Model Railway Exhibition

We have a fantastic model railway exhibition opening on November 28th.  It is based on an Irish docks scene with (naturally) CIE locomotives, Irish freight containers and, of course, an old Dublin bus! Come in and see what you can spot.  Previous Next

Ringsend Sailing Trawlers by Cormac F. Lowth

A new book by Cormac F. Lowth, Ringsend Sailing Trawlers, is available in the Museum bookshop.  The book gives a realistic picture of the marine culture of Ringsend with its ancillary trades of boat building and repair, as well as rope making.

Talk with Robert Collins and Kevin O’Farrell

Date November 23rd Time 8:00pm Location National Maritime Museum Price €10 (Ex Booking fees) Rowing Across the Atlantic – 6000km with Robert Collins & Kevin O’Farrell In April this year, Robert Collins and Kevin O’Farrell rowed a small boat from Portugal to French Guiana in South America. On Wednesday, 23rd of November, they will present their 6000km transatlantic rowing adventure at The National Maritime Museum. Rough seas, technical hitches and physical injuries in the crew made for an arduous crossing.

Pat Sweeney RIP

It is with great sadness that I write to you today to inform you of the death of a former President and long standing volunteer of the Maritime Institute of Ireland Mr Pat Sweeney. Pat  was a stalwart of the Maritime Institute/Museum for over 50 years. He firmly believed in the richness of our maritime culture and was a distinguished photographer, author and journalist. As well as being our President from 1990 to 1993 , he was also editor of

The Uniform​

The Maritime Museum’s Halpin Collection includes his Royal Navy Reserve Officers Dress Uniform, including tailcoat, epaulettes, and dress sword. This would have been an extremely rare uniform because. President Michael D. Higgins used Halpin’s sword to officially open the newly refurbished Museum in 2012. The uniform was recently restored to the highest possible standard by an expert textile conservator and is now proudly displayed on a custom conservation / display mannequin. The restoration included cleaning, removal of creases and distortions,

The Great Eastern

When the Great Eastern was launched in 1858 it was the largest ship in the world. It was designed by the great Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It was built at Milwall on the River Thames. There was no dry dock large enough for it, and it had to be built alongside the river and launched sideways. It took several attempts to finally push it into the water. It would be 40 years before a ship so large was built

Captain Robert Halpin

Captain Robert Halpin is an Irish maritime legend. He was born in Wicklow town on 17th February 1836, the youngest of 13 children. At 11 years old he went to sea. His first trips were on sailing ships, but Halpin saw that the future lay in steam. In 1858 Halpin took command of a 1,000 ton passenger steamship called Propellor, travelling from Ireland to America. Galway was their home-port, because at that time the most dangerous part of the trip

The Chilean Ambassador Visits

There have been many points of contact in history between Chile and Ireland. It is in this context that the Chilean Ambassador to Ireland, Ms. Carla Serazzi, accompanied by the Second Secretary Daniel Mora, was received on March 3 by members of the Irish Maritime Museum. Touring the permanent exhibition of this true jewel of Irish maritime history, there is a corner of Chile, dedicated to Bernardo O’Higgins and the fundamental impetus he gave to the nascent National Navy, at

Ireland and the WW1 Endgame

David Snook our speaker talks about how he has endeavoured to improve his understanding of Ireland’s part in the WW1 endgame. Geographically, Ireland was right in the middle as the British and US governments overcame the U-boat threat and transported food, war material and two million US troops to Europe. The U-boat defeat led to the German army defeat on the Western front. The talk will cover U-boats in the Irish Seas 1917-18 – Transporting the US Army to France

SS Isolda Lecture

Elleesa Rushby MA, a current PhD student at the University of Bedfordshire, UK., is researching ambiguous loss in descendants of the SS Isolda sinking. Ambiguous loss occurs where the body of a loved one is never found. The Irish Lights Tender SS Isolda was sunk by the Luftwaffe on 19 December 1940 while carrying out reliefs on the Barrels and Coningbeg Lightships and this year will be the 81st anniversary of the sinking. Elleesa has previously won the Listowel Festival

My search for Du Teillay

When David’s grandmother Elizabeth Sullivan née Gill (school teacher and amateur historian) died in 1987, the family entrusted her vast collection of research – letters, charts and historical documents to David.  Over the past 35 years, with the help of DNA, genealogy software and computers David has managed to advance her research quite considerably. David’s research centres around one individual: John William Sullivan.  John was shot and beheaded in 1754 by the English and had his head spiked on the South

A Dangerous Stretch of Water

Pat McCarthy, a native of Waterford city and past pupil of Mount Sion, holds a PhD and an MBA from UCD. He is the author of The Irish Revolution 1912-23, Waterford (Four Courts Press, 2015), Waterford and the 1916 Rising (Waterford city and county council, 2016), The Redmonds and Waterford, a political dynasty 1891-1952 (Four Courts Press, 2018) and A History of the Irish Pharmaceutical Industry (Four Courts Press, 2021) and is currently completing a study of the East Waterford

Captain Halpin Lecture

Born in a dockside tavern in Wicklow town, Robert Halpin began his seafaring career at the age of eleven. Unafraid of danger, particularly when potential profit outweighed risks, he ran supplies to the Confederate ports in the American Civil War. His greatest days at sea were as Commander of the largest ship on earth, The SS Great Eastern. He laid 26,000 miles of cable, linking four continents with telegraphic communications, making himself a fortune in the process. His later life

Culture Night 2021

Culture Night 2021 Cancellations! If you book tickets and you won’t be able to make it, please cancel them on the Eventbrite platform so that they become available to others. There will be tours every half hour from 17:00 with the last tour starting at 19:30. Each tour will be limited to 6 people. The tours will be self-guided and we would ask patrons to strictly observe social distancing with people outside their household Face coverings are mandatory in the

