National Maritime Museum


The National Maritime Museum of Ireland is located in the former Mariners’ Church in Haigh Terrace, Dún Laoghaire. This historic Church was built in 1837. The Church was designed to meet the needs of the seafarers whose vessels sought shelter in the asylum harbour of Kingstown. The church could accommodate 1400 people and the Deed of Trust stated that one third of the seating was to accommodate the families of those in the seafaring, coastguard and revenue services.

Although today the seating has been removed a reminder of the Church’s history can still be seen in the west gallery . On either side of the gallery’s stained glass windows can be seen the Prisoner’s docks were those under punishment aboard ship could be kept under guard while still attending Sunday service.

In 1971 the Mariners’ Church closed as its congregation had dwindled. In 1974 an agreement was drawn up between the Representative Church Body of the Church of Ireland and the Maritime Institute of Ireland and following some renovation the Church was reopened as the National Maritime Museum of Ireland in 1978. the buildings character is still preserved through the fine stained glass windows and plaques commemorating past rectors.


Baily Optic This working Optic is the light from Baily lighthouse in Howth, North Dublin. It was installed in 1902 and removed in 1972 when the lighthouse was modernised. Originally gas, then oil powered, the light was equivalent to 2,000,000 candle power. the optic now shines a lesser light over the museum.

Great Eastern This was the largest ship in the world when it was built in 1857. Its commander Capt. Halpin was an Irishman from Tinakeely House , Wicklow. During her life she was used first as a passenger ship, then a cable layer and finally as a showboat. The display contains documents and items of Captain Halpin’s and a clockwork model of the ship over one hundred years old.

Naval Display Tracing the history of the Irish naval service from before Independence to the present day. The display includes models, photos, documents, and uniforms connected with the history of the Naval Force.

Kerlogue An Irish merchant vessel active during the Second World War. on 29th Dec. 1943, she went to the rescue of the crews from two stricken German Naval vessels in the Bay of Biscay, a warzone at the time, and rescued 168 crew from the sinking ships. Ireland maintained her neutrality throughout the conflict and rescued seamen from both sides.