Independence Museum Kilmurry was opened by President Higgins in August 2016. It replaced the Terence MacSwiney Memorial Museum, one of the first local history museums opened after the formation of the Irish state. A guide will show guests around and tell the stories that bring this period of history to life.
There are artefacts representing the experiences of people from all sides of life. Items from poor tenant farmers and labourers, as well as from landlords in the big houses in the local parish, help to illustrate the story of the struggle for Irish Independence. Like most of the country, Kilmurry suffered hardship during the Great Famine of the 1840s. It also witnessed tensions in the attempts to achieve Irish independence during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The museum shows how the cultural revival of the 17th and 18th centuries helped inspire the revolution that would secure Irish freedom. Independence Museum Kilmurry has many items relating to historical individuals with local connections such as Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, who died on hunger strike in 1920 and Kathleen the widow of the Lord Mayor of Limerick, who became one of the first female members of Dail Eireann.
Many major events of the War of Independence and the Civil War happened near Kilmurry. The museum displays weapons everyday items used by members of this local community and set the scene for the War of Independence and the Civil War in Munster.
Three of the most important ambush sites are nearby. Kilmichael is a twenty minute drive away and Crossbarry, a similar distance towards Bandon. Just a five minute drive away, is Beal Na Blath where Michael Collins was killed in 1922.
Independence Museum Kilmurry showcases some amazing archaeology such as the ringfort at Gurranes, Kilcrea Friary, MacSwiney and MacCarthy Castles. Guided field trips to such sites take place in the summer. Wide ranging lectures and events take place throughout the year. All details can be found on the website.
Why not make Independence Museum Kilmurry your starting point for a great family day out.
Visit the nearby ambush site of Béal na Bláth.