Free Heritage Week Events 13 – 21 August

Kerry County Museum is delighted to host a number of free events to mark National Heritage Week which is celebrated from 13 to 21 August 2022. From special exhibitions, lunchtime talks to indoor and outdoor activities for all the family – we would love to welcome you at the Museum. All events are free, it is not necessary to book and all are welcome. Please note that children should be accompanied by an adult at all times.

A family favourite is our special exhibition Gowns of Glory, showcasing the changing fashion of Kerry’s popular Rose of Tralee Festival which takes place annually in August. Every summer, Kerry County Museumis hosting this popular exhibition and it is an absolute must for anyone with an interest in fashion and the festival. The exhibition includes 30 dresses over six decades, from Alice O’Sullivan’s gown in 1959 to the present.

If you always wanted to know how ancient techniques are used to conserve paper, vellum, silk and many other fabrics then put the 16 August in your diary. Paper conservator Paul Curtis from Muckross Bookbindery is going to talk about this fascinating topic during lunchtime at 1pm. Paul and his team are currently working on conserving the Museum’s O’Mahony collection. This and much more will be discussed by Paul in his talk.

If you are visiting with children, you can follow the Pangur Ban Discovery Trail through our galleries where you can explore the history and archaeology of Kerry from ancient Bronze Age treasures and Tom Crean to life in Medieval Tralee. Afterwards, why not explore Tralee Town Park with our new spotter sheets – a fun way to discover the green heart of the town.

There are many fascinating events taking place across Kerry and nationwide – visit to find out more.

By |August 10th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Dig Tralee- Information Night 31st May

Lend a hand to dig the land with Dig Tralee!

Are you interested in archaeology and history, like working outdoors, and are keen to learn new skills by working alongside experts? If so, come along to Kerins O’Rahillys Clubhouse on Tuesday 31 May at 7.00pm to find out more about how to get involved in Dig Tralee. This is a community archaeology project that aims to explore the hillfort site at Knockanacuig, on the outskirts of Tralee and uncover what role it might have played in the origins of the town.

Knockanacuig hillfort was once an enclosure of significant size and height that commanded a view of the surrounding area for miles around, possibly around 2,500 years old or perhaps even older. This could well be where the town of Tralee began, long before the Normans arrived and established an urban centre. But now, as the modern town encroaches on all sides, the landscape context in which the monument sits is being lost bit by bit. Dig Tralee provides an opportunity to find out more about the site, to reinstate its prominence in the history of the town, and to connect people today with the town’s earliest inhabitants.

The project is an initiative of Kerry County Council, who will be responsible for the excavation, and Kerry County Museum, who will take charge of the community engagement. If you can’t make it to the information session on 31 May, get in touch with Kerry County Museum by phone 066 712 7777; email or check out or the Museum’s social media accounts to find out more.

  • Date – 31st May 2022
  • Venue –Kerins O’Rahillys Clubhouse
  • Time 7:00pm

By |May 24th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Bealtaine Event: Behind the Scenes Tour with Curator Helen O’Carroll

Officially opened in 1992, Kerry County Museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Join Museum Curator Helen O’Carroll for a special “Behind the Scenes” Tour reflecting on the some of the museum’s award-winning exhibitions and discussing the museum’s varied collection on Thursday 5th May 2022 at 11:30am. This is a free Bealtaine event for Kerry Archaeological & Historical Society’s current and prospective members. If you are not a member yet but are curious about becoming one, why not come along on the day – all are welcome! All our galleries spread out over three floors can be accessed by stairs, or elevator if required. Please call the Museum at 0667127777 or email if you have any special requirements or would like to discuss your details of your visit in advance of the event.

By |May 2nd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Summer Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am – 5:30pm

Kerry County Museum is renowned for its innovative displays and creative approach to telling the story of the county’s people and landscape. An enriching and fun experience for all is guaranteed by our friendly staff, award-winning exhibitions and child-centred activities.

Current Opening Hours

Open Daily, 9:30am – 5:30pm

(last admission is at 4:15 pm)

Bank holiday weekends: Sunday and Monday 10:00am – 5:00pm

By |April 22nd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Our Mobile Museum is touring the kingdom!

We have been busy! Since February, our new mobile museum outreach team has been visiting more than thirty primary and secondary schools across the county from Anascaul to Valentia Island. The idea is simple: If you can’t come to the Museum then the Museum can come to you! Our Education Team can bring the Museum’s themed handling collections to your school and we will do a workshop whereby children are encouraged to bring objects from home. For more information please contact Claudia and Jemma at

By |April 22nd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

THIS IS ME – an art installation by children and young people from Kerry

THIS IS ME is an art installation and a Kerry Local Creative Youth Partnership project and will be on view at the Museum for the next three months. The participants involved in the project and whose work is on view, are living in two accommodation centres in Kerry (Johnston Marina Hotel Tralee and Atlas House Killarney). The project was funded in 2021 through an Kerry ETB/LCYP grant to Me and the Moon and artist David Fortune to facilitate the project. They have been conducting weekly workshops in those settings with children between the ages of 2 and 13 yrs. 

David has worked really hard to help make the installation happen and it has become a really joyful event for the children and the parents involved. The County Museum as host is a very valued collaborative partner, and is hosting the installation in their temporary exhibition room in the Museum. The art installation is accompanied by a documentary style video in the Museum’s audio visual room.  There are 23 children involved from the two centres. The work focuses on art and the process of art-making where the trying, the rough work, the creations, both finished and unfinished, are valued and inform a learning outcome. That outcome is about confidence and acknowledgement- that art classes are an important weekly contact point for all involved, and that they are a space where imagination is valued.  The installation, features incomplete and finished work and it is a riot of colour and energy.

