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Museum of Orange Heritage to reopen

The Museum of Orange Heritage at Schomberg House will reopen to the public on Tuesday, 15th of September at 10am.

The museum, which is based at the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s Cregagh Road headquarters, has been closed since mid-March due to Covid-19.

Curator Dr Jonathan Mattison and Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Outreach Officer David Scott get ready

The reopening has been eagerly anticipated and staff have been working hard in preparation for the big day, as Museum Curator Dr. Jonathan Mattison explains.

“We are delighted to confirm the reopening of the Museum of Orange Heritage on Tuesday, 15th of September after a break of six months,” he said.

“To coincide with the reopening, we are announcing the extension of the exciting exhibition tracing the history of the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland. This wonderful exhibition was launched just a matter of days before lockdown and will now run until the 11th of December.

“The Museum of Orange Heritage is of great importance when it comes to sharing the culture and heritage of the Orange Institution. But, like all other museums and tourist attractions, we had to close the doors in March as we played our part in battling Covid-19,” he said.

“We have lost six months of 2020 – especially the summer months which are perhaps our busiest in terms of footfall – and missed many events, such as our popular Boyne Day in August and of course the Twelfth of July.

“However, this was in line with the rest of the Orange Institution as we put our full energies into fighting the spread of Covid19 and making a contribution to communities all across Ulster.”

Dr Mattison explained that the museum will have limited opening initially, Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, with special measures in place to comply with Covid-19 regulations. Saturday opening will not recommence at this time.

He continued: “We will be taking every step possible to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff when the museum reopens.

“Social distancing markers and hand sanitisers will be clearly marked and placed throughout the museum galleries and we will be reminding all visitors on their arrival at Schomberg House of the need to respect the restrictions. They are in place to keep us all safe.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back to the museum and encourage everyone to support us in the weeks ahead.”

Anyone planning a visit to the Museum of Orange Heritage is advised to contact Schomberg House on 028 9070 1122 in advance to check availability as numbers in the galleries will be limited.

The announcement of the museum’s reopening comes ahead of Orange Heritage Week which takes place from 21st to 28th of September.

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