Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Oonagh Magennis officially opened the new temporary exhibition ‘The Legacy: Newry 1920 - 1930’ at Newry and Mourne Museum on Tuesday 26 October.
The exhibition and accompanying publication is themed around material in the Museum’s Collection relevant to the period 1920 until 1930 and the explores impact of Partition.
Visitors will see how the Newry and Mourne area was affected by the events that shaped modern Ireland, from the War of Independence, the Treaty negotiations, Partition, the Civil War and examines the impact on the area after the Boundary Commission report in 1925.
Opening the exhibition, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Oonagh Magennis said, “I would like to thank all the contributors and all those who helped with the book and exhibition, which provides an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the complexities of this period.”
On display at the exhibition are a wide range of artefacts, including, papers relating to Éamon Donnelly, a leading anti-Partitionist, who was the Ulster organiser for Sinn Féin in the 1921 election and an election agent for Michael Collins. The ‘Not an Inch’ Cup, presented to James Craig in 1925 by the Unionists of Newry and the Orangemen of Newry No.9 District ‘as a token of their appreciation of his unswerving stand on the boundary’, which is on loan from National Museums Northern Ireland, will also be on display.
A graphic panel which comprising quotes from submissions made by local people to the Boundary Commission in 1924 will also be on view for visitors.
The museum commissioned several prominent historians to write a series of essays that provide a greater insight of Newry and its hinterland in this crucial period. These have been complied in a booklet that will accompany the exhibition and will be free to those who visit the exhibition.
Historians, including Dr Éamon Phoenix and Professor Brian Walker, focus on topics including Éamon Donnelly, the Republican Courts, the Boundary Commission, the sales of land to tenant farmers before and after Partition and the visit of James Craig to Newry.
There is an interactive that our younger visitors will appreciate comprising a jigsaw of the region that highlights certain townlands particularly affected by Partition and are mentioned in the exhibition and booklet.
Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said, “We are delighted to support the ‘The Legacy: Newry 1920 - 1930’ exhibition through the Shared History Fund. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is delivering the Shared History Fund on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to help a wide range of groups mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland in a thoughtful, inclusive and engaging way. This project is one of 39 projects funded through the programme and will help a wide range of people to explore the key events and moments in Northern Ireland’s history.”
The exhibition and publication was part-funded through the Shared History Fund, which the National Lottery Heritage Fund delivered on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office, to help groups mark the Northern Ireland Centenary in a creative, thoughtful and inclusive way. The project was also part-funded through Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s Good Relations Plan, which seeks to encourage and support activity that promotes good relations between people from different backgrounds to help improve people’s quality of life.
The exhibition is now open to the public until 27 August 2022. Entrance to Newry and Mourne Museum is free of charge. For opening hours, information on events, upcoming exhibitions and other services telephone 0330 137 4422.