Words: Ellen Kenny
Fáilte Ireland is now considering new ways to feature the collection of history found in the Dublin Writers Museum.
The Dublin Writers Museum will prolong its closure indefinitely as a review of the attraction reveals that it “no longer meets the expectation of the contemporary museum visitor”. It is now “exploring its options” for the building and its artefacts.
The museum on Parnell Street initially closed in March 2020 due to Covid-19. However, in July 2020, a professional assessment was carried out on the museum for the owners, Fáilte Ireland.
The review of the museum found that “standards of heritage conservation and interpretation have advanced considerably over recent years”. And Dublin Writers Museum no longer meets that standard, according to the review.
Dublin became a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010, and has increasing numbers of festivals throughout the years. In 2019, the Museum of Literature Ireland opened its doors. It includes immersive and audio-visual elements that the Dublin Writers Museum lacked, according to Fáilte Ireland.
The MoLI is also seen as more inclusive and accessible than the older attraction that has been dominated by older male writers. The first of MoLI’s revolving exhibitions, in place for the opening, was on novelist Kate O’Brien.
The Dublin Writers Museum was founded in 1991 to house artefacts honouring the best of Irish writers. It now has thousand artefacts, including a telephone once owned by Samuel Beckett, Austin Clarke’s desk. It also includes letter in which Brendan Behan described New York’s Broadway as “a great place for a quiet piss-up”.
Fáilte Ireland now says it is “exploring its options with regard to the building and ensuring the collection can be correctly displayed and accessible to all”.
The future plans will be revealed “by the end of the year”.
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