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“Small but well worth a look”

Irish Republican History Museum
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US$62.31*
and up
Belfast Day Trip from Dublin
Ranked #54 of 233 things to do in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 16 July 2014

This is a small museum, an easy bus ride from the city centre, doing exactly what its name says. While it ostensibly covers the entire history of Irish Republicanism, in practice it is mainly devoted to the Troubles. Some of the artefacts are impressive, including objects created by prisoners to while away the time, such as leatherwork and small harps (including one made from lolly sticks). There are rather a lot of armaments on display, which is somewhat chilling. There is a small library in a separate area.

The museum, which is funded by donations, is staffed by volunteers who we found to be friendly and informative. It does mean that the opening hours are restricted so it is best to check, though I did see that the museum can be opened at other times by appointment. Surprisingly there is a case devoted to Loyalism, but don't expect this to be an even-handed treatment of the fractious history of Northern Ireland (or the North of Ireland I suppose I should say in this context).

1  Thank Tom R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 - 52 of 70 reviews

Reviewed 10 July 2014 via mobile

This place falls into the 'only in Northern Ireland' category. Other countries simply wouldn't put up with a museum that takes history into its own hands, flips it on its side, and presents the belligerents in a conflict as the heroes, especially so close to central Belfast, which the IRA effectively demolished during thirty years of madness. Imagine an Al Qaeda themed museum around the corner from Ground Zero.

The 'museum', and I use the term in the loosest possible sense, has several displays detailing - without any context whatsoever - how awful the British and the Protestants are and how the brave 'freedom fighters' of the IRA overcame them both. Naturally, there's no mention of IRA atrocities like La Mon, Black Friday or Omagh. No hint of the countless sectarian murders. But why would they mention that?

If you're an American who, for some reason, thinks that you're actually Irish and, for some reason, have decided that you like the extremists that killed thousands of other Irish people because they followed a different branch of Christianity, then this place might be for you.

For anyone else, avoid like the plague.

28  Thank Raydar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

Brings to life the suffering and indignities the Catholic Irish had to endure during the Troubles. As an Irish-American it brought home just a bit of the injustices my Grandparents had to put up with under British rule before the War of Independence. My grandparents had to leave their homes never to return again. That is just a fraction of the horrors the Northern Irish Catholics had and have to live through every day. A sobering experience.

6  Thank 204dennisd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

It is so important this museum exists and so sad - it's not flash and not high tec but it is incredibly informative and powerful. I learnt so much, if you want to understand The Troubles it is a 'must' visit.

8  Thank HSL71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2013

Very informative museum and not glorifying the troubles as I expected. Would recommend the museum if anyone is interested in finding out the local history during the troubles

8  Thank galwaybackpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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