National Museum of Ireland – Collins Barracks

In December 1988, the decision was taken at government level to close Collins Barracks as a military installation, and following consultation with a number of committees formed for the purpose, plans were made in September 1993 to develop the site as an extra venue for the National Museum of Ireland. This important decision ensured that the earliest purpose-built residential barracks on these islands was restored for museum use. It also allowed for the display of museum collections that had been in storage since 1922, when government took over the museum exhibition galleries and curatorial offices in Leinster House. The first location to be restored architecturally by the Office of Public Works was Clarke Square. The billets on the south and west blocks were fitted with air handling equipment, many windows and fireplaces blocked and barrack rooms transformed into exhibition galleries. The artefacts prepared for display were selected principally from the collections of the Art and Industrial Division. On 18th September 1997, the Inaugural Exhibitions were opened by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Síle de Valera T.D

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