The Revenue Museum

The Revenue Museum, located in the crypt of the Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle, is open on weekdays from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Admission is free.

Experience a unique window on the many and varied activities of the Revenue Commissioners, from tax collection to customs controls, over several centuries. Our colourful and insightful displays will surprise and inform you.

In addition to exhibits old and new, the Museum contains audio-visual displays and instructive video games. See if you can find hidden contraband or guess the parts of a house that were subject to tax in days gone by.

Among the many exhibits are the first set of Exchequer Returns for Saorstát Éireann, a poitín still, a stamp duty machine, examples of counterfeit goods and endangered species seized at ports and airports, early computer technology, and a wide range of beautiful measuring instruments. All of these are housed in the atmospheric crypt of the Chapel Royal.

While you are in Dublin Castle you can also visit the Chester Beatty Library, the State Apartments and the medieval undercroft.

For more information about the Revenue Museum or to arrange a visit phone: (01) 8635 601.


Connections - Revenue and 1916

The Revenue Museum is currently hosting two exhibitions. The first, "Connections – Revenue and 1916", explores the associations between Revenue and the Easter Rising through the lives of two extraordinary men: Bulmer Hobson and Mortimer O’Connell.

Bulmer Hobson worked for the Office of the Revenue Commissioners from 1924 to 1948. As Deputy Director of Stamping he oversaw the printing of stamps, passports, tax discs, pension books and other ‘secure’ documents. He was a middle-ranking civil servant, one of the many diligent but anonymous people who ensured that the business of the State was carried out.

Turn the clock back to the early days of the 20th century and a very different picture emerges. Between 1900 and 1916 Bulmer Hobson was one of the most influential advanced nationalist leaders in the country; a founder of Na Fianna and the Irish Volunteers, a senior member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and a gun runner.

In 1914 he had as much sway among Irish nationalists as Clarke, Pearse, MacDermott and the other leaders whose names are indelibly associated with the fight for Irish independence.

Yet within two years Bulmer Hobson had been swept aside. Almost overnight the ultimate insider became an outsider who played no part in the subsequent emergence of the Irish Free State he had plotted to bring into existence.

In recent years historians have begun to rescue Bulmer Hobson from obscurity. His key role in preparing the ground for Irish independence has been recognised. But he remains in many respects the forgotten revolutionary. His rise to prominence and sudden fall from grace is one of the most fascinating stories associated with the 1916 Rising.

On Good Friday 1916, Bulmer Hobson was kidnapped by members of the Irish Volunteers, an organisation he had founded, to prevent him from calling off or disrupting the Rising. One of the men assigned to guard him was called Mortimer O’Connell who was, at the time, a Customs and Excise officer. After guarding Hobson, O’Connell fought with his Volunteer colleagues at various locations around Dublin. He was subsequently arrested and interned in Frongach in Wales. In later years he worked in Dáil Éireann where he rose to become Clerk of the Dáil in 1948.

Irish Fiscal Stamps 1922 to Date – A Visual History

The second exhibition is titled ‘Irish Fiscal Stamps 1922 to Date – A Visual History’. The exhibition provides a unique window into the world of fiscal stamps – adhesive and embossed stamps that have been used for a huge range of purposes, other than posting letters and parcels.

Revenue has been closely associated with the production and use of fiscal stamps since the Office was established in 1923, and this exhibition celebrates that long association and brings together for the first time a dazzling array of stamps, artwork and related materials.

Entry to the Exhibitions is free.

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