Is there a better way for artefacts from the National Museum collections to be exhibited outside of Dublin?

With just five per cent of the National Museum's collection currently on display in Dublin, the remaining 95 per cent remains in poor storage conditions.

Chairman of the National Museum Development Committee Michael Ó Morain calls for the establishment of museums in other parts of Ireland outside Dublin. He believes that the nation's heritage belongs to all the people of the nation and questions why it should all reside in the capital city.

The nation’s heritage belongs to the nation. It belongs to every part of the nation and it belongs to all the people of the nation.

Michael Ó Morain is not suggesting that collections should be broken up and distributed around the country, but rather that many collections could be put on public display outside Dublin. He points out that just five per cent of the National Museum of Ireland’s collections are on public exhibition. The other 95 per cent could make equally good exhibitions outside Dublin.

Many of the artefacts held by the National Museum are in storage at the now crumbling Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

The whole places has the appearance of an artefact’s graveyard. Here, not only unwanted relics of an unhappy past but very many items of value and interest which many people feel deserve better accommodation.

Some of the cases in the collection have not been open for 35 years and the fossil collections have not been open for 50 years. The storage conditions are described as shocking.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 October 1976. The reporter is Derek Davis.