Bridge over Brexit: the museum sector in post-Brexit Ireland (Consultation seminar)

Posted: Thursday, 07 September 2017

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) and Ulster University (UU) is holding a consultation seminar at the MAC Belfast, 18 October 2017, 10:00 - 13:00, to discuss current developments and the potential implications of the exit of the UK from the European Union on the museum sector across Ireland.

The unique bond between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is underpinned by the close co-operation within the cultural sector, celebrating our shared history, identity and cultural markers. Culture, arts, education, and research links can (and often do) outpace government or political links. The challenge for the museum and wider cultural sector is to not allow Brexit to disrupt the strong and effective cultural partnerships that currently exist and are being evidenced throughout the Decade of Centenaries.

While some of the main ‘post Brexit' concerns for the museum sector revolve around cultural and regional development funding and the movement of people - both in terms of staffing and audiences - there is also apprehension about the impact of a border on collections management, research networks, and education initiatives. At the same time, many expect that this development will bring new ways of thinking and will be an opportunity to develop fresh partnerships.

This consultation seminar will explore how the museum and wider cultural sector can not only continue to provide a cultural gateway, but also prosper through strategic collaborations.

The meeting will seek to:
§ Assess existing cross-border relationships and initiatives within the museum sector.
§ Explore the potential implications and lines of communication to prepare for the changes ahead.
§ Advocate the role of the museum and the broader cultural sector in fostering NI-ROI relationships during this period of change.
The session will be facilitated by Clíodhna Ní Anluain, RTÉ culture and arts producer. It has been convened by Professor Elizabeth Crooke, Heritage and Museum Studies, Ulster University, and Gina O'Kelly, Irish Museums Association.

Speakers will include Brexit experts, Dr Robert Porter, School of Media & Communications, Ulster University; and Dr Leos Veldpaus, School of Architecture and Planning, University Newcastle; along with key speakers from the museum and cultural sector: Professor Elizabeth Crooke, Heritage and Museum Studies, Ulster University; Aoife Ruane, Curator, Highlanes Gallery Drogheda; Sinead McCarten, Director, Northern Ireland Museums Council; Liam Bradley, Curator, Monaghan County Museum; Savina Donohue, Curator, Cavan County Museum; Noreen Cunningham, Museum Curator, Newry and Mourne Museum; and Dr Hugh Maguire, ICOM National Committee for Ireland.

The full list of speakers and programme details will be available to view on the Irish Museums Association's website ( from the 25 September 2017.

This event is funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Cooperation with Northern Ireland Scheme. The IMA receives core funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council.

To express interest in attending this event, please email