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National Museum Of Ireland April Events

Across their four branches, the National Museum of Ireland have something for everyone this April. Read below to find out about the various seasonal and special events that are worth visiting.

Museum of Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks

ODG: Kingdom of Dust (Exhibition, April 1 – 28)

Visit this temporary exhibition by young artists Mark Harmon and Aoife O’Connor at Collins Barracks which celebrates the community of O’Devaney Gardens (ODG) in Dublin 7.

The exhibition features photographs and video capturing the flat complex in its final days, juxtaposed with portraits of former and local residents. A series of interviews with residents discuss the portrayal of O’Devaney Gardens in the media, their hopes for the future and their memories of ODG as a vibrant community.

Through this exhibition the artists wanted to show, in their words, that ‘ODG’ wasn’t a ‘bad’ place to grow up. The work is supported by the MOST Garda Youth Diversion Project and artist Shireen Shortt. A special talk with the artists will take place on Monday, 15 April at the Museum. Admission is free for the talk, though booking is required.

Culture Club: The Story of the First Dáil with Diarmuid Bolger (Talk, April 26)

Join Diarmuid Bolger in a tour exploring the decade of conflict in Irish history from 1913 – 1923, with a special focus on the First Dáil in 1919, 100 years on. Booking is required.

Family Tour: Proclaiming a Republic (Tour, April 28)

On the 103rd anniversary of the Rising, why not join a family-friendly tour of Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising exhibition. Explore some of the highlights of the Museum’s extensive Easter Week collection. Admission is free. Places are allocated on a first-come basis 15 minutes before the tour starts

Museum of Archaeology, Kildare Street

Treasure: The Tale of a Twisted Torc by Dr Greer Ramsey (Lecture, April 5)

The Treasure Act, as it applies in Northern Ireland, has helped secure some spectacular objects for the collections, many of which are on display in the Ulster Museum, Belfast. One of the most significant is a twisted Bronze Age gold torc from Corrard, County Fermanagh.

Torcs are traditionally interpreted as an item of jewellery, worn around the neck. Yet the Corrard torc could not be used in this way. Dr Greer Ramsey, Curator of Archaeology at National Museums NI, explores the making and function of this remarkable artefact.

Booking is required by phoning 01-6486 332 or emailing educationarch@museum.ie.

The Rediscovery of a Passage Tomb Cemetery at Dowth Hall, Co. Meath by Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin (Lecture, April 10)

This lecture will discuss the discovery, excavation, and significance of the large passage tomb recently found underneath Dowth Hall, Co. Meath. It will also explore what else may still be hidden within the internationally significant landscape of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site.

Booking is required by phoning 01-6486 332 or emailing educationarch@museum.ie.

Culture Club: Dressed to Impress- Brooches and Pins of Bronze, Silver and Gold (Talk, April 12)

This talk by Nessa O’Connor, Assistant Keeper, Irish Antiquities Division, will include a viewing of some newly displayed medieval period brooches and pins, all of which were found by chance during 2016, in varying circumstances and locations in Ireland.

Afterwards she will take a more detailed look at both these and some similar decorative objects. This is in order to better understand the craftsmanship and design of personal ornaments 1000 years ago and more. Booking is required and places are limited. Email educationarch@museum.ie or call 01 6486 334 to get a spot

Treasures of the National Museum (Tour, April 14)

Take a tour of the iconic treasures in the National Museum. These include the ‘Tara’ Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice. No booking us required. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Brilliant Brooches (Drop-In Activity, April 16)

There are some beautiful brooches to be seen at the Museum, from the famous ‘Tara’ Brooch of Early Christian times, to brooches worn by Viking women, and even brooches given as love tokens in medieval times.

Drop into the Museum to see the beautiful pins and brooches discovered in 2016 and displayed in the new ‘Dressed to Impress’ exhibit. Learn about the people who made these brooches. Then make your own brooch to take home. No booking required.

