AIRMuseum is set to close after an initial seven-year run, as it attempts to rebuild its reputation as an air museum.
The museum, founded in 1946, is due to reopen in January 2019, after being closed for a decade.
It was established in a former airfield on the outskirts of Limerick city to showcase the history of aviation, but has faced financial woes and financial pressure as its financial position has deteriorated.
The air museum was closed in July 2020.
The organisation was taken over by a consortium of companies, which includes a company set up by the former owner of the site.
But in March 2021, the Limerick County Council announced it was considering a new bid to buy the museum, which would involve the sale of the air museum property and a potential £50 million investment.
The company that will be involved in the sale is The Derelict Air Museum, based in London.
However, the company is not yet certain whether it will be able to sell its stake in the company, or whether it would continue to own the museum property.
It is understood the Derelicts are expected to give a presentation on the deal at a public meeting on Thursday.
Museum director Jim McNamara said the decision to close the museum came about because the air centre had become too big for the museum.
“I’ve been at the museum for 13 years.
It’s an incredible place to be.
It has been a great success and I can’t imagine how it could be any different now.”
It’s very sad.
It really is, and we don’t have much time to contemplate it.
“Museum staff are due to be offered redundancy in 2019, but are not due to get any new jobs, Mr McNamara told RTE.
The Derelies have been considering a takeover of the museum in the past, but it is understood there is no immediate plan to do so.
Mr McNamara also confirmed that the Air Museum would not be taking any new visitors to the air show in 2019.”
We are going to have to have a very tough decision to make about how we continue to operate,” he said.”
If we do decide to close it down, then it would mean that we were losing a great part of our visitors.
“At the moment, we are going in a different direction.”
The museum is one of the finest examples of aviation that has ever existed in Ireland.
“So it’s hard to see what we could possibly offer that would justify the cost of the show.”RTE understands that a number of other museums will be closed down or closed for extended periods.
The Limerick Aviation Museum will close at the end of this year, with the Deselect Air Museum closing next year.
There are also plans for an extension of the Limoges Airport, to be extended by 30 years.