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Royal Kilmainham Hospital

No trip to Dublin would be complete without visits to several of the excellent museums; among them are the National Gallery, National Museum and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Be sure to observe the architecture of the buildings as well as their contents.

The National Gallery houses a collection of works by Irish painters of the 17th to 20th centuries. French, Dutch, Italian, British and Spanish works are also exhibited.

The National Museum has a collection of Irish artifacts from 6000 BC to the present which includes such treasures as the Tara Brooch, Cross of Cong, St. Patrick's Bell and the Ardagh Chalice. Another exhibit area is devoted to the 1916 Easter Rising and the 1919-21 War of Independence. Collins Barracks holds an additional part of the Museum's collection.

The Royal Kilmainham Hospital, pictured above, is now home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which concentrates on Irish artists. The Hospital was built in the 17th century as a home for disabled and veteran soldiers. It housed 300 veterans, four to a room and was used for this purpose until the 1920's. The exterior and interior reflect the Hospital as it once was. It is considered one of the most important Irish buildings of the 17th century. As a genealogical aside, a publication is underway which will provide the Irish researcher with information on the veterans, nurses, doctors and staff housed at Kilmainham during the 18th and 19th centuries. Plans are to list the name, military rank, country of birth and other pertinent data as well as the reference number of the original microfilm containing additional data (which can be rented at the LDS Church Family History Centers). It is anticipated the publication will be in three volumes, the first of which should be available late 1998.

Submitted by Corky © 1998

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