 Lecture The ‘Tara’ Brooch: The Making of a Medieval Masterpiece (Lecture, April 17)

Made around 700AD, the ‘Tara’ brooch is the creation of a virtuoso. While working on a minute scale, its master craftsman prized intricate and precise design for its own sake, using a remarkable variety of techniques to render it flawlessly.

This talk by Dr Niamh Whitfield, Scholar in early medieval metalwork from Britain and Ireland, will be based, in part, on unpublished research and will discuss how the ‘Tara’ Brooch was made. Booking is required. E-mail educationarch@museum.ie or phone 01 648 6332.

Weight-to-Go! Make your own Viking Weight (Drop-In Activity, April 18)

Did you know that before there were coins in Ireland, the Vikings used to trade in silver? Drop into the Museum to learn about the weighing scales and decorated lead weights the Vikings used to figure out how much silver they had, discover who the Vikings were trading with, then make your own weight to take home. No booking is required. 

Museum of Natural History, Merrion Street

Seasonal Activity Sheet – Spring Into Action (Drop-In Activity, April 1 – 30)

Spring has sprung so why not drop into the Museum and try the Spring Activity Trail. Copies of this activity sheet trail are available in the Reception Area and in the Irish Room. Just don’t forget your pencil.

Earth Day: Protect Our Species Super Sketch (Drop-In Activity, April 20)

Drop into the Museum to find your favourite animal and join the super sketch at the Dead Zoo. See up close some super species from the handling collection and learn about why species are endangered and how science can help protect them. No booking is required but there may be a short waiting time.

Inspectorium: If (Shark) Teeth Could Talk (Drop-In Activity, April 25)

How many teeth does a shark have in its lifetime and just how big can they get? Drop into the Discovery Zone to learn all about sharks and inspect some of the handling collection up close. No booking is required but there may be a short waiting time.

Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park – Mayo

Travellers’ Journey (Exhibition, April 1 – 30)

‘Travellers’ Journey’ is a temporary exhibition exploring the rich culture, traditions and crafts of the Traveller community in the west of Ireland. It aims to showcase and encourage discussion and appreciation of the unique heritage and ethnicity of Travellers. The exhibition has been co-curated with the Western Regional Traveller Health Network.

The Enemy Within – the Spanish Flu in Ireland 1918-19 (Exhibition, April 1 – 30)

This temporary exhibition explores the folk medicines and rudimentary cures used by the public to combat the flu epidemic. It will be on Level A in the Museum of Country Life until the end of the month.

Knitting & Crochet Circle: Spring Patterns (Drop-In Activity, April 5)

Update your style for Spring. Join the group to work on your knitting and crochet skills, swap patterns and get advice. Beginners are welcome. No booking is required

Mayo Genealogy Group (Drop-In Activity, April 13)

If you have an interest in finding out about your family history come along and meet the Mayo Genealogy Group for free practical tips. New researchers are welcome. No booking is required.

Easter Egg Mania (Family Event, April 21)

Lots of Easter Eggs are hidden around the grounds of Turlough Park House. Can you find the secret hiding places and take home some eggs of your own? Booking is required.

Egg in the Sky (Family Event, April 23)

Can you build a great big tower that’s stable enough to hold an egg or build a vessel to launch an egg in flight without it cracking? Egg in the Sky is a fun and exciting, hands-on science and engineering workshop brought to you by the team from Toodlelou. Booking is required.

We’ve Gone All Horse and Donkey (Family Event, April 24)

Join members of local donkey welfare groups including Irish Donkey Welfare Organisation, who will explain about Ireland’s much-loved donkey. Colman Coogan with his two beautiful Shire horses Ned & Ted, will explain the history of Shires in Ireland and show some of the tack and equipment traditionally used by these massive workhorses. Also joining the museum for the event is master farrier Mark Hester and straw crafter Pat Broderick who will demonstrate their skills on the day. No booking is required.

Check out the museum’s site for more information and follow them on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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