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EPIC Museum, Dublin, Ireland: One of Europe’s Leading Attractions

by Aoife O’Riordan

Dec 20, 2022

© Erik Lattwein | Dreamstime.com

Daily

On the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland, sits a museum unlike any other in the world. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum transports visitors to different centuries in Irish history, detailing accounts of the Irish as they emigrated to other countries. The museum won Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and anyone who walks through the building’s exhibits soon understands why. The strangest part of the museum? There’s no artifacts or objects on display.

EPIC answers our most burning questions about the Irish and Irish culture around the world today. The museum follows the more than 10 million people who emigrated from Ireland over the centuries, sharing their journeys, achievements and struggles as they ventured to different countries for new lives.

The power of identity serves as a main theme throughout the space, as the enduring spirit of Irish heritage manifests itself in different ways, even when emigrants end up thousands of miles from Ireland.

Unique to the museum is its new The Power of a Name exhibition, in which visitors can add their emigrant family member’s name to the museum’s Legacy Wall. Visitors can provide their family member’s name, where they emigrated from and the year they left. Together, these names create a new and important exhibition, with the information projected on the wall of EPIC.

Other fun and permanent features of the museum include the Notorious Irish, a series of Irish men and women in history who became famous for all the wrong reasons, from Anne Bonny, a pirate queen of the Caribbean, to Ned Kelly, an Australian-born male with Irish parents who became one of the country’s most infamous fugitives.

Despite its small size and relatively small population, Ireland dominates the literary field, with the country boasting not one, not two, but four Nobel Prize winners of literature, an anomaly and achievement found nowhere else in the world in terms of awards in proportion to population size. Visitors can delve into the works and lives of literary greats like W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, Samuel Beckett and George Bernard Shaw.

Another exhibit explores the Irish scientists and explorers who contributed to great scientific discoveries. In this space, visitors can learn about Tom Crean, an explorer and hero during the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition in Antarctica. Other notable figures include Sir Ernest Shackleton, an Anglo-Irish explorer of Antarctica.

All this and more await visitors coming to EPIC. After a day in the museum, visitors don’t need to leave the building to choose from an array of cafés, breweries and shops, all located within the restored CHQ building.

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