“Congratulations to Kerry County Museum which has been awarded the highest accolade of 2009 Museum of the Year. This local authority museum is a vibrant cultural resource for the Kerry community, and the island as a whole. Its in-depth, and engaging exhibitions programme, together with its education and community programme, are testaments to the hard work and commitment of the staff at this museum…”

This is how Michael Starrett, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, summed up KCM when presenting us with the Museum of the Year Award in 2009. This was the culmination of over 15 years hard work and planning. Our first success came in 1994 when we were short-listed as one of the selected candidates for that year’s European Museum of the Year Awards; in 1995 and 1997 we followed this up with commendations in the Best Smaller Museum Category. In 2002 we won the Best Exhibition Award at the Museum of the Year Awards for the ‘Antarctica’ exhibition, displaying the life of Tom Crean. KCM was praised by the judges for the imaginative and striking design, and the judges felt that the presentation, design, the success in raising the profile of a local hero, the links with surviving relatives (which ensured the protection of important artefacts) and broader contextualisation of Crean’s achievements made Kerry County Museum a model and worthy winner.