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Life & Style

Eight reasons Dublin’s new visitor experience is EPIC

Visitors get a guided tour at EPIC Ireland

EPIC Ireland has opened its doors this month an the interactive visitor centre in Dublin’s historic heart aims to take visitors on a journey they won’t forget.

Split into four themes — Migration, Motivation, Influence and Connection — the centre will allow visitors to immerse themselves in Irish stories around the world.

Neville Isdell, founder and chairman of EPIC Ireland, with his grandson Rory Lee and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson (Picture: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)

The centre is the brainchild of businessman Neville Isdell, whose parents left Ireland in the 1950s for what was then Northern Rhodesia.

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“Over the years I have thought about what might be the best way to tell the stories of the Irish people with different backgrounds who had left these shores and made a unique mark on the world,” said Mr Isdell.

Through a combination of cutting-edge technology and age-old storytelling, he has tried to achieve this in the vaults of the CHQ building in Dublin’s Docklands.

There the experience hopes to attract visitors from Ireland and across the world.

 Eight reasons to visit EPIC:

1. A mile in their shoes

When entering EPIC Ireland, patrons are issued with their very own passport before embarking on their journey through the experience. The interactive exhibitions include 325 individual characters whose stories will be brought to life, from Che Guevara, whose ancestors came from Galway, to Irish-American president JFK.


2. Your own story

Visitors are also given the chance to delve into their own heritage at EPIC Ireland’s family history centre. Operated by Eneclann, Ireland’s leading genealogy services provider. The centre helps those looking to learn more about their own ancestry with innovative services, including advanced DNA testing. Expert genealogists are on hand for one-to-one support and assistance with personal record searches.


Embark on a journey of discovery
Embark on a journey of discovery


3. Questions answered

Why have so many people left Ireland over the years? Were they all fleeing famine? What did they hope to find? For many members of the global Diaspora understanding why their ancestors left Ireland is key to understanding their family history. The Motivation exhibit explores the many and varied reasons people emigrated, told through their own words.


4. A celebration of Irishness

At its heart the experience celebrates the far-reaching impact of the Irish Diaspora on art, music, literature, politics, business, science and medicine. It’s a celebration of all the Irish have achieved however far from home they travelled. The Influence exhibit explores the impact the Irish have had on world culture.


Aisling Ni Cheallaigh as Maureen O'Hara and Ronan Barry as Che Guevara at the EPIC Ireland launch (Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)
Aisling Ni Cheallaigh as Maureen O’Hara and Ronan Barry as Che Guevara at the EPIC Ireland launch (Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)


5. Become part of the experience

As part of its growth, EPIC Ireland will be seeking the opinions and stories of its visitors on identity, emigration and what it means to be Irish around the world today. This is your chance to become part of the big Irish story.


6. The great and the good

From global style icon Grace Kelly to modern-day justice campaigner Mari Steed, the Irish Diaspora has left its mark in all corners of the world — sometimes in places you’d least expect: the Indian independence activist Annie Besant had Irish parents and Charles de Gaulle’s mother had Irish ancestry.


EPIC Ireland provides an engaging, high-tech, emotional experience
EPIC Ireland provides an engaging, high-tech, emotional experience

7. The bad

Of course with so many Irish leaving home they couldn’t all be good eggs. Here too are the stories of the mad, bad and feckless who left Irish shores and stumbled on to the world stage. Infamous pirate Annie Bonny was an Irish lass and Billy the Kid was born a McCarty.


8. The future

Not content to just tell the stories of the past, the centre intends to use digital technology to record and store the stories of the Irish today, and into the future — wherever they may be, and wherever they might be heading.


EPIC Ireland, The CHQ Building, IFSC Docklands, Dublin 1, Ireland,

Tickets: €16, €8 child



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