The National Museum of Ireland was founded under the Dublin Science and Art Museum Act of 1877. Previously, the Museum’s collections had been divided between Leinster House and the Natural History Museum in Merrion Street. The original museum building was designed by architects Thomas Newenham Deane and his son Thomas Manly Deane.
It has displays on prehistoric Ireland, including early work in gold, church treasures and objects from the Viking and medieval periods. There are special displays of items from Egypt, Cyprus, and the Roman world. Special exhibitions are regularly mounted.