Treasures of Dublin’s west inner city

Dublin has very few 18th century buildings that remain in use for their intended purpose, but Marsh’s Library is one exception. The library is thriving with a variety of events and workshops taking place every week. Established by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh and situated in St Patrick’s Close, adjacent to St Patrick’s Cathedral, the library continues to function as a charitable organisation that offers public resources for research and education. The library boasts a collection of hundreds of stunning books, which can be perused free of charge in the reading room.

Inside of Marsh’s Library. Photo: Paul Lee

Located in Smithfield, Brown Bag Films is an animation studio that produces animations for the global market. Although they have branches in Toronto, Manchester and Bali. Brown Bag Films was originally established in Dublin in 1994. Over the years, they have received 18 Emmy awards and have been nominated for two Oscars. Some of their well-known creations include Peter Rabbit, Doc McStuffins, and Noddy. Unfortunately, the studio is not open to the public, but you can view their work on their showreel or engage with them in other ways through their YouTube channel, ‘Brown Bag Films’.

The Garda Museum and Archives in Dublin Castle is only a 10-minute walk from Thomas Street. Despite how close by it is, many Dubliners are unaware of its existence. The exhibition is open from 10am-2pm Monday to Friday, and provides visitors with an understanding of the intriguing history of An Garda Siochana. Additionally, it offers information on policing in Ireland prior to 1922, when law enforcement was the responsibility of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Their policing methods were so effective that they influenced the development of many other police systems around the world.

Display cabinet holding Garda equipment. Photo: Paul Lee

Hidden near Heytesbury Street, the Copper House Gallery offers more than just an exhibition of artworks. While they do showcase a diverse range of exhibits, including collage, watercolour painting, landscape photography, and socio-political displays, the gallery is also involved in other endeavours. As the longest-standing fine art printing studio in Ireland, the Copper House plays a crucial role in digitising, preserving, and archiving original artworks and artefacts. The gallery houses unique devices such as ‘Cruse Scanners,’ which are typically owned by esteemed institutions such as the Guggenheim in New York and the Vatican Secret Archives.

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