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Enjoy and Celebrate St. Patrick's Festival at the National Museum of Ireland

10th March 2011

Enjoy and Celebrate a truly traditional St Patrick's Festival at the four sites of the National Museum of Ireland

St Patrick’s Day as we know celebrates one of Ireland’s patron saints who was a native of late Roman Britain and is often credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland in the fifth Century. St Patrick’s crosses were traditionally worn on this day, as was shamrock. This three-leaved plant was said to have been used by St Patrick to explain the Trinity to the Irish people. Why not enjoy a truly traditional St Patrick's Festival at the four sites of the National Museum of Ireland from 17th – 20th March 2011.

The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks goes green during the St. Patrick’s Festival this year. To celebrate Ireland’s national holiday, the National Museum at Collins Barracks will be participating in an initiative called ‘Greening the City’ which is being organised by the St Patrick’s Festival. The Museum will be going green from 14th March – 20th March.

The following are on Display at the National Museum of Ireland:

Dublin

A Dress for the White House

On display in the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks is an evening dress worn to a reception for President Sean T. O’Kelly in The White House on the evening of St. Patrick’s Day 1959. The dress, of white cotton crochet over olive green silk, was worn by his wife, Phyllis, and the reception took place during the first ever Irish Presidential visit to the United States. The O’Kellys visited Washington, New York and Chicago during their ten day trip, and Mrs. O’Kelly’s wardrobe was designed by her niece, the designer Neillí Mulcahy, who remodelled an early twentieth century Irish crochet lace gown to create this dress. Beverly Bags, a well known Irish handbag manufacturer of the time, created an evening bag to match. The visit was deemed a huge success and followed closely in both the Irish and American press. Both the dress and the evening bag can currently be seen in the exhibition, Neillí Mulcahy - Irish Haute Couture of the 50s and 60s, in the National Museum – Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks.

St Patrick’s Bell Shrine C.1100 AD

This shrine was made around 1100 A.D to contain the bell which is much earlier in date and is reputed to have belonged to St. Patrick. The openwork panels on the sides of the shrine are decorated in the so called Urnes style, a Scandinavian art style which Irish craftsmen adapted and used extensively to decorate objects in this period. The inscription on the backplate states that the shrine was made by Condulig Un hInmainen and his sons for Domhnall Ua Lochlainn, King of Ireland 1094-1121. The St Patrick’s Bell Shrine is on display in Iconic Treasures exhibition on the ground floor of the National Museum of Ireland – Archeology, Kildare St

What’s on?

Dublin Sites

National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History (Collins Barracks)

Make a St Patrick’s Day Badge - Thu 17th March, 2-2.30pm

Learn about the symbols of Ireland and make your own St. Patrick’s Day badge. No booking required. Places are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Families with children aged 6 yrs +

My Museum: What Rhymes with Museum? Sun 20th March, 2-2.30pm

Discover the secret lives of objects in the Museum with poet Seamus Cashman. Let Seamus lead you through the Museum on a trail of words to uncover stories and poems in improbable places. Places are limited and allocated on a first come basis.

Families with children aged 8 yrs +

National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology (Kildare Street)

Special Lecture: St. Patrick in his own words - Wed 16th March, 1-2pm

On the eve of St. Patrick's Day, join historian Cillian de Grás to discover more about Ireland's National Saint and the 5th century writings of St Patrick. No booking required.

All ages

Public Tour: Medieval Ireland - Thu 17th March, 2.30-3.10pm

Join Cillian de Gras, historian, and explore the weapons, clothes, crafts and beliefs of the Middle Ages on this tour of the Medieval Ireland Exhibition. No booking required. Limited to 20. First come basis. All ages

Seachtain na Gaeilge: Turas Speisialta Thu 17th March, 2 – 2.40pm

Lean Caomhán Mac Con Iomaire ar thuras trí Ghaeilge do na seodaí náisúinta san Ard Mhúsaem Ní gá áit a chur in áirithe.

Gach aois

St. Patrick's Day Harp Recital Thu 17th March, 3-3.50pm

Hear Anne-Marie O'Farrell perform a solo recital on our national instrument, the Irish harp. Featuring old airs and new tunes, music of the harpers such as Turlough O'Carolan and the inclusion of one of Dublin's most famous musical visitors, George Frideric Handel. No booking required.

All ages

Public Tour: Prehistoric Ireland Sat 19th March, 3.30-4.30pm

Hear the story of Ireland's earliest people from the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age up to the Late Bronze Age including the impressive Irish Gold Collection.

2 euro fee. Tickets at the Museum shop. No charge for children aged 16 yrs or under. No booking required.

All ages

My Museum: Become a Scribe! Sun 20th March, 3-4pm

Try your hand at calligraphy, the ancient art of beautiful writing with ink and quills, with artist and calligrapher Josephine Hardiman. No booking required. Places are limited and operate on a first come basis.

8 yrs+

National Museum of Ireland – Natural History (Merrion Street)

Due to high levels of visitors, there are no planned events taking place at the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History during St Patrick’s Festival.

There are two new learning spaces, the Discovery Zone on the ground floor and the Reading Area on the first floor which are available for everyone to enjoy.

Admission to the Museum is free.

Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

Knitting: Not Just for Nanas! Fri 18th March, 11am-1pm

Forget that image of granny knitting in the rocking chair. Knitting is for everyone! Join us to make fashionable clothes, hats and bags fun, chat and learn a skill for life. No booking required.

Adults and Children 7 yrs+

Re-awaken the Musician within You - Sat 19th March, 3-5pm

Clear away the ‘Foggy Dew’ and play that forgotten tune. Take the opportunity to come together with other learners to share and practice tunes and songs. No booking required.

Adults and accompanied children 14 yrs+

The Census of Ireland - Sun 20th March, 2.30-3.30pm

The 1901 and 1911 census returns for each household survive for all 32 counties. These are now available online and are fully searchable. Find out how to use this resource practically with Catríona Crowe from the National Archives. Booking Required.

Adults.

Notes to the Editor:

While at the Museum, why not enjoy a coffee and a tasty treat in the Museum cafés or when looking for a gift visit the Museum shops where many charming gifts are available. From 15th – 20th March receive 15% off all purchases in the National Museum of Ireland shops. We have many wonderful gifts under €20. Please note there is no café within the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History.

Free Admission to all four sites of the National Museum.

Open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm

Sunday 2.00pm – 5.00pm (Closed Monday. Incl Bank Holidays)

See www.museum.ie for more information on events and exhibitions.

Museum contact details:

Dublin: 01 6777 444

Turlough Park, Castlebar: 094 903 1755

www.museum.ie

For further press information please contact:

• Dublin: Maureen Gaule, Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland

Tel: 01 - 648 6429 or by E-Mail

• Turlough Park, Castlebar: Bernie Byron, Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland

Tel: 094 903 1773  or by E-Mail

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