Thursday 12 March 2020

Ireland closes schools, museums, libraries, cultural & tourist venues, and cancels large group gatherings

Speaking in Washington DC this morning, Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced measures to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak. These include the closure of all schools, colleges, and childcare facilities from tomorrow. Cultural institutions will also close. Indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people are also cancelled.

Below are some of the venues in the Republic of Ireland to have already confirmed their closures via Twitter or website statements. There will be hundreds more and I'm not going to attempt to keep up with them. If you had plans to visit museums, libraries, and OPW/cultural sites, or intended to attend a genealogy lecture or any other event, you should check directly with the venue/organiser before setting out.

The National Archives of Ireland: Will close on Friday 13 March until Monday 30 March at 10am.

RCSI Library and RCSI Heritage Collections will close at 6pm today. Reopening Monday 30 March.

RCPI Heritage Centre has closed and will remain so until Monday 30 March.

Cork Archives has closed until further notice.

Dublin City Library & Archive
, and all Dublin City Libraries close tonight until further notice.

County Clare Libraries: All events and group visits cancelled. Public computer services also cancelled, but wifi services available.

Representative Church Body Library & Archive: Still open but has put some measures in place to safeguard its staff and visitors. Researchers intending to visit should see HSE Guidelines. Updated: Closed to the public from 5pm today. Reopening 9:30am, Monday 30 March.

National Library of Ireland: All sites will close tonight until Sunday 29 March inclusive.

Military Archives: Still open but has cancelled its St Patrick's Festival events on Treasures at the Military Archives, scheduled for Friday 13th & Monday 16th March. Updated: Reading Room closed until Monday 30 March.

In Northern Ireland, there is no blanket ban or official advice about curtailling activities yet, although Arlene Foster, NI's First Minister, has said schools would be closed at some point. I'll update here if/when this changes. In the meantime, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland remains open. Belfast City Council (BCC) will be holding a Special Council meeting tomorrow, Friday 13 March, evening to discuss staffing, events and services. BCC advises the public to read Public Health Guidance guidance.