Watch our short film “This is Me!”:

By |March 21st, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Medieval Experience magically transforms into the Festive Hall for Christmas

By sheer magic, the downstairs galleries at the Kerry County Museum transform into the Festive Hall for Christmas. This is our most popular family and primary school event of the year and it is fully booked out. Please note that the Archaeology Hall and the Medieval Experience will be closed from November 2021 until January 2021 to facilitate this event. Visitors to the Museum can still access our exhibitions on the top floor: Casement in Kerry: A Revolutionary Journey, the Tom Crean Polar Room, the Main Gallery, as well as “Nostalgia” a temporary art exhibition by local artists and “Wah-Na-Be!”, a fabulous music video and exhibit by talented students from St John of God, Kerry Services/Skills4Life (MTU).

Please note that from Saturday 27th November until the Museum re-opens in January 2022, our regular exhibition opening hours are Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am until 5pm; last admission is at 4pm.



By |November 25th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Kerry County Museum short-listed for Archaeological Achievement Awards

Let’s blow our own trumpet! Kerry County Museum has been short-listed for the ArchaeologyUK Council for British Archaeology (CBA) “Archaeological Achievement Awards” in the ‘Learning, Training & Skills’ category. We are thrilled to be shortlisted for this award in relation to our ongoing heritage education project “The Tomb and the Museum”. The award ceremony will take place in Edinburgh Castle on 7 Dercember 2021 – keep your fingers crossed!

The shortlist for the CBA Learning, Training and Skills Award is:
– Behaviours & the Art of Applied Learning in Archaeology
Kerry County Museum-The Tomb and the Museum. A grassroots approach to heritage education based on Killaclohane Portal Tomb, County Kerry
– MOLA Early Career Archaeologist Programmes
ucd_experimental_archaeology -UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture (CEAMC)
– Wessex Archaeology Formal Learning Programme (FLP)
– Leeds Museums and Galleries Primary School Membership and Curriculum Planning







By |November 16th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Museum closed for private event 10am to 2pm on Thursday 21st October

Kerry County Museum will be closed to the public on Thursday 21st October from 10am until 2pm as the descendants of Pierce Mahony (1850-1930) of Kilmorna House near Listowel will make a donation of family memorabilia to the museum. The collection is hugely important for the county from a historical perspective and will have a positive impact on tourism, notably the North Kerry Greenway which passes through Kilmorna, as the items reveal history which was not known until the items came to light in 2020.

The items being donated are also significant on a national and international level due to their connection to Pierce Mahony. Pierce Mahony lived at Kilmorna House during the later half of the 19th century and sat as an MP with the Irish Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons in Westminster. During his time as an MP, Pierce kept a visitors book at Kilmorna which was signed by many famous names in Irish politics and culture at the time. The most famous signature is by Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of Irish nationalism. He signed the book twice when he was in the area to speak at Home Rule meetings. The Nobel Prize winner and icon of Irish literature William Butler Yeats signed the book twice. Until the visitors book came to light, there was no evidence he ever visited Kerry. Other famous signatures include politician John Redmond, who was the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, revolutionary Maud Gonne and the famous Irish composer William Percy French, who wrote songs such as ‘The Mountains of Mourne’ and ‘Phil the Fluter’s Ball’.

The people who signed the visitors book came to Kilmorna House by train from all over Ireland, Britain and the world. Kilmorna Railway Station was only a mile away from the Mahony home. The railway is now the route of the North Kerry Greenway.  From 1912, Pierce Mahony became an Irish chieftain and assumed the title ‘The O’Mahony of Kerry’. His kilt is being donated to Kerry County Museum. Also being donated is a small statue of St Francis which belonged to Sir Arthur Vicars, the half-brother of Pierce Mahony. On April 14th, 1921, the IRA returned to Kilmorna and burned down the house. They also shot Vicars dead on the garden steps on suspicion of being a spy. He was one of the most high profile civilian casualties of the Irish War of Independence and it was claimed his death led many Protestant gentry families to leave Ireland for fear of meeting the same fate during the conflict. The Mahony home at Kilmorna was one of nine Big Houses burned during the Irish War of Independence in Kerry and among 79 nationally.





By |October 19th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Wah-Na-Be! Get ready to be blown away!

Wah-Na-Be! is a new music video and exhibition created by a group of young people as part of the Skills4Life Programme at Munster Technological University. The Skills for Life Programme supports young people between the age of 18 and 23 and is part of Saint John of God Kerry Services. The work was supported by Kerry Local Creative Youth Partnership through a Creative Youth Grant. Wah-Na-Be! was launched by Jimmy Deenihan, the new chairperson of MTU, at Kerry County Museum as part of Culture Night 2021 and will run as part of the Museum’s community and outreach programme until the end of December.

The stars of the music video are students Siobhan Looney, Kate McNamara, James Doyle, Donal Lynch, JP O’Brien and Dale O’Carroll, who came up with their own idea to create a music video under the artistic direction of Jackie O’Mahoney of Jackie O’Mahoney’s School of Performing Arts. The results were simply amazing! Be blown away by a very talented group of young people, making their mark on music, photography and video production in Kerry. You can see Wah-Na-Be! at Kerry County Museum or watch the video by clicking HERE.

By |October 13th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

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