All posts by Seán Silke

Gallery Of Photography

Gallery of Photography

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.

Ireland’s premier venue for photography exhibitions. Groups welcome. To arrange a free tour of the Gallery and an informal talk on the current exhibition, contact the education officer.

Open Tues-Sat 11.00 am-6.00 pm, Sun-Mon 1.00 pm-6.00 pm

Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 671 4654.

Admission free.

Genealogical Resources

Genealogical Resources in Dublin

There is a wide range of resources available in Dublin for people who wish to trace their ancestry. From census records and marriage certificates to land deeds and church records, not to mention many helpful genealogy specialists, Dublin is a key place to begin your family research for anywhere in the country.

Here is a brief overview of Irish genealogical resources (information largely taken from the Fáilte Ireland “Dublin Pocket Guide”):

National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8.
Phone 01-4072300

The National Archives hold many records that are relevant to Irish genealogy and local history, including the surviving census records. Members of the public are welcome to visit and explore the sources available, and can avail of an in-house Genealogy Service, which offers a free, short personal consultation with a professional genealogist. The complete 1901 and 1911 census records are also available online on the National Archives website.

National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Phone 01-6030200

The National Library offers a free Genealogical Advisory Service, making it the perfect place to start your research. The Genealogist on duty will provide you with an overview of Irish genealogical records and explain how to locate search tools and how to access the records. Resources available include civil records, microfilm of Catholic Church records, and land and property records.

A new online resource for researching family history from the 18th and 19th centuries was launched in July 2015 – the National Library’s parish records website. This site contains digitised details of births, deaths and marriages in most Catholic parishes during the 1700s and 1800s. The details available on the website provide an invaluable stepping stone for anyone trying to complete a family tree, given that all pre-1901 census records were destroyed during the Four Courts fire of 1922. To get the most from searching the site, please find out (if you can) the exact parish where your family member was born, as well as the year of birth. See

General Register Office, Werburgh Street, Dublin 2.
Phone 090 6632900

The General Register Office holds all civil birth, marriage and death records from 1864 onwards (records for the six counties of Northern Ireland are only held as far as 1921). All of the Office’s records are now searchable online – see the entry below for for more details.

Glasnevin Trust, Glasnevin Cemetery, Finglas Road, Dublin 11.
Phone 01-8826500.

The Glasnevin Trust has about 1.5 million records available for Glasnevin, Dardistown, Newlands Cross, Palmerstown and Goldenbridge cemeteries, as well as Glasnevin and Newlands Cross crematoria.

Registry of Deeds, Henrietta Street, Dublin 1.
Phone 0761 001610  or 051 303000

The Registry of Deeds was established in 1708 to regulate land and proprty transactions. Registration of deeds was not obligatory and was mainly carried out by property-owning classes such as landowners, merchants and traders. Please consult this link for more precise information about requesting searches –

Dublin City Library & Archives, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
Phone 01 6744800

The Dublin City Library provides several archive collections, including historical maps of Dublin, Dublin City Council records, local parish records and online access to historic electoral rolls and electoral lists, and a directory of Dublin graveyards.

Valuation Office, Block 2, Irish Life Centre, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
Phone 01 8171000

The Valuation Office houses maps and cancelled and current land books which are based on Griffith’s Primary Valuation. The cancelled and current land books document all changes of occupancy of land and property from the time of the original survey (1848-1864) to the late 20th century.

Representative Church Body Library, Braemor Park, Dublin 14.
Phone 01-4923979

The Representative Church Body Library is the principal repository of archives and manuscripts of the Church of Ireland (Anglican Church). It holds the registers of over 600 parishes from counties now in the Republic of Ireland, as well as microfilm copies of many others.

Religious Society of Friends Library, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.
Phone01 4998003

The Society of Friends (Quakers) has been keeping records since the 17th century. Of particular interest are the transcribed registers of births, marriages and deaths held at this library.

The Irish Jewish Genealogical Society, Jasonia Centre, 76 Dame Street, Dublin 2.
Phone 00 44 788 979 4757

Individual entries cover over 105 fields of information such as date and place of birth, school, marriage and occupation details where available, as well as links to parents, children and siblings.

This website is operated by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and allows users to search a wide range of record sources. The website is home to the on-line Indexes of the Civil Registers (GRO) of Births, Marriages, Civil Partnerships and Deaths; and to Church Records of Baptism, Marriage and Burial from a number of counties.

