The nights might be getting darker earlier and the weather might be getting colder, but for anyone planning a visit to Munster Vales over the winter months there is still plenty to do and see in the region.
Munster Vales, the area encompassing the Comeragh, Knockmealdown, Galtee, Ballyhoura and Nagles mountain ranges in the south of Ireland, has several fascinating museums and heritage sites where you can learn all about the history of the region.
We’ve outlined some of the many great places that you can visit over the winter months for an entertaining and educational break away.
The Tipperary Museum of Hidden History, Tipperary
Located in the civic center of Clonmel in Tipperary, this state-of-the-art visitor experience brings Tipperary’s rich hidden history to life through characters and stories. Founded in the 1940s, visitors can immerse themselves in stories of castles and conquests, courage, superstition, murder and death. You can also learn all about rural life in the 19th century Tipperary and ‘meet’ a host of characters from the world of sports and entertainment. The collection is also one of the largest museum collections in Ireland.
The de Valera Museum & Bruree Heritage Centre, Limerick
The Éamon de Valera Museum and Bruree Heritage Center is a must see museum for anyone with an interest in politics. The museum contains a unique and fascinating collection of personal belongings of de Valera, along with a variety of articles which record life in Bruree in the early 20th century. Where Éamon de Valera grew up, the visitor center uses audio-visuals, graphic panels and displays of personal memorabilia history to tell his fascinating story. The cottage where he once lived is now preserved and the national school he attended is also now a museum dedicated to his memory.
Thomas Fitzgerald Museum, Limerick
Also in Limerick is the Thomas Fitzgerald Museum in Bruff. Thomas Fitzgerald was the grandfather of John F. Kennedy and this museum is dedicated to his memory and to the world famous family. The museum includes a photo exhibition of the time JFK visited Limerick in 1963, the Fitzgerald family tree mural, and an exhibition from the Caroline Kennedy visit in 2013. There is also a life-size bronze statue of JFK and interestingly, the bible that that is part of the statue is the one that Thomas Kennedy brought with him in 1852 when he emigrated from Bruff to Boston! The visitor center is definitely a must see for anyone with an interest in the Kennedy family and learning about their connection to the region.
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Lismore Heritage Centre, Waterford
Located in the old courthouse, Lismore Heritage Center gives you the chance to virtually explore Lismore Castle and learn all about its fascinating history with the brilliant Lismore Castle Experience. You may not know that the castle was once the home of Broadway performer, Adele Astaire and Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy. Make sure you also do the Lismore Guided Town Tour where you can learn all about the Viking invasions and Lismore’s 12th century Roundhill Norman Settlement. Another highlight is the Robert Boyle Escape Room where you can see if you can help the famous scientist solve some of the most puzzling scientific questions.
Nano Nagle Birthplace, Cork
If you’re looking for somewhere to unwind from the stresses of modern life then a visit to Nano Nagles Birthplace could be just want you need. The center gives visitors the opportunity to re-connect with life through reflection and discovering new depth. The heritage center offers retreats, cosmic walks and events. Nano Nagle was born in Ballygriffin in the 1700s. She opened her first school in 1754 and educated children during the day and visited and nursed the sick by night. She also founded the Sisters of the Presentation in 1775. Her contribution to education has actually resulted in some historians noting her important work in saving the Irish culture and the center aims to continue her work.
There is definitely no shortage of places to discover the history and heritage of Munster Vales, and we hope that you’ll consider visiting us soon and experiencing it for yourself.
Triona O’Mahony is the Destination & Marketing Manager of Munster Vales. Munster Vales’ main objective is to promote the geographical area as a unique brand, linking the counties of Waterford, Tipperary, Cork and Limerick and everything in between.
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