Today (22nd June) the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Alderman Stephen Martin opened the new exhibition at the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum.  The exhibition is entitled ‘Planting a Parliament: partition and the foundation of Northern Ireland, 1920-22’ (also available online).

Mayor Martin was joined at a special preview by Lady Mary Peters LG CH, Councillor Sharon Skillen, Chair of the Leisure & Community Development Committee together with members of the Council’s cross-party NI Centenary Working Group.

Opening the exhibition, Mayor Martin said: “This exhibition has captured the history of Lisburn through a range of precious photos and artefacts which tell stories of the linen industry, education and sport 100 years ago. The project includes an original programme for the state opening of the very first NI Parliament on 22nd June 1921, an extremely rare ticket and an order of service for the King’s visit that day. It is a must-see and I would encourage everyone to engage.

“I would like to thank the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum team for their hard work in bringing the story of Northern Ireland’s transformation to life. I am delighted to declare the exhibition officially open.”

Councillor Sharon Skillen, Chair of the Leisure & Community Development Committee added: “I am delighted that the museum is open again. Over the past month, it has been wonderful to welcome many visitors back through our doors. With a range of measures in place, we can all enjoy what the museum has to offer safely. We are all part of the history of Northern Ireland and here at the museum, we want to capture every moment. We would love you to leave your comments and thoughts with us so our colleagues 100 years from now can reflect back on present events.”

Councillor Scott Carson, Chair of the Council’s Cross Party Centenary Working Group said: “The exhibition here today is just one of a range of wonderful events and initiatives organised by the Council’s Centenary Working Group. It has been great to see the programme come together, celebrating the lives of our 100-year-old residents, our centenary babies, commemorative tree planting, historic lectures and much more.

“The exhibition is one of 39 projects funded through the Shared History Fund, which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is delivering on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to mark the Centenary in an engaging, inclusive and thoughtful way.”

Mukesh Sharma, Chair, Northern Ireland, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “We’re delighted to support Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council through the Shared History Fund. This is one of 39 projects, which will help people to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland in a creative, thoughtful and inclusive way. Our Centenary Programme continues throughout the year and you can see full details on our website www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/resident/centenary.”

The exhibition is open to the public from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday from 22nd June until spring 2022.  Those visiting are encouraged to follow the safety measures in place to protect staff and customers.