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Loss of Turlough museum would be a major tourism blow

Editorial

Loss of Turlough museum would be a tourism blow


FOR many years, decentralisation was the buzz word emanating from successive governments as they struggled to come to terms with the east/west divide in terms of overall government spending.
We were told that countless public servants would be making the move west through their work with certain government departments who were relocating to towns and cities along the west coast.
However, in reality the majority of workers from these departments remain in and around the Dublin area and the word decentralisation has now essentially disappeared from government policy documents.
Much like the relocation of government departments, it had been long since promised that tourism attractions with state involvement would be evenly distributed around the country so that those holidaying in different areas would have attractions to go and see.
The location of the Museum of Country Life at Turlough House on the outskirts of Castlebar was seen as a major coup for the area when it was first opened by Minister Síle De Valera  back in 2001. The beautiful rural setting in the shadow of the historic Round Tower at Turlough was the perfect backdrop for the location of a museum which reflected the importance of country living in Ireland.
The Museum had seemed to be going from strength to strength, acting as both a vital attraction for Mayo tourism and also as an educational tool for school children throughout the region.
The news on our front page this week that the Museum may be under threat due to budgets constraints is bound to be met with shock by many people throughout the county but one has to hope that final decisions with regard to the Departmental budget spends can be re-assessed and a way can be found to leave this valuable piece of tourism infrastructure in Mayo. We await to see how the story surrounding the Museum develops in the coming weeks.