The National Maritime Museum in Dublin has re-opened after a period of closure for renovation.
The museum is located in the former Mariners' Church in Dún Laoghaire, south Co. Dublin, since it was first opened in 1978. In 2006 the Irish government authorised substantial funding for the museum's refurbishment and upkeep, however these funds have since run out. The institution now depends on private donations and volunteers.
The maritime museum contains 70 models of ships, the original optic from the landmark Bailey lighthouse in Howth, north Dublin, and material relating to Captain Robert Halpin and his laying of almost 50,000 km of telegraph across the Atlantic aboard the famous Great Eastern.
Designed by Victorian engineering legend Isambard Kingdom Brunel, when it was launched in 1858 the Great Eastern was the largest ship ever built and it was boasted that it could travel around the world without refuelling.
However on its maiden voyage an explosion killed several of the crew. The giant vessel was later refitted as a cable laying ship and ended its life as a floating music hall before being scrapped in 1889.