The voluntary group was formed in 2013 and their continued commitment has allowed the museum to extend its opening season from April to September every year.
Expressing his thanks on behalf of Council, the Mayor, Councillor Ivor Wallace, said: “I want to praise the Friends of Ballycastle Museum for their dedication to the museum and their passion for preserving and sharing local history.
“It is that enthusiasm for local stories that brings history alive for so many of us and greatly improves the visitor experience,” he added.
“Working in partnership with the members of the community enables us to keep Ballycastle Museum open much longer each year than would otherwise be possible, and the Friends group is tireless in its support and promotion of the museum.”
Brigene Mc Neilly, Chair of the Friends of Ballycastle Museum, added: “On behalf of the committee and volunteers of the Friends, may I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Councillor Wallace for his kind invitation. We would like to thank him for generously giving of his time, and his hospitality throughout the evening.
“This event was an important demonstration of the value put on our work and the work of other volunteer groups by the Council.
“We would also like to thank the dedicated staff of Council’s Museum Services for their continued assistance and encouragement throughout the year. The Friends would not be able to function at the level they do without them. We would like to wish all our members and visitors a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you all in 2023,” concluded Brigene McNeilly.
During the reception, a minute’s silence was held to remember Annabel Price, a member of the Friends who passed away recently after a short illness.
For more information about Ballycastle Museum go to https://niarchive.org/ballycastlemuseum/
Ballycastle Museum is housed in the listed 18th century courthouse and market building in the town centre. Visitors to the Accredited Museum can explore the permanent display of the fascinating history of the Irish Homes Industries Workshop, its role in the 1904 St Louis World Fair and the Arts and Crafts Revival in Ireland.Highlights include Bronze Age archaeology, Boyds 18th century Ballycastle and the magnificent Taise Banner from the first Feis na nGleann in 1904.