On the church records front, you can search all pre-20th century Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland baptism, marriage and burial registers for Dublin City; and you can do similar searches for a small number of additional counties.

The site also operates as a search portal that allows users to search the following record sources:

  • 1901/1911 Census records and pre-1901 survivals
  • Census Search Forms from 1841/1851
  • Tithe Applotments
  • Soldier’s Wills
  • Griffith’s Valuations
  • Ireland – Australia Transportation database
  • Military Archives
  • Ellis Island
  • National Photographic Archive from the National Library of Ireland

Accredited Genealogists Ireland (formerly Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland) 

You can find additional helpful information in the guide, “Tracing your Ancestors in Ireland”, which you can download from 

George's Street Arcade

George’s Street Arcade

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.

South City Markets was Dublin’s first purpose built Victorian Shopping Centre. In 1876, the Dublin (South) City Market Company was incorporated with a share capital of £200,000 and a loan capital of £50,000. A special Act of Parliament was passed, which gave the Company power to acquire the land and premises required to construct the Market and to widen and improve the surrounding streets.

Designed by distinguished British architects Lockwood and Mauson, and promoted by wealthy families with extensive property interests in the city, South City Market was formally opened by the Lord Mayor, Sir George Moyers, in 1881.

The Market was not initially popular with ordinary Dubliners, possibly because of the appointment of English architects and builders. Tragedy befell the Market on August 27th 1892 when a massive fire devastated the whole building. No one was killed but the shopkeepers lost their premises and homes overhead, and the stallholders suffered heavy financial loss as their stock was not insured. There was a flood of public sympathy for the stallholders and a fund for their relief was successfully organised.

The Centre was re-built, using local labour and craftsmen, and was re-opened in September 1894. South City Market, or George’s Street Arcade, as it is more commonly known today, has traded continuously since then. The present owners, the Layden Family Group, acquired the property in late 1992. There are about fifty tenants varying in size from Dunnes Stores to small sidewalk stalls, selling everything imaginable. The Arcade is a unique part of the Dublin shopping scene with its own very special ambience.

Open Mon-Wed 9.00 am-6.30 pm; Thur-Sat 9.00 am-7.00 pm; Sun 12.00 pm-6.00 pm

George’s Street, Dublin 2

Tel: 01- 283 6077

No admission charge

GPO O'Connell Street

GPO Museum – O’Connell Street

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.

The GPO Museum “Witness History” is a visitor attraction which puts you right inside the GPO (General Post Office) during Easter Week in 1916. History comes to life as you experience events from both sides of the conflict and through the eyes of bystanders caught in the crossfire, availing of electronic touch screens, video, audio visual booths, sound and authentic artefacts (many previously unseen). You can compose newspaper reports, examine the original copy of the Proclamation and send Morse code to declare the Irish Republic by radio.

Explore the events of the Easter Week through personal stories, eyewitness accounts and historical artefacts; use interactive maps to route military dispatches from the GPO to Stephen’s Green; compare the life of a wealthy child in Dublin at the time to the life of a child of the tenements; use touch screens to learn about the events leading up to the 1916 Easter Rising and its aftermath; examine the impact the Rising had on Ireland (both North and South) and throughout the world; and explore how Easter Week has been commemorated over the past 100 years.

After the exhibition, you can relax and reflect in the café and retail store overlooking the courtyard. The courtyard is also home to a commissioned sculpture called ‘They are of us all’, commemorating the forty children who died during the Easter Rising.

The General Post Office is the centrepiece of O’Connell Street. It was designed by Francis Johnston in 1814 in Greek revival style and completed in 1818. He wanted to build a handsome building that would add to Dublin’s architectural beauty and emphasise the important role of the Post Office in Irish life. There was a fine public office at the front, a courtyard for the mail coaches at the back and an imposing façade complete with classical columns and statues on the roof. The statues are of Hibernia (Ireland), with Fidelity to one side and Mercury to the other. During the 1916 Rising, the GPO was one of three Dublin landmarks – along with the Four Courts and the Custom House – destroyed in the fighting. It was rebuilt and re-opened in 1929.

Just after midday on Easter Monday 1916, a band of rebels stormed the GPO. They ordered staff and customers to leave and seized control of the building, making it their headquarters during the fierce fighting of Easter Week. Ireland was declared a sovereign nation on the front steps of the GPO when Patrick Pearse read the Proclamation of Independence on Easter Monday. In the face of considerable military opposition, the rebels held the GPO for almost a week. With the building on fire and crumbling, the rebels tunnelled through the walls of neighbouring buildings and retreated to nearby Moore Street. On Saturday, Pearse took the decision to surrender.

