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Another brick near the Dáil – couple spend five years recreating National Library entirely from Lego

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Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

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Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has revealed an exact Lego model of its historic headquarters on Kildare Street, which was built to showcase the ongoing redevelopments on the library.

Lego master builders Breda and David Fennell spent five years creating the model that will be displayed at the Library’s Front Hall for the next year.

The model is one of the largest of its kind in Ireland, measuring at 180cm x 168cm wide and 60cm high.

“When you see people’s faces, they are so amazed at what we created, it’s a great feeling,” Mr Fennell said.

“It has been a long time coming so it’s exciting to see it. It’s great that it is opened to the public and they can come in and see the detail of the model.

“Hopefully when the redevelopments are done the real library will resemble it now.”

Mr and Ms Fennell have been building with Lego since they were children, reigniting their love for the colourful plastic bricks when their son began playing with it as a child.

Since then, the pair have built models for the Convention Centre, Heuston Station and Arnott’s, among other iconic buildings in Dublin city.

“We build and have built other models before this, and when the National Library of Ireland approached us, we were looking for our next project,” the couple said.

When the developments are complete, the library will host several new public spaces, exhibition galleries, a new café and shop and space for people to sit and enjoy.

Acting director of the NLI, Katherine McSharry said that their vision for the library had a sense of creativity and fun to it and that is why they chose a Lego model to display the renovated design.

“David and Breda Fennell who did the model for us have just done an absolutely astonishing job,” Ms McSharry said.

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Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

“A colleague of ours saw a Lego model in another building in Scotland and thought ‘what an amazing way to showcase the building.’

“So, we had a look on Brick.ie where you can find Lego master builders in Ireland and we approached the Fennells; they have done other landmark buildings and we thought, right this is a good match for us.

“They have really picked out some of the main features of the building, there are some really fun little pieces when you look right into it, they have really helped us imagine what the redeveloped library will look like.”

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Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Katherine McSharry, acting director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large-scale Lego model of its building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Work on the real-life library has been ongoing since 2017 and Ms McSharry is hopeful that the library will be completed in the next couple of years.

“The way we planned the building is really like a puzzle, where we move the bits around so we can minimise disruption to visitors.”

Lego builders across Ireland will showcase their works at the Brick Féile from July 16 to 17 in the City North Hotel


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