Irish Emigration Museum named leading tourist attraction in Europe
THE Irish Emigration Museum has been voted Europe's leading tourist attraction, beating locations like Greece's Acropolis and Barcelona's Sagrada Familia.
The Dublin museum was given the prestigious award at the 26th annual World Travel Awards in Portugal at the weekend.
The museum was given the distinguished award just three years after opening its doors to the public at The CHQ Building in Dublin's docklands.
Some of the competition included the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Rome's Colosseum.
Founder of the museum, Neville Isdell, said: "It is truly an honour to receive an award of this magnitude.
"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.
"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."
Mr Isdell added: "It's wonderful to be recognised for this award today, thank you to those that made this possible through hard work and dedication, and to those who voted for us."
The museum, which will welcome more than 300,000 visitors this year, shows the far-reaching influence of Irish people and covers 1,500 years of Irish history.
It tells the powerful story of 10 million Irish people who travelled abroad to start a new life, including the contributions they have made, and the enormous influence they had and continue to have on the world.
The museum takes visitors on a journey of emigration from Ireland, to the far corners of the globe including America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Galleries in the interactive museum illustrate the global impact Irish emigrants have had on areas such as sport, music, dance, creativity, charity, politics, science and technology.
Visitors get hands-on with Irish culture and its past - swiping through video galleries, dancing through motion sensor quizzes, listening to remastered audio from 100 years ago and watching videos that bring Irish history to life.
Other highlights include a gallery of infamous Irish rogues, a whispering library featuring some of Ireland's most prominent Irish writers, a celebration of Irish music and dance, which includes Riverdance, and an Irish family history centre where visitors can consult with a genealogy expert to learn more about their own family history.