While Ireland rightly honours our London 2012 gold medallist Katie Taylor, the Louth County Museum in Dundalk is celebrating acquiring the memorabilia of the country’s first female Olympian, Beatrice Hill-Lowe, a native of Louth.
The collection which includes a 1908 Bronze Olympic medal for Archery, a competitor pin badge and a competitors medal has arrived at the County Museum in Dundalk and will remain there as part of the ‘Patriot Games: Ireland and the Olympics 1896-2010’ before being transferred to Ardee Castle in Ms Hill-Lowe’s hometown, following the completion of renovation works there.
Over 100 years ago, Beatrice Hill-Lowe competed in the 1908 games - winning a Bronze for Archery. At the time, Ireland was not allowed to enter an official team at the Olympics and so Ms Lowe competed on the Great Britain team. She competed in the Archery event, the only Olympic event open to women as they were only allowed compete in a sport whilst fully clothed.
The collection which became available following this year’s London Olympic Games will now take pride of place at the Museum’s current exhibition.
The exhibition, the only one of its kind in Ireland, and which has received approval from the Olympic Council of Ireland was officially opened in June by Olympian Ronnie Delany.
Speaking on the latest acquisition, Museum Curator Brian Walsh said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have acquired Ms Lowe’s memorabilia. This is, after all, the women who paved the way for Irish medallists such as Katie Taylor and who we are proud to say was a Louth woman.
“It will take pride of place in our popular exhibition ‘Patriot Games: Ireland and the Olympics 1896-2010’ but I am delighted to say it will eventually make its way to Ardee when the Castle renovations are completed.
“Over a century later and Beatrice Hill Lowe’s medal will return to her home town of Ardee”.
‘Patriot Games: Ireland and the Olympics 1896-2010’ continues at the County Museum, Dundalk.