About Carlow County Museum

We are Ireland's newest County Museum, displaying the varied history & archaeology of County Carlow, Ireland. Our exhibitions are housed over four galleries and we are open all year round. Our Blog will cover our extensive displays, featuring research done by staff and the community. The Museum has free admission. www.carlowmuseum.ie


The effigy of Robert Hartpole, Constable of Carlow Castle was returned to Carlow Town on Wednesday October 13th, 2021, last after a sojourn of approximately two hundred years in Portarlington, Co. Laois. For the last thirty years or so the effigy was on display in the People’s Park, Portarlington, Co. Laois. Over the past couple of years Carlow County Museum, operated by Carlow County Council, have coordinated the conservation of the 16th century effigy and its relocation back to Carlow Town and Hartpole now resides in Carlow County Museum.

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Culture Night 2021 at Carlow County Museum

The sixteenth Carlow Culture Night brought together a diverse and talented array of local artists, performers, groups and creatives last Friday, as the county came together in person to celebrate the annual national event, which this year, more than ever, was eagerly anticipated and keenly welcomed.

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Kevin Barry’s death mask now on public display at Carlow County Museum

Kevin Barry of Tombeagh, County Carlow, was executed just over one hundred years ago on the 1st November 1920 in Mountjoy Gaol, Dublin, for his role in the Irish War of Independence.

Kevin was just 18 years old when he was hanged, in what was the first execution since the 1916 Rising. Both these events lead to his death receiving near worldwide coverage. Last November, exactly one hundred years after of that fateful day, his nephew, Kevin Barry, along with his wife Evelyn and their daughter Niamh visited Carlow County Museum and in a private ceremony, laid a wreath to commemorate the anniversary of his execution.

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Carlow ‘Hopes to Hop’ again in 2022


A group, in white shirts, participating in the Hopping Procession with packed streets looking on

Today, on what is traditionaly know as Whit Tuesday, would under normal circumstances, see the town of Echternach, Luxembourg, hosting many thousands of people as they take part in the annual @UNESCO World Heritage Status ‘hopping procession’ (D’Iechternacher Sprangprëssessioun). The procession is held annually in honour of St Willibrord, Patron Saint of Luxembourg and the First Apostle of the Netherlands and the founder of Echternach Abbey.

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Carlow County Museum is delighted to welcome our visitors back.

However, the health and safety of our visitors and staff is our greatest concern. With that in mind we would ask you to please take a moment to familiarise yourself with our Reopening Guidelines below before you visit. Please scroll for general admission information and details about the available timeslots.

Admission remains FREE but pre-booking will be an essential requirement. You can book your place by phoning the Museum on 059-9131554 or emailing museum@carlowcoco.ie

Opening Hours and available timeslots

Carlow County Museum and Tourist Office will be opened from Monday to Friday, 10.00am – 12.30pm, with last admission at 12 noon; and 2.00pm – 4.30pm, with last admission at 4.00pm.

In order to make the visit safe for visitors and staff you will be asked to choose one of these time slots for your time of arrival:

For the 10.00am to 12.30pm opening hours, the visiting slots are:

10.00am; 10.20am, 10.40am, 11.00am, 11.20am, 11.40am and 12 noon.

Last admission is 12.00 noon to allow visitors to view the exhibits, complete their tour and allow the Museum to undertake necessary Covid-19 protocols.

For the 2.00pm to 4.30pm opening hours, the visiting slots are:

2.00pm; 2.20pm, 2.40pm, 3.00pm, 3.20pm, 3.40pm and 4.00pm.

The Museum will not be opened at Weekends or Bank Holidays for the present.

Group sizes will be limited to six people from a family or social unit. For the moment we will not be facilitating larger group bookings, such as school groups, at this time due to physical distancing requirements.

Last admission is 4.00pm to allow visitors to view the exhibits, complete their tour and allow the Museum to undertake necessary Covid-19 protocols.

Pre-Booking Requirements

Your booking will be the only booking for that time slot. Visitors can pre-book their visits by phoning or emailing the museum. In order to confirm a booking, they will have to provide a contact name, address, telephone/ mobile number and email of at least one member of the visiting party. This is for Covid-19 contact tracing and for us to send an email confirming the booking and the Covid-19 protocols and conditions that the visitors must follow when they arrive at the Museum.

At the time of booking the lead visitor must confirm that all members of the group are well, do not have a cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath or breathing difficulties in the last two weeks. That all members have not knowingly come into contact with a person who has been required to undergo testing, awaiting results of a test or has tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19). That all members are not waiting to undergo testing, awaiting results of a test or has tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19) within the past two weeks. That all members have not been told to self-isolate within the past two weeks. That all members have not travelled to Ireland from abroad within the past two weeks and should be in quarantine. Anyone answering Yes to these questions will not be admitted.

Arrival at Carlow County Museum

Visitors will present themselves at the Museum at the required time where they will be met by a member of the Museum staff. The Museum staff member will check the details, ask the lead visitor to confirm there are no changes in their Covid-19 circumstances and to re-outline the Museum’s Covid-19 protocols. 

Carlow County Council, Carlow County Museum’s parent body, are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. Any personal information which you provide to us will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 – 2018. To allow for Public Health Requirements, the contact information and Coronavirus answers you provide will be disposed of within 21 days.

Health and Safety Protocols during your visit

Hand sanitising points have been installed throughout the Museum.

Sanitary facilities and contact-sensitive areas such as doors and handles, are thoroughly sanitised several times a day.

