Housed in the breathtaking confines of the barracks formerly used by the British Army, this branch of the National Museum of Ireland contains the nation's most significant collection of decorative arts, as well as myriad displays devoted to Ireland's social, political and military histories. All of the exhibitions are complemented by informative, interactive multimedia displays, and are frequently supplemented by workshops and talks.
The Earth Science Museum contains geological collections, fossils and even the odd chunk of dinosaur - kept well away from the china. There's also a permanent exhibition about the influential Irish designer Eileen Gray, which is excellent and well worth a look. But the latest, and arguably most involving, addition to the museum is the 'Soldiers and Chiefs' exhibition, which artfully documents the impact of four and a half centuries of warfare on the ordinary Irishman.