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National Museum of Ireland unveils 15-year vision

National Museum of Ireland Museum of Archaeology

The National Museum of Ireland has unveiled a 15-year master vision statement that will see a range of upgrades across all of the institution’s sites.

Connecting our Past and our Future 2018–2032 sets out a roadmap for modernising the National Museum of Ireland with upgraded facilities and new experiences for visitors.

The statement provides the guiding principles for investment at the National Museum’s four sites up to 2032. A detailed master plan for each site will be developed to address their individual needs.

A major aspect of the plan is the redevelopment of the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street in Dublin, which will take place between 2018 and 2021. This will be followed by similar work on the Museum of Archaeology on Kildare street from 2022-2027. As part of the work, a link will be created between the two sites to make it easier for visitors to transfer between.

The Natural History Museum will receive a new extension to provide modern access standards. These include lifts, fire egress, public services and facilities for staff and visitors. Exhibition areas will also be revamped and the facility’s glass roof will be renewed.

Work on the Museum of Archaeology will include an upgrade of visitor facilities, with all historic spaces made available for public use. Exhibition space will be expanded, and the entrance will be improved to provide lifts, universal access and to better handle high visitor flow.

These initial projects will be funded through an €85m ($101m) investment from the Irish government over the next 10 years.

The vision statement also outlines details for the planned investment for the National Museum’s other two sites – the Museum of Decorative Arts and History at Collins Barracks and the Museum of Country Life in County Mayo – as well as its Collections Resource Centre in Swords. This phase of the development will be conducted from 2027-2032.

Raghnall Ó Floinn, director of the National Museum of Ireland, said: “The National Museum of Ireland is already one of Ireland’s most popular and most visited attractions, and we have so much more to offer.

“Many precious and rare artefacts in our possession are currently unfortunately unavailable for public viewing and this significant investment will help us to unlock these artefacts and the museum’s full potential by addressing some long-standing infrastructural and accessibility issues, and by building on the wonderful educational and research work conducted by our staff.”

The National Museum of Ireland is the country’s leading museum institution. It has an emphasis on archaeology, Irish history, Irish art, culture, and natural history. The museum has three branches in Dublin and one in County Mayo.

Image: c. National Museum of Ireland.

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Sam McCaffrey

Journalist. Likes immersive entertainment experiences, museums, zoos and the odd go on a Waltzer.

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