The National Museum of Ireland
The period 1914 - 1924 saw major political changes in Ireland.
Some of the Museum staff supported those who fought in the Great War, while others, such as the Director, Count G.N. Plunkett, and Keeper, Liam S. Gogan, enthusiastically supported the 1916 Rebellion and were consequently imprisoned. In June 1922, the Provisional Government closed the Museum, as it was required for government accommodation; the institution was to be re-opened by degrees from 1925, under the new title of the National Museum of Ireland.
Its new parent government department was Education. That department commissioned a committee of inquiry to re-assess the Museum’s functions, and in 1927 it was recommended that the role of the Museum was ‘to increase and diffuse the knowledge of Irish civilisation and the relations of Ireland in these respects with other countries’.
On display here to represent this period is the Great Seal of Saorstát Éireann, which dates to about 1925. The seal was designed by Archibald McGoogan, the Museum’s first photographer and later the curator of musical instruments and watercolours. Also on display are egg, market, butter and potato baskets - everyday objects of Irish life that were made from locally available materials.