After a three year period of closure forced by the collapse of a marble staircase in 2007, Dublin's National History Museum has reopened.

Museum officials had originally sought to capitalise on the closure by using substantial state funding to build a major extension; however the timing coincided with Ireland's recession and the resulting cuts in government spending. Although those plans have been shelved, at least for the moment, the building has undergone significant improvements and is now a considerably safer place to visit.

The ground floor houses Ireland's native birds and mammals; the jewel in the crown is the giant skeleton of the extinct Irish Elk. Upstairs are the elephants, giraffe, walrus, hippo, lions and tigers, while from the ceiling hangs the skeleton of a humpback whale. Part of the