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Here, there and everywhere

At the end of last week, I went to Dublin. It was in the middle of their elections, and the results weren't known by then but there was an obvious appetite for change. Among the people I met with were Raymond Keaveney from the National Gallery of Ireland, and Pat Wallace from National Museum Ireland. It was clear from what I was told that the museum sector has been badly hit by the current financial climate with cuts in staff as well as a freeze on recruitment. However, it was not all doom and gloom and we had many interesting discussions about possible future collaboration and staff exchanges. There was also much banter about the rugby, with the Wales v Ireland match looming. Luckily, my colleagues have given me a special dispensation to continue to support Ireland!

Back in Wales, I went to the opera at the Wales Millennium Centre for the first time. I was impressed by the high quality of the setting as well as the performance. We are lucky to have such a fantastic venue here in Cardiff.

I also have a bit of good news to share, as I was elected to the Board of the Museums Association. I am absolutely delighted, and also grateful of the support. I would have liked to have seen more candidates from outside of London stand and hope a greater balance can be achieved in the future. The MA have a big job of work to do now, and there are challenges ahead to fill the gap left by the MLA.

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