Derry City & Strabane - Mayor visits Guildhall, Tower Museum and Alley Theatre after reopening




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Mayor visits Guildhall, Tower Museum and Alley Theatre after reopening

25 May 2021

Following the easing of NI restrictions, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, attended the reopening of the Tower Museum, Guildhall and Alley Theatre this week.

From Monday, indoor visitor attractions were permitted to reopen, and Mayor Tierney visited each of the Council facilities to hear more about the COVID-19 safety measures in place, and about the exhibitions and attractions available for visitors.

The Tower Museum have launched two exhibitions – 'Shirts, Singers & Sewing' which centres around the city's famous shirt factories, and the Colmcille 1500 exhibition which is part of the celebrations of the 1500th anniversary of the birth of Colmcille. The Colmcille 1500 exhibition is in partnership with Donegal County Council and is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Content also continues to be available online on the Tower Museum website, including the 'Dividing Ireland – The origins, impact and legacy of partition' exhibition which had been in the museum from July 2020 until February 2021.

A virtual tour of the exhibition is available, exploring how events at home and around Europe from 1912 to 1922 oversaw monumental changes to the political and social structures of the island of Ireland. The exhibition explores some of those events through objects and documents in the Museum's collection.

The Dividing Ireland exhibition is part of the Understanding the Decade of Commemorations project, supported by the European Union's PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). The project is match-funded by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

At the Alley Theatre, an exhibition on Brian O'Nolan, known as Flann O'Brien, has opened which brings together some of the museum collections relating to the Strabane man. It gives a glimpse of the importance of his life as a novelist, playwright and satirist and highlights how he came to be considered as one of the major literary figures in twentieth century Irish literature.

There is also another exhibition on show titled 'Loving Life' which is a beautiful collection of both watercolour paintings and hand embroidered pieces created by Strabane native Pauline Norry.

Other services available within the Alley Theatre include the Strabane Visitor Information Centre, Box Office and Studio 1 Craft Collective.

Visitors to the Guildhall can view the Plantation of Ulster exhibition as well as other historic features of the famous 'Heart of the City'.

Mayor Brian Tierney said he was delighted to see the buildings reopen to the public and encouraged everyone to pay a visit.

"I'm really delighted that we are now in a place where we are able to reopen the Tower Museum, the Guildhall and the Alley Theatre which all play a big role in our local history and culture scene.

"All three have fantastic exhibitions, displays and artefacts and I would encourage everyone, be it with your family or with a group of friends, to pay a visit. We are so fortunate to have these facilities on our own doorsteps and I think there's a lot of locals, myself included, who could definitely learn a few things from visiting that we never knew before.

"I want to thank our Council officers who, even during the lockdown period, continued to run a fantastic programme of talks and exhibitions virtually, and there is still a wide range of content online for the public to enjoy.

"The team have also been working extremely hard to refresh the exhibitions within our facilities and to ensure all the measures are in place to safely welcome visitors back so why not pop in."

The Tower Museum is open from 9am to 5.30pm every day (last entry 4pm). The museum is self-guided but guided tours can be booked in advance.

The Guildhall is open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm (last entry 7pm) and 9am to 6pm (last entry 5pm) on Saturdays and Sundays. Guided tours can also be booked in advance.

The Alley Theatre is open from 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

To view the Tower Museum's Dividing Ireland exhibition, visit


The Mayor, Councillor Brian Tierney with Factory girls Mary White, Mary Doherty and Clare Moore, pictured at the opening of the Shirts, Singers and Sewing exhibition in Derry City and Strabane District Council's Tower Museum with Archivist, Bernadette Walsh and Helen Quigley, Chief Executive, Inner City Trust. Picture Martin McKeown.


The Mayor Councillor Brian Tierney who was on hand to welcome visitors, Katie Sewell and Mark Hogan to the Guildhall as the building reopened in line with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Picture Martin McKeown.


Pictured at the opening of the Colmcille Man and Myths exhibition in Derry City and Strabane District Council's Tower Museum with the Mayor, Councillor Brian Tierney, are Roisin Murphy, Curator, Denise and Brian Ferran, whose art features in the exhibition, David Lewis from the Nerve Centre, exhibition designer, Deirdre Harte, Colmcille 1500 and Bernadette Walsh, Archivist. Picture Martin McKeown.


Mayor Brian Tierney with Roisin Doherty, Curator, Tower Museum, visiting the Flann O'Brien exhibition currently on display at the Alley Theatre. (Photo: Raymond McCarron)


Mayor Brian Tierney and Exhibition Curator Pat McCabe with Pauline Norry at Pauline's exhibition 'Loving Life' which is currently on display in the Alley Theatre. (Photo: Raymond McCarron)


Jaqueline Doherty, Alley Theatre manager, and her staff join Mayor Brian Tierney outside the re-opened Alley Theatre. (Photo: Raymond McCarron)