- 05 Jul 19
EPIC, a fully digital museum covering the history of the Irish diaspora, was recently crowned Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the 2019 World Travel Awards. We head to the Docklands to discover why everyone’s raving about EPIC.
You might not have guessed it, but tucked away in the vaults beneath Dublin’s bustling Docklands is one of Europe’s most acclaimed, state-of-art museums. Beating out the likes of the Acropolis, Buckingham Palace and the Colosseum, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum recently scooped the prize for Europe’s leading tourist attraction at the prestigious 2019 World Travel Awards.
Since opening its doors only three years ago, EPIC has already wowed hundreds of thousands of local and international guests, including the likes of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We decided to hop on the celebrity bandwagon, and take the Luas to George’s Dock, to find out what makes the world’s first fully digital museum so special.
Through creative technology and immersive displays, EPIC has designed an experience that allows us to trace the journey of the Irish diaspora, and to explore the far-reaching impact the 10 million emigrants, who left our small nation, have had on the wider world.
Armed with an EPIC passport, to be stamped at each stop along the journey, we travel down into the historic vaults, to explore the story of Irish emigration through a series of themed galleries. Our first port of call is an exploration of how Irish people have left their homeland through the ages, from travels on currachs to Boeing 737s. Instantly captivated by immersive projections and sound effects, as well as some seriously Instagram-worthy displays, we set to work, using interactive touch-screens to trace the journeys of real-life emigrants throughout history.
While the technology and installations are take-your-breath-away excellent, particularly in the stunning scientific discovery room, the moving tale of Irish emigration remains at the centre of the experience throughout. With projections of Barack Obama’s inspiring speech on College Green in 2011, and archival footage of passengers bidding loved-ones a last goodbye before boarding the boat to England, EPIC pushes human stories and emotions to the fore.
The expansive music and dance section is a particular favourite, covering Irish connections to everything from country music to Rihanna. Unsung heroes also take centrestage, as we learn about Irish-born Chicago police chief, Francis O’Neill, who saved hundreds of years of traditional Irish music with his transcribed collections in the early 20th century.
EPIC is a brilliantly unique account of the Irish emigrant experience. Only a 10-minute walk from the city centre, and a few feet from the Luas Red Line’s George’s Dock stop, we reckon that a day out at EPIC should be on everybody’s bucket list – tourists and Irish people alike.
•EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, located inside the CHQ Building on Custom House Quay, is open seven days a week from 10am to 6:45pm. epicchq.com | Tel: (01) 906 0861