Foynes Flying Boat And Maritime Museum Reopens After €5m Investment

By Robert McHugh
Foynes Flying Boat And Maritime Museum Reopens After €5m Investment

The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum in Limerick, the largest of its kind in the world, has been officially opened after a €5 million redevelopment.

The redevelopment now incorporates a 100-seater cinema, new exhibition rooms with state-of-the-art technology, flight simulators, a research centre, and a Tourism Information Office.

Maureen O'Hara Exhibition

The new library features aviation publications dating back to the 1930s whilst the Archive features original hand-drawn weather maps from 1937 to 1946, hundreds of newspapers, aviation artefacts and the Foynes Port inventory of every aircraft that came in and out of Foynes.

The development also incorporates the Maureen O'Hara Exhibition celebrating the late actor's career achievements, her personal memorabilia, and her family links to the museum.


The project received funding €1.75 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).


An additional investment totalling €1.75 million was provided by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

A further €1.5 million was provided by the museum, Limerick City and County Council and from sponsorship.

Global Aviation Hub

The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum captures the story of how Foynes became one of the world’s great aviation hubs of the world between 1937 and 1945 when the waters of the Shannon Estuary launched Ireland’s first commercial transatlantic services.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, officially opened the €5 million redevelopment of the world’s largest flying boat museum and the home of Irish coffee in Foynes, County Limerick.

'Future Growth Industry'

“The report of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce identified tourism as a future growth industry for the region," said the Taoiseach.


"I believe attractions like this wonderful museum will help to encourage more visits to the region by sea and by air, thus strengthening Shannon Airport and Shannon Foynes Port."

"It also ties in well with our plans to re-open the railway line between Limerick and Foynes.”

'All-Year-Round Tourism'

Eamonn Brennan, Chair of the Board of Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, said Ireland’s largest aviation museum could create more opportunities for tourism and employment.

"We are working to create more employment as an all-year-round tourism, educational, research and cultural attraction, and provide conference and event space for the many companies based in the west Limerick area,” said Brennan.