This very unique learning facility is the result of a two-year
collaboration of individuals who are very passionate about the City of
New Orleans, its history, and its cultures. Many talented audio/video
producers, photographers, researchers, archivists, historians, computer
programmers, graphic designers, architects, interior designers,
developers, and community leaders have worked to bring to life the first
museum of this kind in New Orleans.
- The groundbreaking of the Museum was attended
by then Irish Ambassador to the United States Ambassador H.E. Michael Collins.
- Ireland's Minister for Arts, Heritage and
Gaeltacht Minister Jimmy Deenihan visited and toured the Museum during
- The official opening of the museum took place during
a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Taoist (Vice President of Ireland) Eamon
- The Irish General Council Paul Gleeson has
attended several exhibit openings and other events at the Museum. Select Museum
projects and exhibits receive partial support from the Irish Government via
there ESP (Emigrant Support Program).
- ICM sat on the Committee for the 2014
International Famine Commemoration, and hosted Irish Dignitaries for the
opening of the exhibit “An Gorta Mor; the great famine” including the current Ireland's
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Minister Heather Humphreys .
Amenities & Exhibits
The Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans is located on a historic
French Quarter property. In January 2012 the Department of Anthropology
at the University of New Orleans in partnership with the museum
conducted an archaeological excavation at the site that provided clues
about the many individuals who lived at the French Quarter site over the
last 230 years.
Crews led by Andrea White, an archaeologist from the UNO Greater New
Orleans Archaeology Program, used historic site maps and drawings to
look for architectural features and trash pits on the site. Discovered
in the layers of yard deposit were household artifacts including buttons
made from bone, pipe stems, gunflints, and antebellum glass bottles.
Among the objects the archaeologists unearthed were Spanish Reales
(silver coins), fragments of Yellowware, a type of ceramic tableware
manufactured in the 1830â€™s and 1840â€™s. Some of the shards found at
the museum site feature a mocha design that was made from tobacco spit.
Clay pipes, bone buttons, antebellum glass bottles, and more.
The first home on the property, built about 1780, was outside of the
original French settlement in the Spanish expansion of the city. The
Conti property is located near Rampart Street, where the Spanish built a
fortified wall for the protection and defense of the city. The
property was also outside of the footprint of two fires in 1788 and 1794
that burned large portions of the Spanish Colonial city.
After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 there was a tremendous need for
housing and the area of the French Quarter where the museum is located
was quickly developed to accommodate the growing population. During
that period the property was owned by a Free Woman of Color, Magdeleine
Rillieux, and Jean Robert, a male refugee from Saint-Dominque. The pair
resided on Conti from 1808 to 1832.
Records indicate that Irish and Italian immigrants were also among
the series of property owners. Entrepreneur and philanthropist John
McDonogh, who owned real estate throughout the city, acquired the
property in 1847. The lot and five-room home was sold nine years after
McDonoghâ€™s death in 1850 to Silvestre Blasini, an oyster vendor.
Layers of oyster shells were uncovered during the excavation, indicating
that Blasini used the shells to fill and raise the elevation of his
The research into the museum site is ongoing as uncovered artifacts
are analyzed and recorded documents uncovered. Piecing together the
lives of the former residents will reveal information about the roots of
New Orleans culture and new information about its Irish population.
The Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans has as its mission statement
to devote resources to educate and create public awareness among
locals, tourists, and others of the contributions Ireland, her people,
and their culture have made to New Orleans since its colonial
We strive to promote knowledge and appreciation of
the history of New Orleans, her Irish heritage and culture, and the
present day Irish-American community. We support causes and
organizations with similar ambitions who actively engage in benefiting
society by promoting unity, friendship, and Christian charity.
The Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans is an educational facility
designed to accomplish our mission statement of educating the public of
the contributions Ireland, her people and their culture have made to New
Orleans since its colonial beginnings. It does so in a historic setting
that is tranquil, inviting and friendly. It recognizes that people have
different learning styles and therefore via interactive kiosks, art
exhibits, music, a library reading and research room, static exhibits
and displays, tours and heritage events, all seven different learning
styles are employed; Visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social,
St. Patrick Foundation
The St. Patrick Foundation (SPF) partners with the Irish Cultural
Museum to accomplish its mission of likewise educating the public of the
contributions Ireland, her people, and their culture have made to New
The SPF is an educational and charitable 501(c)(3) that
can receive tax free donations for the Irish Cultural Museum. Please
show your support by donating, and be sure to specify "Irish Cultural
Museum of New Orleans" when making your donation.