The Irish Agricultural Museum is housed in the former farm buildings of Johnstown Castle Estate. The collection was started by Dr Austin O’Sullivan in the early 1970s prompted by the need to preserve material evidence relating to agriculture and rural life in general in Ireland. Following a meeting with the leaders of some of the National rural organisations (including the Irish Farmers Association, Macra Na Feirme and Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) a company in the form of a non-trading co-operative was incorporated in 1976 with TJ Maher (President of IFA) as Chairman and the rural organisations as patrons. FBD (Farm Business Developments), Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade, the Irish Farm Accounts Co-operative and National Ploughing Association came on board a short while later. The newly formed company helped further the aims of the museum – to generate a holistic approach to the history of Irish agriculture, encompassing all aspects of farming and rural life ranging from working the land to running the household.
The museum, which was officially opened by President Hillery in 1979, has greatly enlarged since its early days and the displays now occupy around 1,600 square metres of gallery space. It attracts around 15,000 paying visitors per annum and is a registered museum.
The museum is managed by Matt Wheeler supported by a Commercial & Events Manager and team of Technicians and Visitor Services staff.
Board of the Irish Agricultural Museum (Johnstown Castle) Ltd
- Peter Miller, Chairman
- Dr Austin O’Sullivan, Secretary
- Willie Murphy, Treasurer
- Edward Barrington
- Sean Carroll
- Nicholas Cowman
- Lisa McDonald
- Peadar Murphy
- Eamonn O’Rourke
- Peter Pearson
- Joe Ryan
- Jim Winters
We rely mainly on admissions to operate. Donations are therefore always welcomed as are offers of patronage and voluntary assistance. Patronage plays a vital role in securing the continuation and improvement of exhibitions and facilities for all to enjoy. By becoming a Patron of the Irish Agricultural Museum you can help us to promote and preserve our Irish rural heritage for future generations.
The Irish Agricultural Museum would like to thank the following Patrons of the Museum for their ongoing support:-
- Environmental Protection Agency
- FBD Trust Company
- Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd
- IFAC Accountants
- Irish Farmers Association
- Macra Na Feirme