History and Vision
Looking to the past
EPIC is located in the CHQ building in one of Dublin’s most historic locations by the banks of the River Liffey on Custom House Quay. CHQ, formerly known as Stack A, or the Tobacco Store, was built between 1817 and 1820 to store valuable cargoes of tobacco, tea and spirits. Designed by the Scottish engineer John Rennie with his son of the same name working as his principal assistant, this industrial masterpiece had the largest pre-20th century clear floor space in Dublin city. The building was made famous when it hosted the Crimean War Banquet in 1856, celebrating the return of 3,000 Irish soldiers.
A vision for change
In the early 2000s, the Grade One protected structure was sympathetically restored by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Irishman Neville Isdell, former Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, purchased the building in late 2013 with the intention of developing this magnificent structure into a destination at the social heart of Dublin’s Docklands.
A museum of the future
In 2015, a strategic advisory group was assembled to consult on the development of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. The content for the exhibition was drawn up in consultation with a panel of academic and expert advisors, including Harry Bradshaw, Dr John Cronin, Catriona Crowe, Mark Duncan, Dr Eibhlín Evans, Rob Hartnett, Professor Eugene Kennedy, Professor J Joseph Lee, Ruán Magan, Mary Mulvihill, Professor Justin O’Brien, Sean O Mordha and Paul Rouse.
“My own experience of being an emigrant has always stayed with me. And as they say, I left Ireland but Ireland never left me. Before retiring as Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola in 2009 my career took me all over the world, to 151 countries, living and working in 5 different continents. I’ve always believed that the story of Irish people around the world was one worth telling, and so, I founded EPIC in 2016.”
– Neville Isdell, Founder, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum