Wednesday 17 October 2018

Historic visitor numbers for National Museum

Battle axes which are part of the Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf exhibition in the National Museum, Kildare Street.
Battle axes which are part of the Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf exhibition in the National Museum, Kildare Street.
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

The National Museum has attracted over one million visitors so far this year - making it the most popular cultural institution in the country.

This is the fourth consecutive year the total number of visitors to the Museum's four sites has topped the one million mark.

And it looks as is if the final visitor figure for 2014 will be an all-time record.

Among the highlights so far this year is the exhibition "Clontarf 1014: Brian Boru and the Battle for Dublin'' in the Archaeology Museum in Kildare Street, which will be on view until the end of 2015.

It marks the one thousandth anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf, fought on Good Friday, 1014.

The exhibition seeks to dispel some popular myths surrounding one of the seminal events in Irish history.

Evidence is presented on what actually happened on that fateful day, including as assessment of some of the key events which led up to the conflict.

The exhibition - which has attracted large numbers of international visitors - also provides a detailed examination of the battle's historical legacy.

Meanwhile, a much awaited exhibition on the First World War "Lost Voices - Stories of the Irish at War 1914 -1915" opens on Thursday.

The Decorative Arts and History Museum in Collins Barracks hosted a presentation entitled "Beyond Pebbledash".

This was a celebration of the traditional Dublin pebbledash house, regarded as an icon of Irish domestic architecture.

It also included a discussion on the future of urbanisation in the capital. Latest figures show the Natural History museum in Merrion Square had yet another exceptionally good year - with over 250,000 visitors to date.

The Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Co Mayo attracts around 100,000 visitors per annum. Home to the National Folklife Collection it is set in the grounds of Turlough Park, outside Castlebar.

The current temporary exhibition is "Preserving the Peace: Policing on the island of Ireland 1814-2014" which will run until April 2015.

This traces the evolution of policing on the island of Ireland from the introduction of the 1814 Peace Preservation Act up to modern times. "There is clearly a sustained public interest in our museums by visitors both from Ireland and from further afield," said Museum Director, Raghnall O Floinn. "Free admission is a key factor - which means that our collections can be enjoyed by all," he added.

Irish Independent

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