Museum of Mythological Water Beasts

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts is a multi-year project about, along and on the River Shannon. Co-curated by Niamh Brown and Mary Conlon, a series of walks, talks & workshops will kick off an open research process this Summer led by local artists, historians, monster-hunters, scientists and river-enthusiasts.

This first phase is kindly supported by Waterways Ireland.

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts #1
Clay mining with Artist-in-residence Mary Conroy
Saturday 5 August 2017, 2-4pm

Join us with Artist-in-Residence Mary Conroy from Wildroutes to explore the River Shannon from Plassey bank and to mine clay for ceramic material. The river bank at Plassey is teeming with local wildlife including indigenous and non-indigenous species. We will examine these along the way to form a library of patterns and textures for further clay-modelling workshops at Ormston House.

Please feel free to bring a picnic, trowel and waterproof shoes on the day!
Meeting point: 1pm at Ormston House (followed by public bus) or 2pm outside the University Concert Hall. Suitable for ages 16+

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts #2
Boat trip with Pat Lysaght & Ray O’Halloran
Thursday 10 August 2017, 7-9pm

Join Limerick boat-men Pat Lysaght & Ray O’Halloran for an evening tour on the river followed by story-telling about the river. This is a great opportunity to experience Limerick City, the Shannon and the Island Field by boat with these two local heroes.

Meeting point: Ormston House.
As places are limited, please book at

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts #3
Première screening of An Fharraige
Saturday 12 August 2017, 2-4pm

Local artist Emma Fisher (Beyond the Bark) and Niamh Lawlor (Púca Puppets) present the short film An Fharraige at Ormston House. Music and the rhythms of the sea transport an old woman to memories of her youth when her grandfather took her fishing. Dreams and reality mingle freely in a film inspired by The Old Man and The Sea and the stories of Seamus Ó Grianna.

Shot in Limerick and Kerry, this short film is a collaboration between Beyond the Bark, Púca Puppets, and musician Thomas Johnston who composed the original score and song, arranged here with Niamh Dunne and Seán Óg Graham.

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts #4
Water Beasts workshop with artist-in-residence Mary Conroy
Saturday 19 August 2017, 2-4pm

Ormston House will become a makers’ studio with artist-in-residence Mary Conroy for this Water Beasts workshop. Using clay mined from the Shannon riverbank, we will model three-dimensional tiles and sculptures based on images, descriptions and sightings of mythical water beasts.

Materials and tools will be provided. Suitable for ages 16+
As places are limited, please book at

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts #5
Archaeological treasures from the river
Thursday 24 August 2017, 2-4pm

Local historians Matthew Potter (Limerick City Museum) and Sharon Slater will bring us on a guided tour of objects recovered from an archaeological dig of the Shannon riverbed. Housed in the City’s Museum, these treasures bring to life different periods of Limerick’s social and political history.

Meeting point: Limerick City Museum, Henry Street.

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts #6
The Limerick Gandelow: a local wooden boat
Saturday 26 August 2017, 9-11am

Gary MacMahon (The Ilen Project) will give an introduction to the Limerick Gandalow – a local fishing and rowing boat whose quirky name and build style give rise to much speculation on a Venetian origin. Following a short talk, participants will be offered the opportunity to take a short trip on the river (weather permitting!) to experience their unique characteristics. These beautiful boats are made in The Ilen Project workshop within a community building programme.

Meeting point: Ormston House. Suitable for ages 16+
As places are limited, please book at

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts #7
Workspace Social with Same D4ence
Thursday 31 August 2017, 1-2pm

The Workspace Social is back! Ormston House welcomes Limerick hip-hop trio Same D4Ence to kick off the new season of socials with an informal talk about their music and A Beauty Named Shannon from the album Exclamation Marks!

Same D4Ence are Sizzler, Hazey Haze and MCB, a trio of rappers from The Island Field, Limerick City. When performing, they are joined by 4th member and Limerick local (DJ) D.Shii. They have released two EPs to date, available to preview and purchase here.

Don’t forget to bring your lunch!

The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts #8
Field trip to the sailing vessel Ilen in Skibbereen
Saturday 2 September 2017, 9am-6pm

The day will start with a short tour of The Ilen Project workshop in Roxboro followed by a bus trip to Skibbereen (approx. 3 hours each way) to visit the sailing vessel Ilen.

Designed by Limerick-man Conor O’Brien and built in Baltimore in 1926, the Ketch Ilen is the last of Ireland’s traditional wooden sailing ships, and is being rebuilt through a community programme of work. The vessel is expected to complete her rebuild in 2018 and thereafter sail to her new base, Limerick City.

Meeting point: The Ilen Project workshop, L.E.D.P., Roxboro. Suitable for ages 16+
As places are limited, please book at

All events and activities are free thanks to the generous support of Waterways Ireland and The AK Ilen Company. More events TBA.


The second phase of The Museum of Mythological Water Beasts will commence in Spring 2018 with the generous support of The Arts Council of Ireland Visual Arts Project Award. Image: photograph by Shane Serrano at Crude Media.
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