Kilmurry Historical & Archaeological Society was formed in 1963 by a group of local people interested in preserving and displaying the rich historical and archaeological heritage of Kilmurry and the surrounding area. They opened the Terence MacSwiney Memorial Museum in 1965, collecting unique and interesting objects related to local history, and opened on Sunday afternoons to the public. Since then, the society’s members held regular historical talks and outings and the museum and community centre has been their project, from conception through to realisation. In 2014, they became a registered charity and incorporated as Kilmurry Historical & Archaeological Association Limited.
The story of the museum did not start recently. In 1965 the Terence McSwiney Memorial Museum was opened by locals as a tribute to the Mayor of Cork who died on hunger strike in 1920. Over the years the renovated farm building that housed the original museum was falling into decay, putting the precious artefacts at risk. Thanks to the highest capital grant ever awarded by the west Cork LEADER programme, massive contributions locally, and some of that mid-Cork grit, a new building was completed in 2014 to house the collection as well as including a new community centre for the village.
The next stage was developing a professional – looking exhibition that would stand the test of time and tell this extraordinary story, relevant to all Irish people. KHAA Treasurer, Mary O’Mahony stated “We are so excited about the opening of the new museum which has brought so much pride to our village. Up to now, most of the community, including myself, were not aware of the full extent and complexity of the museum collection. Now we have a place that will show beautifully what the ordinary men and women of this country, and in particular in our area, did for our country in very challenging and difficult times. Everyone of Irish heritage needs to hear all of these fabulous stories brought to life by the museum, as they are part of our unique DNA and must not be forgotten.”Learn more about KHAA