluain Tarbh,

Baile Ãtha Cliath 3.