Annual Conference

The IMA organises a themed Annual Conference in spring each year, offering an opportunity for members of the Irish museums community to meet, network and discuss issues of relevance for the Irish museum sector.

2015 Annual Conference - Museums in Society: Navigating Public Policy

Friday 27 February - Sunday 1 March 2015. Ulster Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland, Belfast.

The Annual Conference will examine how museums respond to, and negotiate, policy directions. It will focus in particular on museums' role in relation to social inclusion, education, economic regeneration, and tourism agendas.

Invited speakers and conference participants will share their experiences and expertise on the interdependent relationship between government bodies and museums: the ‘mirror and lamp' effect whereby public policies both reflect and guide the functions and missions of the museum and vice versa. The conference will examine how museums can better position themselves to reflect changes within society and in government policies, while at the same time performing their historical roles of custodianship, presentation and scholarship. How should museums approach the difficult task of fulfilling these multiple, and sometimes competing, functions?

Invited and Selected Speakers will include:

David Anderson Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru -National Museum Wales
Lorraine Comer Head of Education, National Museum of Ireland
Paddy Gilmore Director of Learning and Partnership, National Museums Northern Ireland
Michael King Curator, Down County Museum and Chair, NI Regional Curators Group, Northern Ireland
Declan McGonagle Director, National College of Art and Design, Dublin
Paul Mullan Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Northern Ireland
Helen O'Carroll Curator, Kerry County Museum
Michael Starrett Chief Executive Officer, The Heritage Council and Chair, Council of National Cultural Institutions, ROI
Rebecca Blake Regeneration and Community Partnerships Coordinator, Tate Britain
Megan Johnston Director, The Model: Home of the Niland Collection
Kim Mawhinney Head of Art and Hannah Crowdy, Interpretation Manager, NMNI
Grainne Miller Director, GM Innovations Management Consultancy
Dermot Mulligan Curator, Carlow County Museum
Mairead Quinn PhD student, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, University of Ulster
Marie Taylor Phd student, Limerick Institute of Technology
Brian Walsh Curator, Dundalk County Museum

To view the programme, click here

To view Bios and Abstracts, click here for Friday, 27 Feb. and here for Saturday, 28 Feb

To plan your trip, accommodation and travel, click here

To view information on fees and make a booking, click here for a pdf version and here for a word document version.


Enquiries to Ms Gina O'Kelly, click here to send an email.