In this Section -
Ireland's oldest arts charity
Who are the Friends?
The Friends of the National Collections of Ireland were founded in 1924 by the painter Sarah Purser and a group of friends for the purpose of acquiring works of art and objects of historical interest and donating them to national and regional art galleries and museums throughout Ireland for the education and enjoyment of the public.
We also advise on and administer gifts and bequests. The Friends are a registered charity for tax purposes (Charity No. CHY 5214).
During the year, the Friends organise visits to houses and places not usually open to the public in order to see their collections, as well as an annual garden party and a Christmas lunch and other events.
Although in recent years many public museums and galleries in Ireland have established their own association of friends to assist their work, the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland are the only body with the aim of benefitting all museums and galleries throughout the island of Ireland, and have been doing so for almost a century.
What have the Friends done?
The Friends have presented over 800 works, dating from the 14 th century to the present day, to public collections all over Ireland. These include paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, carvings, silver, textiles, stained glass, ceramics, books, manuscripts and furniture.
Among the places which have benefited from the FNCI donations are:
Armagh, The Aran Islands, Ballyjamesduff, Belfast, Clare, Clonmel, Cork, Derry, Drogheda, Down County Museum, Dublin (The Abbey Theatre, The Civic Museum, Clondalkin, Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane, The Irish Architectural Archive, The Irish Jewish Museum, The National Gallery, The National Library. The National Museum, The Royal Hibernian Academy, The Royal Irish Academy), Dungarvan, Enniscorthy, Fermanagh, Galway, Killarney, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Limerick, Malahide Castle, Monaghan, Newry, Sligo, St. Patrick’s College (Maynooth), Waterford, Wexford.
Click on Donations to see some of our gifts to Ireland's galleries and museums.
For more information about the FNCI and a more detailed description of the national and public collections with a full list of the works donated to them (1924-99), see:
Harold Clarke and Aidan O’Flanagan (eds.), 75 years of giving, The Friends of the National Collections of Ireland, works of art donated by the Friends to the Public Collections of Ireland(Dublin, 1999).
This beautiful publication celebrating 75 years of the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland can be read Here.
The Future of Collecting in Ireland is the report of the proceedings of a Workshop held by the FNCI at the Royal Irish Academy in September 2014 to mark the 90th Anniversary of the foundation of the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland.
Officers and Council;
Patron The President of Ireland, Mr Michael D. Higgins
President Dr John Turpin
Vice Presidents Mr Matthew Russell
The Earl of Iveagh
Honorary Secretary Ms June Lattimore
Honorary Treasurer Dr Michael Burns
Trustees Mrs Carmencita Hederman
Ms Geraldine O'Connor
Mr. Dermott Barrett, Dr Marie Bourke, Ms Jennifer Waldron-Lynch,
Ms Mia Craig, Miranda, Lady Broadbent, Dr John Turpin,
Dr Hilary Carey, Ms Anne Kearney-Farrelly, Dr Abdul Bulbulia,
Mr John Coleman, The Earl of Iveagh, Dr Michael Burns,
Mr Arthur Duff, Ms Christina Kennedy, Mr John Kelly,
Ms June Lattimore, Ms Marie-Louise Martin, Mr Peter Pearson,
Mr Eamonn Mc Eneaney, Ms Erika O Reilly, Dr Kieran O Conor,
Sir Anthony O Reilly, Mr Colum O Riordan, Mr George Stacpoole
Mr Matthew Russell
Visits and Events Miranda, Lady Broadbent
Sub-committee Ms Mia Craig
Ms Anne Kearney Farrelly
Mr John Kelly
Acquisitions Sub-committee Mr Matthew Russell
Mr Dermott Barrett
Dr John Turpin
Dr Hilary Carey
Dr Abdul Bulbulia
Membership Sub-committee Mrs Jennifer Waldron-Lynch
Mr Dermott Barrett
Ms Erika O'Reilly
Website Sub-committee Mr John Kelly
Mr Colum O'Riordan