EPIC wins World Travel Award for Third Time

EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum has won the World Travel Awards Best in Travel award for top European Tourist Attraction for the third time. The name EPIC reminds us that Every Person Is Connected. 

The museum in the distinctive CHQ building in Dublin’s Financial Services Centre at Customs House Quay. The building was formerly the bonded warehouse for the Irish Custom Services. 

 EPIC was voted for by more visitors than any other place in Europe including the Eiffel Tower and the Tower of London. People voted via social media. 

The museum is the brainchild of E. Neville Isdell, former chairman and Chief Executive of The Coca-Cola Company, who was born in County Down. The museum was opened in 2016 by former President Mary Robinson. It is privately owned and a not-for-profit undertaking. The museum takes visitors on a journey over 15 centuries of Irish history.  

Despite a difficult time during the pandemic, visitor numbers are beginning to rise. In 2019 the museum attracted 500 – 700 visitors per day, this year visitor numbers are around 300 per day midweek and up to 600 at weekends.  

“Visitor numbers are improving all the time. Tour groups are beginning to return and the restoration of traffic to and from the United States will make a big difference,” said Darragh Doyle, Head of Communications at EPIC. 

Museum Director, Dr. Patrick Greene, said that when the lockdown happened the “EPIC took a decision to keep staff on and concentrate on projects that would have a long term benefit. One of the projects was in association with the Sunday Times children’s section and 27,000 workbooks were downloaded.” 

Other features during lockdown included lectures about Irish genealogy that attracted up to 500 people at a time worldwide. There is also an association with the Department of Foreign Affairs which is funding the employment of a historian-in-residence.   

Visitors to the museum should allow a few hours to take in the extensive galleries and items of interest. It is not just about history, but also culture, arts, music, dance, and more. It paints poignant pictures of people leaving their homeland forever and captured in letters and artifacts.  

The Irish Wake was a real thing in people’s lives. There are many surprising stories to discover at EPIC, and maybe even family members, as has happened at times. 

The museum is also an ideal place for people to do family genealogy as the Irish Family History Centre is based here. There is a wealth of information available, not just from Ireland but around the world. Those interested in researching family history can also contact the Centre for in person or remote consultations online. 

During the year there are various events, this month there will a Halloween Spooktacular and Samhain, the Irish festival for autumn. EPIC also manages the Jeanie Johnston which is a replica of a three-masted ship that carried emigrants to Canada from 1847.  

EPIC is open from 10am – last entry at 5.00pm every day Monday to Sunday. Tickets for adults are €16.50 and €8 for children. During the year there are a wide range of events at EPIC, https://epicchq.com/

Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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