So many venues; so little time!

FEG delegates already in Ireland are no doubt wondering where to go and what to see in their free time.

Picture 058

Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife, c.1854

Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

FEG delegates already in Ireland are no doubt wondering where to go and what to see in their free time. Despite the packed programme, you will get to choose what to do on Saturday afternoon, the 25th November. Now that sunshine has returned to our lovely green island, do take advantage of it to visit some top notch museums and galleries.

With so much to see, it is difficult to choose where to go. The great news is, that all National Museums in Ireland are free to visit, and most of them are in Dublin; The Museum of Decorative Arts, The Museum of Archaeology, The  Natural History Museum, & The Museum of Modern Art.


Dublin Gallery Weekend1

Photo courtesy of the Dublin Gallery Map website


Luckily, this weekend happens to coincide with the Dublin Gallery Weekend. Almost 40 art galleries, private and public, large and small, have collaborated to provide you with talks, concerts, tours and workshops. Hop over to the IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), for example, where you can  catch an exhibition of   one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century, Lucian Freud (1922-2011), or the retrospective of the Scottish-born, Irish artist William Crozier  To burrow into some IMMA collections, click here for a virtual tour.


FEG-Rabbit at Kilmainham

                                                                            The Drummer, by Barry Flanagan, at IMMA


Visitors to the National Gallery this Saturday can look forward to exploring more of the national collection of Irish and European art, including highlights such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, Paul Henry, William Orpen and Jack B. Yeats. Why not catch a free guided tour of the permanent collection on display in the Gallery, at 12.30 on Saturday, 25th? Admission is free to the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. (Admission charge may apply to some temporary exhibitions.)

At 2.30p.m. Saturday, 25th, 2017 you can catch a play at the National Gallery of Ireland, based on the life and work of Frederick William Burton.  Burton is the painter of Ireland’s most popular painting, “The Meeting on the Turret Stairs”, inspired by Danish and Swedish ballads.  Note the detail in the painting, for example,  the knight’s nose-guard, based on an animal head at the base of the famous Cross of Cong. Tickets for the play are  available at Eventbrite.

Burton, Meeting on the Turret Stairs, NGI.2358, Photo ©NGI


Frederic William Burton (1816-1900)    Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs, 1864
Photo © National Gallery of Ireland



The  Merrion Square Christmas market kicks off on November 25th with Irish artisans on the square. Christmas markets are  relatively new to Ireland, but immensely popular due to both the atmosphere, and the vast selection of Irish crafts & Design on display. We might even get some sub-zero temperatures to contrast the near summer temperatures of the earlier part of the week.

Lost Fashion

Photo: website


Alternatively,  at 3p.m. on Saturday, 25th November,you could attend a free tour with a difference; a Lost Fashion Tour , where you can  discover the characters of Merrion Square, from  Oscar Wilde to our modern Irish Couturiers and their influence on fashion in Dublin Do register, however. The Tour starts from No. 45, The Irish Architectural Archive.


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© The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin


One of Dublin’s treasures,   The Chester Beatty Library was awarded that most prestigious of awards, the European Museum of the Year Award, in 2002. Rated consistently in Trip advisor’s top 5  of its “list of things to do in Dublin”, it must surely warrant a visit by FEG delegates. Once again, amazingly, admission is free, despite hosting unique collections from across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Plenty of diversity, then,  to tickle your fancy, from the most sacred to the most profane. You have been warned! Naturally, (it being an amazing museum), you can  download a brochure in 10 languages, including Mandarin and Japanese, and, being Dublin, you can even catch a Qi Gong session on the roof from time to time!

I haven’t even begun to tell you of the treasures that await you in the National Museum of Archaeology; my favorite, but that is for another days blogging and you will just have to be patient. I leave you, with a quote from Ireland’s best known wit, Oscar Wilde:

“The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.” Oscar Wilde


Written by Jessie Mc Donald, ATGI Guide