THE NATIONAL Famine Museum in Roscommon has reopened following a two-year closure and €5 million investment which has turned the attractions into a world-class must-visit for tourists and natives alike.
The new museum, located in Strokestown, tells the story of the Great Hunger in an engaging and respectful way and Fáilte Ireland predicts it will bring over 50,000 more visitors and €13.2million in additional revenue to the area over the next 5 years. In addition, a new visitor centre and café will also be developed at Strokestown Park, transforming the estate into a sustainable heritage visitor attraction.
The new museum is based on the extensive archive of the estate and comprises of over 55,000 documents, with the story of the Famine being told through the voices of those who lived and died at the time.
The museum tells the story of parallel lives of a landlord and tenant, with the story of Strokestown itself also at the centre.
Visitors can also enjoy the 6-acre walled gardens and Strokestown Park’s lush mature woodlands. A brand new bright and modern Woodland Café is the icing on the cake. Located in the old granary of Strokestown Park House, it is focused on serving high-quality, seasonal, locally sourced produce as well as the finest coffee and delicious treats, catering for all dietary needs.
John O'Driscoll, General Manager at the museum, said it is very important to the Irish Heritage Trust, the not-for-profit organisation which runs the National Famine Museum, to protect the estate and for generations to come.
"The Famine is such an important part of our history," he said, "and we need to discuss it and learn from it."