When this innovative, eco friendly building at Aonad Naomh Moluag (the gathering place of St Moluag) was opened on 17 March 2007 it once more put the Gaelic language and culture at the heart of Lismore. After 13 years of hard work, members of the Comann Eachdraidh Lios Mor broke the silence that had been imposed on the island’s culture when English became the language of advancement and the Gaelic language and culture were encouraged to die. Until this time the Comann Eachdraidh Archive, which was being painstakingly put together, had been housed 2 miles away in the old school house at Achnacroich.
The first turf was turned by Duncan MacGregor on 15 February 2006 his parents having donated the land. The building was designed by Shauna Cameron and built by Stuart Carmichael with Tony Perkins the local Nadair Project Officer. It has a grass roof and geo thermal heating and houses an Exhibition Area, a Library, an Archive room, a Gift Shop, a Café, an office, and toilets. For a population of 176 to handle a £600,000 project is a tribute to the skill, determination and cohesiveness of the whole community.
The Museum is the hub of the centre with informative displays about the history of Lismore’s landscape, industry, agriculture and population. At any one time some part of the objects’ archive are on display. In addition there is a continuing series of major exhibitions every year as well as a flow of special events such as lectures, performances, book launches, art exhibitions etc. An audio visual display tells the story of the Sailing Smacks of Lismore and information boards trace the history and works of Alexander Carmichael the island’s folklorist son.
The curators have mounted significant exhibitions on the Story of the Shop, the Edwardian Schoolroom, Lismore Faces Photography exhibition, and this year the History of Ploughing in Lismore.