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The museum teaches visitors about the original ‘Almshouses’, retirement homes, in Waterford City. Patrick Browne
dead interesting

A museum about death has just opened in Waterford

The Irish Wake Museum was opened today by Minister Darragh O’Brien today in Waterford city.

THE IRISH WAKE Museum, a museum about traditions and superstitions around death in Ireland, opened today in Co Waterford.

The museum displays an array of objects associated with death in Ireland that the Waterford Museum of Treasures has been collecting for 10 years.

It offers an opportunity to experience rituals that are unique to Ireland’s relationship with death through guided tours.

The museum was opened by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien today in Waterford city. 

The minister acknowledged the work of the Waterford Museum of Treasures and the various patrons and historians who helped put the display together.

Mayor of Waterford John O’Leary said the heritage around wakes in Ireland bring communities together and “it is a time to grieve together but it is also a celebration of life”.

The museum teaches visitors about the original ‘Almshouses’, retirement homes, in Cathedral Square of Waterford City and provides guided tour of an Irish wake.

photograph-patrick-browne Tour guide and "funeral director" Jamie Murphy. Patrick Browne / Irish Wake Museum Patrick Browne / Irish Wake Museum / Irish Wake Museum

Director of Waterford Treasures Eamonn McNeaney said: “The Irish Wake is one of the iconic parts of our national culture and visitors will get to experience a sense of this at The Irish Wake Museum as we trace the customs, traditions and superstitions associated with death from the earliest times to the 20th century.”

The Irish Wake Museum located at the former Dean John Collyn’s Almshouse called ‘God’s People’s House’ which was founded in 1478, on the Day of the Dead.

The occupants of the former Almshouses paid for their keep by praying three times a night for the souls of its patrons and the souls of the deceased citizens of Waterford. 

Tickets for the museum start at €11 and the tours are 50-minutes-long.

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