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Sunday 20 August 2017

National Museum may close exhibition room and restaurant 'to provide anti-terrorist security measures'

The National Museum in Dublin. Photo: Tom Burke
The National Museum in Dublin. Photo: Tom Burke
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

The National Museum of Ireland may be forced to close down an exhibition room and the restaurant to provide adequate anti-terrorist security measures, it has emerged.

An Taisce, a charity that works to preserve and protect Ireland's heritage, announced that there are a number of issues regarding the Museum being used as part of the temporary relocation of the Seanad chamber from Leinster House.

The Museum is preparing for "a temporary change of use of two first floor rooms of the National Museum of Ireland… to accommodate the Seanad Eireann chamber within the ‘Ceramics Room’ and access corridor and ante-room within the ‘Japanese Room'."

The charity said that extra security measures would be needed as a result of the recent security threats in Europe and Westminster. It said that to make room for these security measures the Museum may need to close the ground floor exhibition rooms and the Museum Restaurant.

An Taisce also raised concern about the need for a fire escape and access corridor in the 'Chinese Room' in the building.

Planning issues were also addressed as neither the Committee of the Dáil or the OPW are the occupants or the legal custodians of the building and the Museum authorities are not the body advancing the proposed development.

Dr Mark Clinton, of An Taisce’s Monuments & Antiquities, said:

"We have great concern at the definition of ‘Temporary Use’ and the need for the attachment of time limits. One only has to remember the 'Temporary Car Park' imposed on the lawn of Leinster House. It was there for approximately 10 years."

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