At a meeting held this February in Dublin between the management teams of the Irish Museums Association (IMA) and the Museums Association (MA), both organisations have agreed to strengthen their working relationship in anticipation of the MA's Annual Conference and Exhibition 2018 being held in Belfast.
Gina O'Kelly, the IMA's director of operations, says: "With shared histories and facing similar challenges, our commitment to partnering more closely with the MA is timely and reflects our common goal of working collaboratively and learning from each other.
"As an all-island organisation, the Irish Museums Association welcomes the opportunity that the 2018 MA conference in Belfast will extend to museums in Ireland, north and south of the border, to share knowledge and develop ties with museums across the UK."
"The MA has a deep commitment to working across the four nations of the UK and it makes sense for us to work with the IMA as our nearest neighbour. We would hope to share our resources and best practice and to learn from the IMA in a collaborative way," says Sharon Heal, the MA's director.
"We would like to hold the MA conference in Belfast in 2018, which would be the first time in over two decades that the annual conference has been held in Northern Ireland. This is a great opportunity to forge links between the two associations and develop a closer working relationship."