‘Closer Than You Think’ Exhibition at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
Travelbiz Reporter, Marian Benton, was delighted to attend the ‘Closer Than You Think’ Exhibition at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum to celebrate the Irish connections with the upcoming College Football Classic organised by the ever-efficient Niamh Waters of Vroom Digital.
This week sees old rivals Notre Dame and Navy face-off at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium for the 2023 Aer Lingus College Football Classic. These teams meet for the third time in Dublin having played here in 1996 and 2012. To mark this highly anticipated event EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is hosting a temporary exhibition titled ‘Closer Than You Think’ which explores the strong ties existing between Ireland and Notre Dame and Ireland and Navy. Both the University of Notre Dame and the U.S. Navy’s records are replete with Irish names and this exhibition will shine a light on the Irish who helped establish these two institutions and the Irish connections that endure to this day.
A world record will be set this week for the largest number of Americans to travel internationally for a single sporting event. This Exhibition will help visiting fans to get a deeper understanding of what it means to be Irish. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum was created to honour the Irish diaspora abroad and recognise the vital contributions and monumental impact Irish people have made worldwide.
We had a brief tour of the Museum (one could really spend an entire day there) escorted by Nathan Mannion, Head of Exhibitions and Programmes and Catherine Healy, Resident Historian at the Museum, who gave us a brief talk on some of the exhibits. EPIC is just epic and should be on everyone’s ‘must visit’ list.
Lunch was hosted at the adjacent Urban Brewing where Shannon told us that this is a craft brewery with beer brewed onsite and, unusually, piped directly from the tanks above to the dispensers behind the bar. Darren then explained the brewing process and we had the opportunity to sample to product. Well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it? Shannon then took us on a tour of their cellar. This vast area is divided up into large and small sections and is a unique venue for dinners, parties and events.
After an enjoyable lunch we were invited to cross the road to visit the Jeanie Johnston ship, a memorial to Ireland’s famine emigrants. This ship is an authentic replica of the original which was built in Canada in 1847 and acquired by Kerry based merchant family, John Donovan & Sons, to transport timber from Quebec to Ireland. The Jeanie Johnston made her maiden voyage from Blennerville in Tralee to Quebec, Canada in 1848 with 193 passengers on board. She carried 2,500 Irish emigrants on 16 voyages to North America during the Famine years and, uniquely, never lost a single life at sea. Our superb guide, Shane, gave us a passionate history of the ship itself and life on board.
Thank you Niamh for a most interesting and enlightening day.