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Full Steam Ahead at the County Museum


 Exhibition poster

Full Steam Ahead at the County Museum, Dundalk – maritime exhibition and walking tours to commence


On Thursday July 8th, an exhibition on Dundalk’s seafaring past will be opened by Charley McCarthy at the County Museum, Dundalk.  Running until the end of September, Faces from the Past – Merchant Seamen from Dundalk in the early Twentieth Century features a collection of over 350 identity cards of Dundalk men who served in the merchant navy between 1918-1921.  The cards include personal details, foreign voyages and most importantly, a passport style photo of each seaman. 


According to Curator Brian Walsh, “the images are the most striking aspect to the exhibition.  We have these magnificent black and white photographs of these men but with very little information about their lives.  We’re hoping that these photographs will allow us to get a greater understanding of what happened to them after these pictures were taken – did they remain in Dundalk, or were they forced to emigrate?  Effectively each image is a mystery within itself and we’re hoping that family members might recognise their father/grandfather/great-grandfather and help us get a greater understanding of what happened to them. 


The exhibition also provides an insight into the history and nature of maritime activity in Dundalk, noting the contributions of several families in the area, as well as highlighting the fate of the SS Dundalk sunk by a U-boat in October 1918.  An accompanying 24-page booklet has also been produced.  The exhibition is based on the work of Rush-based maritime historian, David Snook, whose website www.irishmariners.ie contains the details of some 23,000 Irish merchant seamen.  Admission to the exhibition is free.  


The Museum has also announced that guided walking tours of Dundalk will commence from Tuesday 13th July next at 11.00 a.m.  Starting at St. Nicholas’s Church tours take in St. Leonard’s Gardens, the Courthouse, St. Patrick’s Cathedral before stopping at the Museum itself.  Conducted by members of the Museum’s staff the tour will be held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and will last approximately 90 minutes.  The tours are free of charge and open to all.  A minimum number of participants will be required and all tours are weather permitting.  Prior booking is essential. 


More information about the exhibition or enquiries about the walking tour may be had by contacting Brian Walsh at 042 9392999.  ENDS