Events | IMA Event

Bridge over Brexit

18 October | 14:00 - 15:00

Event Address

The MAC, Belfast

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) and Ulster University (UU) held a consultation seminar at the MAC Belfast, 18 October 2017, 10:00 - 13:30, 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 explored 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 seminar has been convened by Professor Elizabeth Crooke, Heritage and Museum Studies, Ulster University, and Gina O'Kelly, Irish Museums Association.

Sessions will be facilitated by Clíodhna Ni Anluain, RTÉ culture and arts producer, and contributors will include:

  • Professor Elizabeth Crooke, Heritage and Museum studies, Ulster University
  • Dr Robert Porter, Research Director Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, School of Media & Communication, Ulster University
  • Dr Leos Veldpaus, School of Architecture and Planning, University Newcastle
  • Dr Hugh Maguire, Chair ICOM National Committee for Ireland (Board member, IMA)
  • Gina O'Kelly, Irish Museums Association
  • Sinead McCartan, Director, Northern Ireland Museums Council
  • Noel Kelly, CEO, Visual Artists Ireland (Board member, Culture Action Europe)
  • Aoife Ruane, Director, Highlanes Gallery (Board Member, IMA)
  • Liam Bradley, Museum Curator, Monaghan County Museum (Chair, Local Authority Museum Network)
  • Noreen Cunningham, Museum Curator, Newry and Mourne Museum
  • Savina Donohue, Museum Curator, Cavan County Museum
  • Dr Riann Coulter, Curator, F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio (Board member, IMA and NIMC)
  • Hannah Crowdy, Head of Collections, National Museums Northern Ireland

This event was funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Cooperation with Northern Ireland Scheme.

Click here to view and download the report (published December 2017)