| 16.9°C Dublin

Dublin Writers Museum closed as it ‘no longer meets expectation of contemporary visitor’

The literary museum did not reopen after March 2020

Close

The Dublin Writers Museum, located at Parnell Square, has been closed since March 2020

The Dublin Writers Museum, located at Parnell Square, has been closed since March 2020

Inside the Dublin Writers Museum. Archival image: Tourism Ireland

Inside the Dublin Writers Museum. Archival image: Tourism Ireland

Inside MoLI - the Museum of Literature Ireland

Inside MoLI - the Museum of Literature Ireland

/

The Dublin Writers Museum, located at Parnell Square, has been closed since March 2020

The Dublin Writers Museum “no longer meets the expectation of the contemporary museum visitor”, according to an assessment carried out for its owner, Fáilte Ireland.

The Parnell Square museum was shuttered in March 2020, in the Covid-19 pandemic, and has remained “temporarily closed".

In that time, two members of staff have retired and two staffers have been redeployed within Fáilte Ireland, according to the National Tourism Development Authority.

It is now “exploring its options” for the building and its artefacts. 

"We know from our work developing visitor attractions across the country that visitors consistently look for attractions that use modern and innovative storytelling that create impactful and immersive experiences,” it says.

In July 2020, a professional assessment was carried out on the museum.

“As standards of heritage conservation and interpretation have advanced considerably over recent years, [it] concluded that the building at No 18 Parnell Square ‘no longer meets the expectation of the contemporary museum visitor in terms of accessibility, presentation and interpretation’,” Fáilte Ireland says.

Close

Inside the Dublin Writers Museum. Archival image: Tourism Ireland

Inside the Dublin Writers Museum. Archival image: Tourism Ireland

Inside the Dublin Writers Museum. Archival image: Tourism Ireland

Travel insider Newsletter

Considering where to go as the world opens up? Indulge your inner traveller with our free newsletter every Wednesday.

This field is required

The Dublin Writers Museum, housed in a Georgian terrace overlooking the Garden of Remembrance, has long been a feature of the city's literary and tourism landscape.

It was owned and operated by Dublin Tourism from 1991 to 2012, before being acquired by Fáilte Ireland when Dublin Tourism was merged into it in 2012.

It has several thousand artefacts and highlights include a telephone once owned by Samuel Beckett, Austin Clarke’s desk, and a letter in which Brendan Behan described New York’s Broadway as “a great place for a quiet piss-up”.

The artefacts remain under Fáilte Ireland’s custodianship – some owned, others on loan. It is now engaged in a process to have all “lent” artefacts converted to “donated” status, it says.

Since the museum opened, the investment in, and marketing of, Dublin’s literary heritage has increased.

Dublin became a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010, has grown literary festivals and events, and saw the opening of MoLI – the Museum of Literature Ireland, in late 2019.

Close

Inside MoLI - the Museum of Literature Ireland

Inside MoLI - the Museum of Literature Ireland

Inside MoLI - the Museum of Literature Ireland

Similar to other new arrivals and reboots, such as GOP Witness History, No. 14 Henrietta Street and the Custom House Visitor Centre, MoLI includes immersive and audio-visual elements that the Dublin Writers Museum lacked.

It is also seen as more accessible and inclusive than this iconic, but ageing, attraction whose exhibits were dominated by previous generations of mostly male writers.

News of its prolonged closure comes as Dublin’s Museum of Natural History (the “Dead Zoo”) reopens amid a major restoration, and Trinity College prepares to close its Old Library for a reported €90m restoration lasting three years.

Fáilte Ireland now says it is “exploring its options with regard to the building and ensuring the collection can be correctly displayed and accessible to all”.

The future plans will be revealed “by the end of the year”.


Most Watched





Privacy