On Monday the 9th Inishowen Maritime Museum had the pleasure of hosting H.E. Mr. Ildefonso Castro, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain and his spouse, Mrs. Esperanza Cancio de Castro. They were given a tour of the museum with a special focus on the Spanish Armada exhibition la Trinidad Valencera which will have its official launch down here at the museum with the date to be announced soon. Before they departed, Mrs. Esperanza Cancio de Castro was gifted a Glendowen shawl created by Ann McGonigle of Glendowen Craft Studio as a reminder of her and H.E. Mr. Ildefonso Castro visit to the Inishowen Maritime Museum and Inishowen area.
May – August
Tuesday – Saturday
10.00am – 5pm
12.00pm – 5pm
Last admission 4.00pm
Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays)
Monday – Friday
10.30am – 4.00pm
Last admission 3.30pm
Other times by appointment
by her predecessor, Else Berit Eikeland, with cultural interests in Inishowen and to formally launch a new Norwegian exhibition, “The Vikings “,
The previous ambassador had arranged the loan, from the Fram Museum, Oslo, of the exhibition, “Cold Recall – Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole”.
This had been replaced by the new exhibition, but Covid precautions had prevented an official launch, earlier, so Ambassador Skåre did the honours on this visit.
The exhibition will be on display until Spring 2022, when it is hoped to replace it by an exhibition on the Spanish Armada.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the discovery of “La Trinidade Valencera” by Derry sub-Aqua Club, in Kinnago Bay but Covid has delayed this commemoration too.
Ambassador Skåre met with representatives of Inishowen’s four secondary schools, the Inishowen Traditional Music Project and with some traditional boatbuilders and sailors to re-start some of the Embassy projects.
She will be returning in the Autumn to progress the projects.
On Thursday last, the Norwegian ambassador, Else Berit Eikeland, visited McDonald Boats, in Greencastle, to officially launch a programme of exchange projects between 2 districts in Norway and several organisations in Inishowen.
The projects have been co-ordinated by the Inishowen Maritime Museum, in Greencastle.
The first project involves exchanges between Inishowen & Norwegian traditional boat building enthusiasts. The museum has been granted funding by the Fishing Local Areas Group (FLAG) to restore two traditional fishing boats, a drontheim and a half-decker, in McDonald Boats. During the restorations boatbuilders from Trondheim Maritime Museum & Boatbuilding Centre will visit Greencastle to take part in the restoration work. Next year, local boatbuilding enthusiasts will visit Trondheim to take part in a similar project there.
The other project involves educational programmes involving the 5 secondary schools in Inishowen and schools in the Bergen district of Norway. The projects will have maritime and environmental themes. Teachers from Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana, have been invited to Bergen, in March, to tease out the finer details with schools in the Bergen area.
It is also hoped to widen the programme to include a connection around traditional fiddling in the Norway, Western Isles of Scotland and Donegal. The Hardanger fiddle is both a musical instrument and a technique. Fiddling traditions and methods in Donegal are unique in Ireland and are closer to Islay than to Mayo. The methodology is thought to stem from Norwegian techniques that travelled to the Faroes and down the Scottish Islands to Donegal. A partner group in Inishowen has been identified and the Ambassador will be seeking a Norwegian counterpart to move forward with them.
In separate developments, the director of the “Coastal Heritage Week” programme in Norway has been liaising with Donegal Tourism and Inishowen maritime heritage groups to promote coastal tourism in Donegal, based on the successful Norwegian model.
The Norwegian district council is applying for EU trans-national funding for a project around the heritage & culture of the trade routes between Norway, the Faroes, the Western Isles and Donegal. This could link with a trans-Atlantic programme between Inishowen, Newfoundland and the Canadian maritime communities currently being developed.
This year’s Blessing of the Fleet at Greencastle will include a very special event which will commemorate those from Inishowen who lost their lives at sea. The Inishowen Maritime Museum has been working tirelessly over the last year to update the existing memorial and ensure that all those who tragically lost their lives in the waters around us will be remembered. The existing memorial was unveiled in 1997 by President Mary Robinson. As further research was carried out over the years it was realised that many more had lost their lives at sea that had not been previously recorded on the memorial. Realising how significant it was for the families who had lost loved ones it was decided that new panels would be installed to include anybody who had not been included before.