The Easter Rising, though it ended in failure, set into motion an unstoppable chain of events which would ultimately lead to the creation of the Irish Republic.

The 1916 Proclamation is one of the most important documents of modern Irish history. Drafted in large part by Padraig Pearse, it was hurriedly printed in Liberty Hall on the night before the Rising began. The copy on display here is one of the few to have survived the turmoil of Easter Week and the passage of nearly a century.

Open Monday – Saturday 9.00 am–5:30 pm (last admission 4:30 pm). Sunday and Bank Holidays 12.00 pm – 5.30 pm (last admission 4:30 pm).

Closed New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter Sunday, Dec 23-26.

General Post Office, O’Connell Street Lower, Dublin 1

Tel: 01 61-711222

Self-guided tour. Adults €14 (€12 when you book online); concessions. Book online in advance as this is a very busy visitor centre. Guided Tours are available every day except Sunday at 11.00 am and 2.30 pm; and on Sundays at 2.30 pm only. Pre-booking is not necessary (but an additional cost applies). Guided tours for groups (10 people and over) may be arranged by booking in advance with the reservations office (an additional cost applies).

Hurdy Gurdy Museum Of Vintage Radio

Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.

The Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio houses an extensive collection of exhibits chronicling the history of telecommunications from the 1840s onwards. There are examples of early Morse equipment, gramophones, crystal sets, valve radios and other pieces of equipment. Pat Herbert is the curator.

Located in the Howth Martello Tower, the site has historic links with Marconi and Lee deForest, two of the fathers of wireless, who conducted early experiments from the tower in the 1900’s. One of the first ship-to-shore messages was received in this building.

The Martello tower is located on Tower Hill, overlooking Howth Harbour. Access is from Abbey Street up a sloping pathway, almost opposite the Abbey Tavern.

Open May-October 11.00 am to 4.00 pm daily
Open Nov-April 11.00 am to 4.00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays only

Martello Tower, Howth, Co. Dublin

Phone 086-8154189

Admission: Adults €5, Concessions. 

Irish Architectural Archive

Irish Architectural Archive

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.

The Irish Architectural Archive was established in 1976 to collect and preserve material relating to the architecture of Ireland. There are well over 1,000,000 items in its collections. The Archive is the greatest single source of information on Ireland’s buildings.

The Archive is stored within the largest terraced house on Merrion Square. There is a fine entrance hall, an imposing stone main staircase, and attractive neo-classical plaster work.

The public areas include the Archive Reading Rooms (on the ground floor) and the Architecture Gallery (showcasing a programme of exhibitions which make the Archive’s holdings accessible to all).

Open Tues-Fri 10.00 am-5.00 pm

45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 6633 040

Admission free.

Irish Famine Exhibition

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.

The Irish Potato Famine was the most catastrophic event in Ireland’s turbulent history. It is also regarded as being one of the worst famines in history (in terms of deaths as a proportion of the overall population).

The famine is often referred to as The Great Hunger, a period of mass death from starvation and disease between 1845 and 1852. This temporary exhibition tells the story of what happened and why.

After centuries of British colonial rule, a large section of the Irish population lived in extreme poverty and depended on the potato as their main (and often their only) food source for survival.

Centuries of British invasions, land confiscations and anti-catholic laws had reduced the country and its people to levels of poverty not seen in other parts of Europe.

At the same time, Britain was booming and in the throes of the industrial revolution. Ireland was part of the United Kingdom at this time and might have expected to benefit accordingly. But this was not to be.

Massive and speedy humanitarian aid was required when the potato crop failed. Instead the British Government acted slowly and in a fragmented way. Their overriding concern was not to disrupt market forces, so food continued to be exported to Britain as the Irish starved.

The Great Hunger devastated Ireland. At least a million died, perhaps even 1.5 million – we will never know the true figure. Millions more were forced to flee the country. The population of the island has never recovered.

From a population of between 8 and 9 million in 1845, a steady decline ensued for the next 150 years while other European populations grew.

This exhibition tells the story of what happened during those horrific years. The exhibition uses rare 19th century photographs, witness accounts, and contemporary sketches, as well as maps and statistical information. A 15-minute film explains the background to the Famine.

