A Dublin museum that shows how Irish emigrants have helped change and shape the world has been voted Europe’s leading tourist attraction, beating off the likes of Buckingham Palace, the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower.
Epic, which is housed in the CHQ building near the Custom House in Dublin city, has vowed to move beyond stereotypes of “leprechauns or pots of gold”. The interactive museum illustrates the influence Irish emigrants had on international sport, music, dance, creativity, charity, politics, science and technology.
It beat a still list of competitors to become the top tourist attraction in Europe for 2019 in the 26th World Travel Awards.
The museum, which opened in 2016, will welcome 300,000 visitors this year. It explains how and why more than ten million people left Ireland over the course of 1,500 years of the country’s history, tracking the impact that they had on the world around them.
Neville Isdell, the museum’s founder, said that it was an honour for it to be given an award of this magnitude.
“We are delighted to be named Europe’s leading tourist attraction for 2019. We have thoroughly enjoyed welcoming the tens of thousands of people who have visited us both from Ireland and overseas each year and look forward to welcoming many more,” Mr Isdell said.
“I have always believed that the story of Irish people around the world was worth telling, and so I founded Epic. When we opened in 2016 we had a vision to create a local museum that could connect globally.
“It’s very important that we honour the Irish diaspora abroad and recognise the vital contributions and monumental impact Irish people have made worldwide.”
Last month, Epic wrote an open letter to President Trump before his visit
to Ireland, inviting him to come to the museum and see immigration from a “different point of view”.
Mervyn Greene, the managing director of the museum, wrote the letter, including stories of Irish emigrants that might “hit close to home” for Mr Trump.
“Irish emigrants played a huge part in shaping the Manhattan skyline. Descendents of Irish emigrants have held your very position in the Oval Office,” Mr Greene wrote.”The White House itself was designed by James Hoban, an Irish architect. Your vice-president, Mike Pence, is the grandson of an Irish immigrant who escaped war and poverty in 1923.