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Heritage Season at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Irish Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Dúchas – the Heritage Service, presents for its second year an exciting Heritage Season at the magnificent 17th-century Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Dúchas is offering guided heritage tours during the summer months until 14 September 2002, which allow visitors to discover and explore the building and grounds of the Royal Hospital. They include the stunning Baroque Chapel, with reconstructed paper maché ceiling, the impressive Great Hall, where the only public collection of early portraits remain in their original location, the beautiful 17th-century formal gardens and Bully’s Acre one of Dublin’s oldest cemeteries. The heritage programme also includes a video and permanent exhibition, which are available to view all year round.

The permanent exhibition brings together many fascinating and intriguing objects and facts on the original grounds and building of the Royal Hospital. These include the Blackjack, a jug capable of holding 5 gallons of ale - on account of the weight the phrase ‘more power to your elbow’ was coined. Also on view are the military uniforms of the retired soldiers, such as the scarlet summer full-dress and the dark blue winter greatcoat. The typical daily life of a retired solider living in the hospital can be explored in the minutes from the meetings of the Board of the Hospital, such as the order made on 16 December 1700 “That it be an established rule, that if any soldier of the Hospital shall presume to marry, he be immediately turned out of the house, and the Hospital clothes taken from him.” The Heritage video is 13 minutes long and provides an overview of the history of the original building and grounds, from the sites earliest settlers - the monks of St. Maignend’s Christian monastery established in 606AD - to the building of the Royal Hospital in 1684 and finally the opening of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 1991.

Dúchas, the Heritage Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaelacht and the Islands, cares for many of Ireland’s national monuments, parks, gardens and nature reserves. Dúchas will be running the heritage season at the Royal Hospital until 14 September, which includes National Heritage week from the 1 to 8 of September. The permanent exhibition, heritage video and guided tours are offered between 10.00am and 4.45pm during Museum opening hours.

Price for Guided tour:
Adult €3.50
Concession €2.00
Family €6.00

Opening Hours:
Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sun & Bank Hols 12noon – 5.30pm
Monday Closed

For further information and colour images please contact Monica Cullinane at
Tel: +353-1-612 9900, Fax: +353-1-612 9999, email:
20 June 2002


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