Galway City museum celebrated the 300th anniversary of the reliquary of St. Ursula, 1723 -2023. It was donated by the Dominican Sisters Taylor’s Hill to the museum in 2022.
Much research has been done on relics and reliquaries in recent years by Mr. Raghnall Ó Floinn, former director of the National Museum of Ireland and Dr. Dagmar Ó Riain- Raedel, a former member of the History Dept. Cork University. The fruit of their research was generously shared with those who gathered at the museum for this occasion.
Eithne Verling, Museum Director, on behalf of the museum thanked the Dominican Sisters of Taylor’s Hill for the donation of the reliquary and other generous donations made to the museum in recent years.
The restored textiles originally donated to the museum in 2011 will be on display when the extension to the museum is completed. Sr. Margaret Joyce’s altar frontal has been included in two documentaries recorded in the museum by the BBC and by RTE for a programme entitled Hidden Treasures. We will get the date of the broadcast.
As this special occasion came to an end all participants at the event were treated to a much appreciated light lunch, courtesy of the staff of Galway City Museum.
The reliquary contains the reputed remains of the skull of St Ursula, a fourth century martyr. The relic was donated to Sr. Margaret Rosary Joyce of the Dominican community in Galway. On its arrival in Galway this beautiful reliquary was made by Mr. Richard Joyce and donated to the community in June 1723.
Mr Joyce is the same silversmith who made the first Claddagh ring.
Dominican Sisters gathered in the museum to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the reliquary with the Director of the museum, Eithne Verling and the Collections Officer Helen Birmingham.