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National Museum of Ireland (Collins Barracks, Dublin)

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (1 Review)


National Museum of Ireland (Collins Barracks, Dublin)

Military Display at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks

Photo © National Museum of Ireland

The Bottom Line

While the National Museum of Ireland in Kildare Street is a definitive "must see" the museum in the Collins Barracks could be omitted from a Dublin visit if one is pressed for time. Or simply not interested in the eclectic collection on display, much of which appeals more to the "specialist" than the general public. Exhibitions focus on decorative arts, scientific instruments and military as well as revolutionary history.


  • Well presented, eclectic collection of decorative arts and historical items, not all Irish.
  • Several exhibitions catering for special interests.
  • First comprehensive Irish collection featuring military history in fitting surroundings.


  • Located "off the beaten track", though still within walking distance of city center.
  • Photography not allowed.


  • Part of the National Museums of Ireland, focus on Decorative Arts and History.
  • Former barracks make excellently fitting surroundings for military displays.
  • Eclectic collection even includes Samurai armor.

Guide Review - National Museum of Ireland (Collins Barracks, Dublin)

Upon entering the massive Collins Barracks courtyard, you will first have to identify the museum entrance on the left-hand side. From here you have access to four floors of exhibitions - ranging from "Irish Country Furniture" to coins, from silverware to clothing and from scientific instruments to "Irish Period Furniture". This eclectic mix is augmented by a glimpse into the Aladdin's Cave of storage, here you will find even Samurai armor ...

Two new exhibitions opened in 2006. After the exhibition "The Road to Freedom" was dismantled in Kildare Street, it has been partly resurrected as a display on the Easter Rising here. With good effect, the new exhibition is far more informative, definitely thought-provoking and less blatant hero-worship.

Parts of the old exhibition have also been relocated to the brand new display "Soldiers and Chiefs", the National Museum's stab at a military history collection. A successful stab. The story of Irish soldiers and warfare in Ireland from 1550 to modern days is told. The "Wild Geese" are included, as is the Irish participation in the American Civil War - not omitting the Irish fighting on the Confederate side. Exhibits include uniforms, memorabilia, weapons, up to and including a rare Landsverk tank, armored cars, planes and weapons used by the warring Lebanese and Palestinian fractions.

The museum now boasts two bookshops, a sizeable café and provides tours. A car park is available, but the easiest access is by using the LUAS tram.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
collins barracks, Member simonstonich

I agree with Bernd Biege's comments about the National Museum at Collins Barracks - it is off the beaten track (although the luas passes outside!). It seemed to be going somewhere and getting exciting a few years back with the splendid, and well promoted Philip Treacy hat show - hats as sculpture, really - and also a stunning exhibition of paintings and drawings of ancient objects - the artist's name escapes me and I dont think media attention was given to the exhibition. Were there other impressive exhibitions we didn't hear about? I went to the High Crosses exhibition there recently and also liked the Soldiers and Chief’s exhibition, which is very informative. Of the two venues the Kildare Street one wins hands down, even if new exhibitions (of ancient pieces) are rarely shown there. The Kildare Street building is quite beautiful inside and the marvellous gold collection is arresting - also the cafe there is rarely overcrowded and a nice place to relax.

6 out of 6 people found this helpful.

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