Thousands expected at tapestry exhibit

Thousands of people are expected to visit Mountmellick in the next two weeks to visit the colourful and fascinating Quaker Tapestry Exhibition which launched this weekend.

Thousands of people are expected to visit Mountmellick in the next two weeks to visit the colourful and fascinating Quaker Tapestry Exhibition which launched this weekend.

The 20 stunning panels on view at the MDA Museum are part of a larger collection at Kendal in the UK’s Lake District, and they tell stories from the history of Quakerism around the world.

The Mountmellick exhibition includes an Irish panel about the famine, which includes stitches made by a member of the Pim family from Mountmellick. More than 4,000 men, women and children contributed to the project between 1981 and 1996. The Mountmellick exhibition is part of the Gathering and is the brainchild of MDA manager Dolores Dempsey, who was keen to see the Quaker tapestry side-by-side with Mountmellick’s famous Mountmellick embroidery.

Paul Dempsey, the MDA’s chairman described the huge response both nationally and internationally to the exhibition and said maintaining the Quaker heritage has always been part of the MDA’s ethos.

Over 80 volunteers will assist with the event between now and August 15, and the exhibition also features embroidery workshops and locally produced arts and crafts, including paintings by Mountmellick’s Anne Sands. Christopher Moriarty, who is curator of records for Quakers in Ireland explained that while there few Quakers left in Mountmellick, there are many Quaker family names. He urged the audience to look up their Quaker heritage.

County Manager Peter Carey described the exhibition as fascinating.