Epic new tourist attraction in Dublin

Epic Visitor Museum at CHQ Building Custom House Quay
Open 7 days per week 9am-6pm
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There’s an Epic new attraction in the CHQ described as Dublin’s newest immersive visitor museum. I brought along two pre-teens, to see how Ireland’s Diaspora changed the world, and was surprised and impressed at how the interactive displays kept them busy.

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Getting passports at emigration

On entering the fully accessible building, we were handed our passports, which instantly gave the girls something to do. The adults seemed just as amused with the task of stamping their passports as they completed each section of the exhibition.

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Stamping passports as we passed through the museum

The ambience and initial imagery is unmistakably celtic, and I did wonder if this was going to be fun for the kids, Our island’s tragic history makes gloomy reading and the story of emigration even more downbeat and ever cyclical. However, the constant stamping got the kids through the initial horrors of famine, destitution and poverty without determent, and the girls had their phones out from the initial display. Using their cameras and social media is as much a part of an experience for this generation as the exhibits, and because the displays became more fun and interactive as we passed through each section the girls stayed longer to find out more.

The layout of the exhibition is cavernous which neatly blocks the themes of music, arts, sport and literature into tidy separate sections that are easy to navigate.
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I was especially impressed by the books in the literature rooms which recounted tales from various classic novels when pulled from the shelf. The guides were especially helpful in this part of the museum and eager to show off the novelties.
Those Diaspora who had achieved acclaim on the silver and small screens were recorded especially well and I was so engrossed that I lost the girls at that stage. They were more amused by the sports room and found a place to make better use of snapchat and instagram.
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The images taking me through Italia 90 made me quite reminiscent of our innocence as a nation and I was even emotional watching the pope in the Pheonix Park in 1979. Although, I’d imagine the JFK speech will impact largely with the American Visitors to the museum.
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The girls were getting into the swing of the museum by the time we reached the sport room

I was genuinely astonished to see the Irish Diaspora’s contribution to science and astronomy and this particular display was the most innovative with fluorescent light effects.

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The room of notorious Irish was possibly the most fun for the girls and they were educated about historical facts while they partook in the interactive quiz. I have to admit that I danced around from option A to B a couple of times myself. Every bit of space is used with the displays in all the rooms making the floors, walls and free standing surfaces equally interesting and informative.

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It was nice to see one of my classmates from my old alma mater, the NCAD in Thomas Street, getting a display to himself beside the likes of Francis Bacon and Eileen Gray.

We did spend over an hour at the museum which made the entry fee of €16 for adults and €8 for kids good value.

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With plenty of opportunities to see their names in lights the girls got involved with the personalised postcards and twitter feeds. If you do visit this summer be sure to use the hastag #epicireland to see your tweet in lights. Some heavyweight social media experts like @tedrubin have been to visit here already! It’s good to see a top quality attraction like this in Dublin. With the range of healthy eating options upstairs at the CHQ I really hope that visitors are directed to this attraction this summer and it will put in an interesting afternoon for those living in Dublin or visiting from the rest of Ireland too.

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