The iconic site of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin was the venue for a recent meeting of representatives from Manx National Heritage, Friends of Manx National Heritage and the Office of Public Works (OPW), the agency responsible for State managed Heritage Sites throughout Ireland.
In 2014, Manx National Heritage signed a new reciprocal agreement with OPW, enhancing Manx National Heritage’s membership scheme, which is operated by the Friends of Manx National Heritage (FMNH). The agreement enables members who are resident in the Isle of Man to use their membership cards at a range of historic properties in Ireland. In return OPW cardholders can use their cards at Manx National Heritage sites throughout the Isle of Man.
Edmund Southworth, Manx National Heritage Director and Nicola Pemberton, Development and Admin Officer for the Friends of Manx National Heritage (FMNH) travelled to Ireland last week to discuss opportunities for developing the reciprocal agreement with OPW and strengthen our cultural links with the Republic of Ireland.
OPW has responsibility for 780 National Monuments and Historic Properties throughout Ireland. Full details may be viewed at www.heritageireland.ie
FMNH members who are resident on the Isle of Man receive free or reduced admission to The Office of Public Works (OPW), properties operated by the National Trust, English Heritage, Scottish National Trust, Historic Scotland, Cadw, York Archaeological Trust sites and, are also entitled to free or reduced admission, to properties controlled by the Trusts of Australia, New Zealand, The Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Malta. These arrangements are reciprocal and help to encourage many thousands of members of these organisations to visit the Isle of Man each year.
Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage said:
“The Isle of Man has close cultural connections with Ireland from Family History to Neolithic Burials, Christian sites, Vikings, 19th Century Fishing Fleets and world famous motorcycle racing. With such close connections, we are keen to encourage our members to visit heritage attractions in Ireland, whilst also encouraging OPW cardholders to explore and enjoy the Isle of Man”.
Nicola Pemberton, Development and Admin Officer for Friends of Manx National Heritage said:
“We were delighted with the warm welcome we received and thoroughly enjoyed being shown around Kilmainham Gaol, and to see the impressive new Visitor Centre facility, in the beautifully restored Georgian Court House. I am looking forward to visiting the OPW sites for longer the next time I visit. We also look forward to welcoming OPW members to the Isle of Man”.
Frank Shalvey of the Office of Public Works Heritage Service said:
“We were very happy to renew our acquaintance with Edmund and Nicola and welcome them to Kilmainham Gaol Museum Visitor Centre, the latest addition to our visitor facilities portfolio. Friends of Manx Heritage members will also be warmly welcomed should they decide to make the short trip to Ireland and they feel sure they will appreciate what we have to offer. We look forward also to continuing our relationship with the Friends so that our own Heritage Card holders will visit the wonderful historic sites on the Island and benefit from the rich opportunities they present”.
Membership to the Friends of Manx National Heritage can be purchased at any Manx National Heritage site and online at www.friendsofmnh.org. By purchasing a membership, you directly support Manx National Heritage’s work in preserving and protecting the Isle of Man’s unique heritage assets.
Left to right: Nicola Pemberton of the Friends of Manx National Heritage, Niall Bergin of OPW and Edmund Southworth Director of Manx National Heritage at Kilmainham Gaol
FMNH is a registered charity with over 6000 members committed to supporting the work of Manx National Heritage. Members of FMNH play a key role in conserving the cultural heritage and natural environment of the Isle of Man for future generations to enjoy.
In recognition of their support FMNH members are entitled to free admission to all Manx National Heritage attractions and to over 2000 acres of National Trust land; plus 10% discount in all Manx National Heritage Shops and a full programme of events. Find out more at www.friendsofmnh.org.