Irish government sources have confirmed that plans to develop the National Museum at Collins Barracks have been postponed at the last minute as a result of budgetary restraints. The proposed project was at an advanced stage and would have involved extending the museum's exhibition space. Minister of state for finance, Martin Mansergh said: "The project will proceed as planned when the overall financial situation improves".

Meanwhile in Merrion Street on Dublin's south-side, the Natural History Museum, a 150-year-old building, is still closed to the public after the collapse of a central staircase two years ago. In December 2008 it was announced that crucial renovation works, to be funded by