The village of Kilmurry was a hotbed of rebel activity through the Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War. Now that same determination, including over a decade of voluntary work and persistence, has resulted in the creation of Independence Museum Kilmurry.
The new museum will be a historical and recreational hub for the greater Lee Valley and West Cork regions. Kilmurry’s close proximity to Kilmichael, Béal na Bláth, Crossbarry and other War of Independence sites gives it a key role in telling our country’s story in the decade of centenaries. The collection includes the wheel from the Crossley Tender used in the Kilmichael Ambush, a man-trap used to catch poachers, Tom Barry’s suitcase and artefacts relating to Terence MacSwiney, among many others.
It was five years ago that members of the Kilmurry Historical and Archaeological Association (KHAA) committee approached Theo Dahlke, curator of Allihies Copper Mine Museum on the Beara Peninsula and co-founder of Heritageworks. Theo had led the design and build of that award-winning exhibition and the committee from Kilmurry wanted to see how they might bring their own story to life in a similar way. Theo stated “They are an incredibly tenacious bunch of people. There’s a movement afoot in this country, where people are really reclaiming their heritage at a local level, and we are privileged to work with people like the KHAA.”
KHAA Chairman, Noel Howard said “We felt that a museum would make Kilmurry a destination for the ever growing number of history buffs and contribute to the economic and social development of our village… Heritageworks have been a critical component in the creation and development of our new exhibition”