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The new ‘Lisburn 1918-23’ exhibition opens at the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum

The new ‘Lisburn 1918-23’ exhibition opens at the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum

July 3, 2017

A major new exhibition detailing the events in Lisburn from Armistice (1918) to the unveiling of the town’s war memorial in 1923 recently opened at the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum.

It is open to the public Monday to Saturday, 9.30am -5.00pm and entry is free.  The display includes rare and unusual material relating to the August 1920 ‘Swanzy Riots’, which saw much of Lisburn burned. 

‘Lisburn 1918-23, Community Conflict and Commemoration after the Great War’ is the final display in the Museum’s now complete First World War exhibition series.  The Series also includes the popular Lisburn, 1912-1915; Rising Voices: Lisburn at Easter, 1916; and The Somme, Our Story. 

At the opening Mayor, Councillor Tim Morrow commended the Museum for taking on this ‘difficult’ aspect of the town’s shared history. He remarked: “One hundred years on it is important to be able to look dispassionately at the trials and tribulations of our divided society as it emerged from the Great War, and learn from them.”

The Exhibition documents the rich history of Lisburn and the surrounding area during a turbulent period in the history of Ireland using rare photographs, letters, artefacts, books and uniforms. 

Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure and Community Development Committee, praised the exhibition’s focus on ‘the experiences of local people and organisations affected by the War’.  He said: “This exhibition would not have been possible without the generous support received from the people of Lisburn and further afield who contributed to its content by donating to the Museum’s collection.”

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Peace Day celebrations and the erection of the Cenotaph in Market Square
  • The story of the 1918 election, and the granting of the votes for women
  • The assassination of RIC District Inspector Swanzy in Market Square, and the sectarian ‘burning’ of Lisburn that followed the murder.
  • The foundation of Northern Ireland
  • Unveiling the Nicholson statue, the War Memorial, and the commemoration of Lisburn’s Great War dead.

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