The National Museum of Ireland has new premises at Collins Barracks, Dublin.

In December 1988, the Irish government agreed that Collins Barracks in Dublin, named after Michael Collins, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State, would close as a military installation. The vacated site was developed as additional space for the National Museum of Ireland (NMI), principally to display artefacts from the Art and Industrial Division. In April 1997, soldiers marched out of Collins Barracks for the last time to make way for the new National Museum.

The first phase of the National Museum in Collins Barracks provides much needed display space and it is hoped Collins Barracks will attract 300,000 visitors annually.

NMI Director Dr Pat Wallace is enthusiastic about the new facility.

It’s the greatest thing to happen to the museum since 1890 when we opened the building in Kildare Street.

Built in 1702, Collins Barracks is a well known Dublin landmark close to Heuston Station which includes 18th and 19th-Century buildings. Assistant Principal Architect in the Office of Public Works (OPW) Patrick Cooney considers the space

Does lend itself quite well to planning a museum.

The inaugural exhibitions at Collins Barracks include silverware, porcelain and glassware, as well as creations of cabinet and instrument makers. Also on show is a magnificent costume collection on loan from the Ulster Museum.

The first phase of exhibitions on the site was opened by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Síle de Valera.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 September 1997. The reporter is Colm Connolly.