The exhibition spaces have been given specific routing to avoid contact with visitors walking in the opposite direction. This is also why the entrance and exit to the museum are kept separate. All routes along with the exit are clearly indicated by means of arrows and signs.

The rules for social distancing apply in Carlow County Museum; our entire set-up is aimed at ensuring that you can comfortably maintain the desired distance of at least 2 metres.

Every visitor is required to wear a face mask for the duration of their visit. Our staff will be shielded behind a perspex screen at reception and will wear face masks when in the galleries.

The COVID-19 Safety Charter

The COVID-19 Safety Charter is a Government-endorsed initiative to reinforce confidence in domestic and overseas visitors in Irish tourism businesses. The COVID-19 Safety Charter is designed to give comfort and reassurance to our visitors and employees that Carlow County Museum is operating safely.

Fáilte Ireland has issued sector specific guidelines for tourism and hospitality businesses to guide us in how best to meet the Government’s public health advice; by being awarded this Charter, we and all our employees are agreeing to follow the recommended guidelines for the tourism and hospitality sector.

We can confirm that our employees have completed COVID-19 hygiene and safety control training as set out in the Terms & Conditions of the Charter which includes:

  • A clear understanding of the COVID-19 infection; 
  • An awareness of their role in and responsibility for helping prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus; 
  • A clear understanding of standard precautions surrounding infection control; 
  • A clear understanding of the correct hand-washing techniques and practices; 
  • A clear understanding of how to apply this knowledge to their place of work.

The Safety Charter demonstrates to our visitors and employees that we, as a tourism attraction, are operating in line with current Government public health advice and with safety and cleaning protocols in place.

The Covid-19 Safety Charter is endorsed by Fáilte Ireland and the Government of Ireland.

Our Contact Details

If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on any of the below:


Carlow County Museum & Carlow Tourist Office,
College Street,
Carlow Town,
Co. Carlow,
R93 E3T2,


+353 (059) 9131554




For regular updates please follow our social media channels or subscribe to our Museum Newsletter by clicking here.

A copy of our COVID-19 Visitor Guidelines can be downloaded below.

Carlow County Museum is Presented with Interim Museum Accreditation Standard award (MSPI)

The Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) Award Winners 2020

“it is a very high honour for the Museum to be awarded this prestigious accreditation and congratulations to all involved.”

Cllr. Ken Murnane, Chairperson of the Board of Carlow County Museum, 2021
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A Look Back at Carlow GAA by Paul Donaghy (RIP), August 2009

“Consider the GAA Community the Original Band of Brothers”


Preamble: In August 2009, Carlow GAA celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the founding of the GAA with a magnificent exhibition in Netwatch Cullen Park in partnership with Carlow County Museum and the Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society. The exhibition was launched by Christy Cooney, Uachtarán Cumann Luthcleas Gael. As part of the exhibition Paul Donaghy, well know Carlow sports journalist and supporter of the exhibition, then writing for the Carlow People and formerly of the Carlow Nationalist, was asked to write a short summary piece of Carlow GAA. In his immutable style Paul wrote the following excellent expressive summary.

The stand at Netwatch Cullen Park
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Rath Melsigi Cross Restored and Friendship Agreement Signed

Ivan Healy, Honorary Consul General to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Yves Wengler, Mayor of Echternach and Cllr. John Pender, Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council unveil the restored early medieval Cross of Rath Melsigi

From Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th of August 2019 County Carlow welcomed a delegation from Echternach, Luxembourg, led by Yves Wengler, Mayor of Echternach, as part of the ongoing renewal of friendship between both areas. The highlights of the visit were the unveiling of the restored early medieval Cross of Rath Melsigi (CW012-025002) and the signing of a Friendship Agreement between both Councils.

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Scéal na Gaeilge i gCeatharlach The Story of the Irish Language in Carlow (2014)

Scéal na Gaeilge i gCeatharlach

I 2014, chuir Músaem Contae Cheatharlach i gcomhar le Glór Cheatharlach an taispeántas “Scéal na Gaeilge i gCeatharlach, The Story of the Irish Language in Carlow” i láthair. Dhírigh an taispeántas ar an tréimhse ó 1899 go 2014. Tá an taispeántas sealadach seo curtha i gcrích.

Ó bhunú Conradh na Gaeilge in 1899 le Mícheál Ó hAnracháin, a cuireadh chun báis níos déanaí dá pháirt in Éirí Amach 1916, go dtí Féilte Pan-Cheilteacha 2012 agus ’13 tá an Ghaeilge tar éis dul ó neart go neart i gCeatharlach. Le dhá bhua náisiúnta i nGlór na nGael agus 35 bliain d’Fhéile Ealaíon Éigse Cheatharlach, bunscoileanna agus meánscoileanna móra a bhfuil an-tóir orthu, tá an Ghaeilge mar dhlúthchuid de shaol laethúil Cheatharlach.

Tá an íomhá © cóipcheart Mhúsaem Contae Cheatharlach.
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‘Mike the Man of the Rás ’73’ (May – October 2013)

‘Mike the Man of the Rás ‘73’ exhibition was developed by Carlow County Museum to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Carlovian Mike O’Donaghue winning Ireland’s great international bike race the Rás Tailteann in 1973. This temporary exhibition has concluded but parts of the exhibition have been incorporated into the main museum exhibitions.

Mike O’Donaghue pictured during the 1967 Rás Tailteann wearing the Carlow jersey sponsored by Corcoran & Co. Ltd. Photo courtesy of Mike O’Donaghue
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