Revenue museum

  1. Overview
  2. Exhibitions

Exhibitions

The Revenue museum is currently hosting two exhibitions.

Connections - Revenue and 1916

The 'Connections – Revenue and 1916', explores the associations between Revenue and the Easter Rising through the lives of two extraordinary men: Bulmer Hobson and Mortimer O’Connell.

Bulmer Hobson worked for the Office of the Revenue Commissioners from 1924 to 1948. As Deputy Director of Stamping he oversaw the printing of:

  • stamps
  • passports
  • tax discs
  • pension books
  • other ‘secure’ documents.

He was a middle-ranking civil servant. One of the many diligent but anonymous people who ensured that the business of the State was carried out.

Turn the clock back to the early days of the 20th century and a very different picture emerges. Between 1900 and 1916 Bulmer Hobson was one of the most influential advanced nationalist leaders in the country. He was founder of Na Fianna and the Irish Volunteers, a senior member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and a gun runner.

In 1914 he had as much sway among Irish nationalists as Clarke, Pearse, MacDermott and the other leaders whose names are forever associated with the fight for Irish independence.

Yet within two years Bulmer Hobson had been swept aside. Almost overnight the ultimate insider became an outsider. He played no part in the subsequent emergence of the Irish Free State he had plotted to bring into existence.

In recent years historians have begun to rescue Bulmer Hobson from obscurity. His key role in preparing the ground for Irish independence has been recognised. But he remains in many respects the forgotten revolutionary. His rise to prominence and sudden fall from grace is one of the most fascinating stories associated with the 1916 Rising.

On Good Friday 1916, Bulmer Hobson was kidnapped by members of the Irish Volunteers, an organisation he had founded, to prevent him from calling off or disrupting the Rising. One of the men assigned to guard him, Mortimer O’Connell was, at the time, a Customs and Excise officer.

After guarding Hobson, O’Connell fought with his volunteer colleagues at various locations around Dublin. He was subsequently arrested and interned in Frongoch in Wales. In later years he worked in Dáil Éireann where he rose to become Clerk of the Dáil in 1948.

Irish Fiscal Stamps 1922 to date – A visual history

The exhibition provides a unique window into the world of fiscal stamps – adhesive and embossed stamps that were used for a huge range of purposes, other than posting letters and parcels.

Revenue has been closely associated with the production and use of fiscal stamps since the Office was established in 1923, and this exhibition celebrates that long association and brings together for the first time a dazzling array of stamps, artwork and related materials.

Entry to the exhibitions is free.