National Museum closure leaves tourists at a loss

Visitors forced to abandon plans for 1916-related trips due to Easter hours

The Museum of Decorative Arts and History at Collins Barracks in Dublin was closed on Good Friday, but will open on Easter Monday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The Museum of Decorative Arts and History at Collins Barracks in Dublin was closed on Good Friday, but will open on Easter Monday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

 

A number of bewildered tourists - and quite a few Irish people - were forced to change their plans for a 1916-related museum visit when they arrived outside the locked gates of the National Museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin on Friday.

The sunny day in Dublin saw plenty of visitors keen to soak up the atmosphere in the capital ahead of the weekend’s commemoration events.

However, they failed to observe the international golden rule of visiting galleries: “Google it first, ”as it is not only pubs and bars that close in Ireland on Good Friday.

The Museum of Decorative Arts and History at Collins Barracks is always closed on the day and on Christmas Day, as are the other National Museum sites and most major art galleries.

Anne McGuigan, from Crumlin, Dublin, who was there with her husband, their two sons and a young friend, said they had not been in Collins Barracks before and were disappointed to find it closed.

She said she had been looking forward to seeing the Proclaiming a Republic exhibition.

Instead, they headed for the Revolution 1916 exhibition at the Ambassador.

David Carr from Dunshaughlin arrived at the gates with his friend Michael from Cork after they had attended the Sinn Féin parade from Kilmainham to Arbour Hill.

They said it was a “bit disappointing” to find they could not visit the museum.

Asked what they planned to do instead, Mr Carr replied: “I would say ‘go to the pub’ but we can’t even do that.”

Other closures

The National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane were also closed on Good Friday.

However, the National Museum will make an exception to its normal Easter schedule on Easter Monday, with all four sites - three in Dublin and one in Mayo - open from 10am to 5pm to mark the centenary.

The Proclaiming a Republic exhibition opened in March.

Many of the objects on display have never been on public display before, while others, such as the Irish Republic flag that flew over the GPO, have been specially conserved.

Normally closed on Mondays, Imma is also open on Easter Monday from noon to 5.30pm.

The National Gallery will open on Monday as normal from 9.15am to 5.30pm.

The Hugh Lane will open from 11am to 5pm.