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Museum Offers Once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity!

Galway City Museum currently have on loan, for a short time only, one of the most important medieval Irish legal manuscripts ever written called The Book of O’Davoren. It was written in the Irish-language by scribes between 1564 and 1570 for the Co. Clare lawyer Donal O’Davoren, much of it at the MacEgan law school, near Tuam, Co. Galway.  Some of the scribes were old, some were young and some were cranky – leaving small notes and doodles in page margins complaining about boredom, hunger or each other!

Two of the three surviving parts of this special manuscript are currently on loan to Galway City Museum from Royal Irish Academy, Dublin and the British Library, London.  These prestigious documents form the highlight of a brand new exhibition called Keepers of the Gael which explores Gaelic society and culture in Ireland between 1200 and 1600 AD.

The largest surviving part, known as Egerton 88, has not been back in Ireland in almost 200 years and will be returned back to its permanent home in the British Library, London in January 2020! An close-up image of one of the pages from this book can be seen here, courtesy of the British Library.

Galway City Museum would like to invite the public to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the manuscript back in Galway, the county in which it was written.  They are offering short tours to schools about this special book and about manuscript production in general.  A new Museum Explorers Activity Trail has been designed to compliment the ‘Keepers of the Gael’ exhibition.  Aimed at ages 8+ or 3rd-6th classes, explorers need to find and follow the trees numbered 1 to 14, working together with parents/guardians/teachers to find the answers.  You’ll need to search, look, draw, imagine, make sounds and even pull faces to complete the trail.  Get your copy at the museum reception or download from the ‘Resources’ section of this website.



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