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National Museum of Ireland launches Master Vision Statement 2018 - 2032

Connecting Our Past and Our Future sets out 15-year vision for all NMI sites

Unprecedented Government investment to unlock the full potential of Ireland’s largest cultural institution

For immediate release May 10th, 2018: The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan T.D., will today launch the 15-year Master Vision Statement for the National Museum of Ireland at an event in the NMI, National Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks.

Connecting our Past and our Future 2018 – 2032 sets out a roadmap for transforming the NMI into an institution of international standing, by modernising its facilities and promoting learning, creativity and inspiration through engaging experiences. The Statement, which was developed following a process of consultation with key stakeholders, provides the guiding principles for investment at the NMI’s 4 sites up to 2032. A detailed masterplan for each site will be developed to address their individual needs.

Under Project 2040 and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s capital development plan for 2018-2027, the Government announced its intention to invest €85 million in NMI facilities in the next 10 years. This investment, which was the largest single capital investment outlined in the plan, will be used for the redevelopment of the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street (2018 – 2021) and the Museum of Archaeology on Kildare Street (2022 – 2027).

In addition to this investment, Connecting our Past and our Future 2018 – 2032 outlines details for the planned investment for the NMI’s other two sites the Museum of Decorative Arts and History at Collins Barracks, the Museum of Country Life at Turlough Park Co Mayo, as well as its Collections Resource Centre in Swords. This phase of the NMI’s development will be conducted from 2027 – 2032.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan T.D., said;Project 2040 will see unprecedented government investment of €1.2bn across the country in Ireland’s culture, language and heritage including in the cultural and heritage sectors. Reflecting the National Museum's important role in Irish culture and heritage, the museum as an entity will receive the largest single capital investment in the Plan as a whole. In its new Vision Statement, the Museum is looking far beyond simple expansion, and is focussing on the intangible, or invisible, benefits that investment in culture and heritage can have on our society as a whole. It provides a blueprint for strategic and physical developments to enhance this wonderful asset of the Irish people.”

Catherine Heaney, Chair of the Board of the National Museum of Ireland said; “Our vision for the NMI is a museum of international quality, preserving and presenting the stories of Ireland and its place in the world. We want the artefacts and services of the NMI to be available to as many people as possible and, with this unprecedented Government investment announcement, we will be able to improve accessibility at our sites, increase access to education services, and to build on collections and exhibitions. Government has very firmly placed culture on the same footing as other investment priorities in its capital plan Project 2040 and that is hugely important because it demonstrates the much-deserved recognition of the important role culture plays in our society.”

Director of the National Museum of Ireland, Raghnall Ó Floinn said; “We welcome the Government announcement of its intention to invest €85 million in NMI facilities in the next 10 years. The NMI is already one of Ireland’s most popular and most visited attractions, and we have so much more to offer. Many precious and rare artefacts in our possession are currently unfortunately unavailable for public viewing and this significant investment will help us to unlock these artefacts and the Museum’s full potential by addressing some long-standing infrastructural and accessibility issues, and by building on the wonderful educational and research work conducted by our staff.”


The National Museum of Ireland

Media contacts:

  • Ann Daly, Head of Marketing, National Museum of Ireland,  087 2368067;  01 6486457, adaly@museum.ie
  • Sinead McGovern, Q4 Public Relations, 087 6411725 sinead@q4pr.ie
  • Cora Lanigan, Q4 Public Relations, 087 353 7419 cora@q4pr.ie
  • #NMIVision on Twitter

Photography will be issued by Paul Sherwood, paul@sherwood.ie, 0872309096

Notes to editor:

To read the NMI Master Vision Statement Connecting our Past and our Future 2018 – 2032 please visit www.museum.ie

The following is a synopsis of the plans outlined:

National Museum of Ireland – Natural History

Merrion Street Dublin

-        Prepare a detailed development and control plan to address all documented risks.

-        Provide a new extension to enable modern standards of access – lifts, fire egress, public services, as well as facilities for staff and visitors, to enable the historic building to release its full potential as a ‘museum of a museum’.

-        Renew the glass roof and address issues regarding the building’s fabric.

-        Revamp exhibition areas and interpretation services.

-        Link the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street with the NMI – Archaeology on Kildare Street, and create links to other cultural institutions in the vicinity.

National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology

Kildare Street, Dublin

-        Improve visitor facilities, using all historic spaces for public use.

-        Provide an improved entrance to manage the high visitor flow and group entry. Provide lift facilities and universal access, improving circulation and safety.

-        Expand exhibition space.

-        Link NMI – Archaeology on Kildare Street with the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street.

National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co Mayo

-        Develop the site as a museum of social history.

-        Develop the site to include additional parking facilities; develop a dedicated collections resource centre for NMI – Country Life; provide greater connectivity within the site to the various Museum buildings.

-        Upgrade and expand exhibition spaces, including a dedicated space for special exhibitions to complement permanent exhibitions.

National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History

Collins Barracks, Dublin

-        Develop Collins Barracks as the focal point of all NMI sites, centralising administration, research and development of services at this site.

-        Create a link to Collins Barracks from the River Liffey to enhance visibility and integration with the city.

-        Develop on-site facilities, including improved access to collections.

-        Create an orientation and welcome facility at Clarke Square, accompanied by an animation of the Square, and provide options to explore revamped galleries for decorative arts, and for history.

-        Develop new galleries for Earth and Science and for World Cultures.

-        Invest in education, programming and event facilities to maximise audience, and improve income generation.

Collections Repository

-        Develop bespoke facilities for the care of NMI’s reserve collections, to support the Museum’s activities in Dublin and the Country Life collection at Turlough Park, ensuring access to these collections for research, education and public enjoyment purposes.

Provide sustainable, long-term solutions to meet the Museum’s duty of care to the collections it holds, including diverse facilities to meet the different needs of the collection, including controlled atmosphere, lifting equipment, security, accessibility, location, research and public access.