The exhibition contains a number of museum artefacts such as a Famine Pot from County Donegal, a workhouse coffin carrier and a letter from a father to his son who fled the Famine. The famine pot which was used to make soup is perhaps the ultimate famine memorial. The pots were mainly manufactured in Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, England, by a Quaker iron foundry run by the Darby family. The pots were made of cast iron. 600 pots were supplied by the Government, a further 295 were provided by the Quakers themselves, and some also came from the United States. In the summer months of 1847, approximately 3 million Irish People relied on soup from these pots for their survival.

Open 7 days a week from 12 noon to 6.00 pm (last entry 5.00 pm). The exhibition usually runs from April to September.

Irish Famine Exhibition
Second Floor
St Stephens Green Shopping Centre
Dublin 2

Tel: 089-227 5735

Admission €11

Irish Historic Houses Association

Ireland’s historic houses are a valuable cultural resource. These houses and their contents are part of the physical evidence that helps to define the cultural and historical relationship between Ireland and the rest of Europe. The umbrella organisation representing this resource is the Irish Historic Houses Association.

The preservation of this part of Ireland’s cultural heritage is of national importance and this has been recognised by successive governments, who have enacted legislation intended to safeguard historic houses, their parks and contents, for current and future generations and in the public interest.

Heritage properties that remain in private hands have a unique value, especially those that have been owned by the same family for several generations. Typically, they contain artefacts and archives that greatly enhance the cultural and historical significance of each country house in its locality, and indeed many historic houses encapsulate the history of their surrounding regions. Below you will find listed historic houses which are members of the IHHA within the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow. Within each of these links, the opening times for each property may be ascertained by clicking on the property’s website link (below), or by clicking on the “Opening Times & Further Details” button.

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.


Lissen Hall

Lambay Castle


Burtown House



Leixlip Castle

Lodge Park

Moone Abbey


Barmeath Castle


Collon House

Killineer House

Rokeby Hall




Altidore Castle

Killruddery House

Irish Rock'n'Roll Museum

Irish Rock’n’Roll Museum Experience

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.

The Irish Rock’n’Roll Museum Experience is essentially a tour featuring some of Dublin’s best loved professional music facilities, including the Button Factory (a live music venue); Temple Lane Rehearsal Studios; and Temple Lane Recording Studio (where artists such as Rihanna, the Script and Kodaline have recorded).

The Thin Lizzy exhibition celebrates one of Ireland’s greatest bands, within the setting of Apollo Studio where Phil Lynott recorded his last songs before his untimely death. The exhibition is incorporated into a fully functioning studio and features memorabilia such as gold and platinum albums, set lists, some of Phil Lynott’s costumes, and musical instruments.

The Wall of Fame as a symbol of Irish music royalty has been a fixture in Temple Bar since its unveiling in 2003, providing a focal point for many of Dublin’s walking tours and showcasing the music that is such an integral part of Irish culture. Recently, LED screens were added to the exhibit, allowing for new artists to be added to the exhibit more frequently.

Down through history, certain guitars and equipment have become as legendary as the musicians who play them. Gibson, Fender, Marshall, and Vox are companies that any musician or music enthusiast will know and love. On display in the museum is an extensive variety of vintage instruments and equipment.

Temple Lane Rehearsal Studios are the premiere rehearsal studios in Dublin. Many acts do pre-production for albums here, trying out new material and getting songs ready to record or perform. Now you can experience what it’s like to rehearse with your very own band.

Temple Lane Recording Studio has been at the centre of Irish music since 1984. Countless bands have recorded here, including Paolo Nutini, The Script, Rihanna and many more. Now, for the first time, explore and experience the iconic studios for yourself.

Open 7 days a week 11.00 am to 5.30 pm

Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Tel: 01-6351993

Adults €16 (get 10% off this price by booking online); concessions

Irish Traditional Music Archive

Irish Traditional Music Archive

COVID-19 advice: Please follow current government advice and check opening times before travel.

The Irish Traditional Music Archive is the national reference archive and resource centre for the traditional song, instrumental music and dance of Ireland. Here is found the largest collection in existence of sound recordings, books/serials, sheet music and ballad sheets, photographs, and videos/DVDs for the appreciation and study of Irish traditional music. The archive also holds a representative collection of the traditional music of other countries.

Visitors may listen to recordings, view DVDs and photographs, read music collections, and research material and topics of interest. The archive is open to all but for study and research purposes only.

Open Mon-Fri 10.00 am-5.00 pm; late opening Thur to 8.00 pm.

Open to the general public one Saturday a month 10.00 am-5.00 pm.

73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 661 9699.