Halpin Uniform Restoration

National Maritime Museum of Ireland offered over €11.5k in funding under Heritage Council Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2021 The National Maritime Museum of Ireland is delighted to announce we have been offered over €11,500 in Heritage Council funding to restore and display the Royal Navy Reserve ceremonial dress uniform of Captain Robert Halpin, the legendary master mariner from Wicklow who played a critical role in the laying of the first transatlantic cable from Valentia Island to Newfoundland. Halpin became an

Royal Navy’s Hijacking of Archbishop Daniel Mannix

The incident made headlines round the world. What was it about Mannix’s proposed visit to Ireland that led the British government to risk international opprobrium in having him arrested on the high seas in such dramatic circumstances. This talk will examine the background to this incident and the reasons why the British government believed the mere presence of Mannix in his native land might pose a danger to British rule in Ireland. Dr Jeff Kildea is an Honorary Professor in

Ghost Ship Legends

This talk will discuss the stories of the coast, in which history is woven through with folklore, and the spirits of lost ships and sailors are said to return. The Ghost Ship Map of Newfoundland and Labrador brings archival material to life by presenting legends from local communities in visual and interactive form. Our Speaker, Karin Murray-Bergquist, is a PhD student in folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Along with her studies in the field of ghost ship legends in

A Talk on Ernest Shackleton – Video

Kevin Kenny, organiser of the annual Shackleton Autumn School, will give an overview of Ernest Shackleton’s life, from childhood in Ireland through his extraordinary exploits and what he got up to when he wasn’t battling the Polar elements. Everybody knows a piece about Shackleton, the intention of this talk is to build the person around that piece of knowledge. Shackleton was a multifaceted and in many ways contradictory character whose Irish Quaker roots cast a large influence on his life

Dalkey Coast Watchers Lecture

Dr Michael Kennedy gave a great lecture on the Dalkey Coast Watchers on Thursday 28th January. It was well received and very well attended. We recorded the lecture and below is the lecture (without the Q+A). So if you missed it, it’s well worth a watch and if you saw it live it’s a chance to watch it again! From 1939 to 1945 neutral Ireland was on the front line of the Second World War. From their Look Out Post


01 The Prisoners’ Dock​ 02 The Baily Optic 03 Radio Room 04 The Titanic Artefact 01 The Prisoners’ Dock​ 02 The Baily Optic 03 The Radio Room 04 The Titanic Artefact

Grace O’Malley

Born c. 1530 Umhaill, Co. Mayo Died c. 1603 Rockfleet Castle Co. Mayo Grace O’Malley Grace O’Malley or Gráinne Ní Mháille was born on Clare Island c1530. Her father was the ruler of the Ó Máille dynasty or clan and her family made their living from both land and the sea, their family motto being “Terra Marique Putens” translating to “Valiant by sea and land”. Many stories have grown up around her and it’s sometimes difficult to navigate between lore

Admiral William Brown

Born June 22, 1777, Foxford, Co Mayo Died March 3, 1857, Buenos Aires, Argentina Admiral William Brown William Brown was one of the most important Irish military commanders in the Argentine War of Independence from Spain and the war against Brazil and he was the founder of the Argentine navy.  Born in Foxford, Co. Mayo on June 22, 1777, he accompanied his father to settle in Pennsylvania in 1786 (some historians argue Brown was an illegitimate son of William Gannon

Commodore John Barry

Born March 25, 1745, Tacumshane Co Wexford Died September 13, 1803, Philadelphia, United States Commodore John Barry John Barry, (born 1745, County Wexford, Ireland – died September 13, 1803, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.), Barry became an American navy officer winning significant maritime victories during the American Revolution (1775-83). During his career he trained many young officers, with many going on to distinguished careers, he was often given the name the ‘Father of the Navy’. A merchant shipmaster out of Philadelphia at

Captain Robert Halpin

Born 16 February 1836 Wicklow, Ireland Died 20 January 1894 Tinakilly House, Wicklow, Ireland Captain Robert Halpin Captain Robert Halpin is an Irish maritime legend. He was born in Wicklow town on 17 February, 1836 the youngest of 13 children. At 11 years of age he went to sea. His first trips were on sailing ships, but Halpin saw that the future lay in steam. In 1858 Halpin took command of a 1,000 ton passenger steamship called Propellor, travelling from

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Pride of Place Award

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown were delighted to attend the Pride of Place Awards ceremony which took place on Saturday 30th November in Lyrath Estate Kilkenny.  Pride of Place is a national awards ceremony with groups represented from the four corners of Ireland and 2019 marked the 17th year of the event.  The Awards provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the wealth of people and projects across our country which all contribute to make this a vibrant place to live. This

In Memoriam

Joe Fallon RIP Joe Fallon, former member of the Maritime Institute, died on 1st May 2019 after a long illness. Joe served as Commodore of the Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club and was also an active member of the National Yacht Club. He established BIM’s Sailing Club, where he worked, to encourage its staff to go sailing. An avid yachtsman and an accomplished carpenter, diver and photographer, Joe and his wife Sara’s well maintained yacht was always ready at her

Margaret Downey Harrington Receives BIM Lifetime Achievement Award By Richard McCormick

Margaret Downey-Harrington from Castletownbere, Co. Cork was honoured with the BIM National Seafood Lifetime Achievement Award for her immense contribution to the Irish seafood industry. Margaret, whose career spans more than 60 years, owns a Castletownbere pelagic trawler and is also a founding member of Mná na Mara, the national network for women in fisheries. Her award was presented by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD at a BIM seafood banquet hosted in Dublin’s Christchurch