The Hunt Museum.
Being from Cork I hadn’t visited Limerick very often until starting college this year and when I drive through the city on Sunday evening on my way back to my second home in Thomand the hunt museum always catches my eye. Usually I get stopped by the traffic lights beside it and if I’m in a rush the lights are the only things that I can concentrate on. But when I had some free time on Thursday (as the MMPT people do) I decided to check it out for myself and find out a little more about it.
Built in 1978, the hunt museum houses over 2,000 works of art and antiques. It was founded by john and Gertrude hunt who collected many pieces that reflected their own personal interests. Their collection grew so large that they had insufficient space to store the collection and they feared that they would lose it if they could not find a place to house the collection. Luckily they came in contact with Professor Patrick Doran and Dr Edward Walsh of the National Institution of Higher Education (Professor Doran is now in the University of Limerick) who agreed to store a large portion of the antiques.
However during this time the Irish government declined the offer of housing the antiques so the problem arose to find a home for the collection as well a suitable owner. So the Hunt museum trust was formed in 1974 to hold the collection at craggunowen of behalf of the people of Ireland. The trust established the hunt museum Ltd which was created to find a permanent home for the collection. This company provided the drive and boost needed to create the museum that stands today. A public private partnership involving the University of Limerick, Shannon Development, Limerick Corporation and the Department of Arts, Heritage, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, linked with local business interests manage to secure a home for the antiques in the former Limerick customs house. Funds were collected and used to renovate the building up to international museum standards.