Europeana Sport – Ireland’s Stories

Celebrating Europeana Sport this summer at the Fethard Horse Country Experience


Europeana Sport – Ireland’s Stories asks people to dig out their sporting memorabilia and contribute to Europeana Sport, a European project on the culture and history of sport.


Europeana Sport – Ireland’s Stories will show the richness and diversity of sporting history in Ireland and amongst the Irish overseas through the collection of stories and memorabilia from fans, players, enthusiasts, past sporting heroes and heroines. These memories will be juxtaposed with those of other countries across Europe showing our similarities and differences but through the decades our mutual love of sport in all its forms.


People can share their stories and memorabilia online or work with a volunteer via the phone or online to tell their stories and send in their photos of past medals, jerseys, triumphs, programmes, hurley sticks, rugby boots, trophies, diaries etc.


In the words of two our Rugby internationals:


Aoife McDermott, Irish National Rugby Team: “I am very excited to experience sport in this way, the memories and stories each item will tell will be incredibly unique. I am particularly interested in the rugby history that will unfold and hearing some of the untold stories”


And Duncan Casey, former Munster and Grenoble player who commented:  “I am really looking forward to the Rugby related stories and seeing the objects people have stashed away and love the idea that they will be linked with similar stories across Europe. Sport is so much part of Irish cultural heritage it will be wonderful for us to share our memories.”


Under the common banner of Europeana Sport – Ireland’s Stories, six coordinating partners from across Ireland – Digital Repository of Ireland, EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum, European Expo2020, Hunt Museum, University of Limerick Conference & Sports Campus and Fethard Horse Country Experience (FHCE) – are each undertaking campaigns focusing on specific sports e.g. camogie, Gaelic football, horse-racing, fishing, martial arts, tag rugby, rowing. Campaigns will start in late May 2020. The campaigns will engage with local communities and enhance local archives, at the same time as helping to improve the mental health of all involved.


Normally these collections take place at physical events at which materials are digitised and stories recorded but there is huge community benefit in relieving the current social isolation through virtual contact and in occupying a little bit of spare time in finding the memorabilia.


Over the summer, more partners from galleries, libraries, archives and museums will be asked to take part to increase the speed, breadth and numbers of contributions, including NUIG and the LIttle Museum.  Ireland is the first country to kick off the Europeana Sport Collections.   It will boost the Irish presence in Europeana and give us a head start for Europeana’s scheduled Autumn campaign.


People across Ireland can go to the Europeana Sport Contribution Form: to upload their stories online. Organisations interested in participating should contact the coordinators via


Press Contacts: Jill Cousins – / t. 0876025876 or Killian Downing / t. 0857145963 for further information and photos.

Project Contact:  Kathryn Cassidy – / t. 0868504163


Editorial Note:

The initial partners are:


Digital Repository of Ireland

The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is a national trusted digital repository for Ireland’s humanities, social sciences, and cultural heritage data. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, and provides a centralised discovery and access portal. The DRI also acts as the National Aggregator to Europeana.


EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum –

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is a state-of-the-art interactive experience located in the beautiful vaults of the 1820 Custom House Quarter building in Dublin’s Docklands, the original departure point for so many of Ireland’s emigrants. Featuring personal stories of love, triumph, adventure and adversity, it highlights and celebrates the positive impact and influence of Irish emigrants around the world, including two Galleries dedicated to Irish sports and players abroad.  Described as one of Ireland’s National Treasures, EPIC was named Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction in the 2019 World Travel Awards. For more information please visit or search #EPICmuseum online.



Europeana is Europe’s platform for digital cultural heritage, empowering cultural heritage institutions to share their collections with the world.  Through the Europeana collections website, millions of cultural heritage items from around 4,000 institutions across Europe are available online. We work to share and promote this heritage so that it can be used and enjoyed by people across the world.  Our work contributes to an open, knowledgeable and creative society. The Europeana Foundation is the organisation tasked by the European Commission with developing a digital cultural heritage platform for Europe.

Europeana DSI is co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility.



The European Expo tells why the European Union remains important and relevant to its citizens.  European Expo 2020 is running campaigns promoting how Europe has benefitted the Irish and vice versa through events, exhibitions, seminars over the course of 2020 that celebrate national and European culture and cooperation, with the European Investment Bank art exhibition, Belonging, at its core. Our programme:  The European Expo is looking to travel across Europe to previous Capitals of Culture in the coming years


FHCE Fethard Horse Country Experience 

FHCE is an interactive digital experience, focussing on the horse and its relationship to the Medieval landscape and people of the Golden Vale in Ireland’s Ancient East. The experience is housed in the 17th century Tholsel building at the heart of Fethard, an Irish Medieval walled town, part of the Irish Walled Town Network. The Golden Vale is home to Coolmore Stud Farm, recognised as leading the world in thoroughbred horses. A visit to Coolmore in conjunction with the FHCE offers a unique insight into the continued significance of the horse in Ireland.


The Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum holds one of Ireland’s greatest private collections of Art and Antiquities, dating from the Neolithic Period to the 20th century. Donated by John and Gertrude Hunt to the people of Ireland, this diverse collection is now housed in Limerick’s 18th Century Palladian style building, formerly The Custom House. The majority of the collection is openly available under public domain licenses and increasingly digitised in 3D to serve education, research and innovation.  The community near and wide is integral to the success of the museum.


University of Limerick Conference & Sports Campus

The University of Limerick prides itself on encouraging and welcoming everyone to participate in activities, utilizing the Olympic village style accommodation across 2700 bedrooms, world class sport and cultural facilities in an all-inclusive environment. The University has its own dedicated event, sports & traffic management team who have a wealth of expertise of hosting large meetings and events. Our team has an excellent reputation of supporting and working very closely with event committees in planning and organising events to ensure their success.”