News & Media Centre

A new interactive discovery gallery at the National Museum of Ireland

The National Museum of Ireland is opening a new interactive discovery gallery called the Barracks Life Room on Thursday 5 March 2009. This hands-on gallery is the first of its type to be opened at the National Museum of Ireland.

The Barracks Life Room provides visitors with opportunities to explore what life in the Barracks may have been like as a solider in the 19th and 20th centuries. The experience is created through a reconstruction area, hands-on experiences and computer interactives. The room is a detailed reconstructed of how a barracks room would have looked in 1879 and 1943 and contains areas where visitors can try on costumes and handle objects, as well as use more sophisticated ways of exploring history such as computer interactives.

Siobhan Pierce, the Education Officer at the National Museum of Ireland behind bringing this area to life, commented that “The themes explored in the room, the choice of displays and the levels of information provided have all been developed with families and school groups in mind.”

To find out more information about any of these events, contact the Education and Outreach Department at the National Museum of Ireland at e-mail bookings@museum.ie or telephone 01 6486 453.

For further press information please contact:

Elizabeth Evensen

Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland

Tel: 01 - 648 6427 Mob: 087 9031690

E-Mail: eevensen@museum.ie

Website: www.museum.ie

Notes to Editor

· Barracks Life has a reconstruction area with recreations of a barracks room from 1879 and 1943. Each area is laid out in detail, as it would be for kit inspection in the British and Irish Armies. This area of the room also contains replica uniforms for the public to try on.

· The uniforms relate to the soldiers who served in the Barracks in 1879 and 1943, as well as World War One Irish female Munitions workers uniform and Irish Defence Forces UNIFIL uniform as worn by Irish Soldiers in the Lebanon in the early 1990s.

· There are four computer interactives in the room, which provide a fun and modern way to explore history, while still being based on accurate historical data.

· The four interactives, entitled “Reading the Barracks”, “Join UP!”, “The Quartermasters Job” and “Present Arms” demonstrate the skills the soldiers learned, why they joined various armies and the architectural legacy of the armies that can still be seen at Collins Barracks today.

· The needs of visitors have been at the centre of the planning for this space and the subsequent development of workshops and activities. It is envisaged that there will be sessions during the weekends where visitors can handle objects that soldiers would have used in the past, such as a gas mask, a 19th century newspaper, a soldier’s bugle and other pieces of kit. New handling workshops have also just been developed for schools groups which will tie activities in the Barracks Life Room to other activities exploring the Collins Barracks site and the history exhibitions in the Museum.

 
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