The National Gallery of Ireland celebrates providing public access to great works of Irish art and international masterpieces for 150 years.

The National Gallery of Ireland opened its doors to the public in 1864 with just one hundred and twelve pictures on show. Now celebrating its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary the National Gallery collection stands at 13,000 items, and is home to major works by Irish artists, as well as the Caravaggio masterpiece ‘The Taking of Christ'. 

The gallery has also expanded in physical space since its inception, with the Dargan Wing added in 1864 and the Milltown wing in 1901. The Beit Wing was constructed in 1968 and the newest section of the gallery, the Millennium Wing with its shop and café opened in 2002, drawing the public in from Clare Street.  

A destination for tourists and locals alike, 750,000 people visit the gallery every year, with half of those coming from Ireland. The anniversary celebrations will continue in the coming months with new exhibitions and musical performances planned for the autumn.

This is a gallery that gets stronger and more confident every year.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 August 2004. The reporter is Anthony Murnane.