A Louth exhibition on the life and works of John Philip Holland provided the backdrop for an international coin launch commemorating the inventor of the submarine.
The Central Bank launched the €15 coin at the Maritime Institute in Oranmore, Galway.
However, the use of the County Museum’s updated exhibition panels for the event has created a nationwide interest with curator Brian Walsh receiving a number of requests for the exhibition to be featured at numerous venues and events in the coming months.
The John Philip Holland exhibition originally opened in the earlier years of the County Museum, with Louth celebrating its links to the man who taught at Christian Brothers Schools in both Dundalk and Drogheda.
Even from the early years, the exhibition attracted much interest in marine history circles.
In 2000, the exhibition travelled to the Heritage Centre in Cobh, Cork for events marking the 100th anniversary of the purchase and commissioning by the US Government of Holland’s Underwater Torpedo Boat No 6.
Brian Walsh explained how the Louth Holland exhibition has taken to the road again.
“In April/May, we received a request in relation to our exhibition on John Philip Holland”, said County Museum curator Brian.
“We were more than happy to be involved with the Central Bank’s coin launch, although the exhibition panels did need some work to update them.
“The panels were taken to Oranmore for the event and created a very interesting conversation piece and backdrop for the official coin launch.
“The Marine Institute now want to keep a permanent record of the panels via its website”, Brian explained. “There have been requests for the panels to be exhibited at a number of venues including the Maritime Museum in Dublin.”
Brian added that he and his colleagues in the Museum are delighted with the renewed interest in the exhibition.
“It is very satisfying that we have created an exhibition for our own Museum, with a strong link to our own community here in Dundalk, and to Drogheda”, said the curator. “But, to see how it fits in seamlessly and enhances events, commemorations and so on in other locations around the country, is a sign that we are getting the most from the work we do.”
John Philip Holland developed the first submarine to be formally commissioned by the US Navy, and the first Royal Navy submarine, the Holland 1.