The Irish Jewish Museum

Information as given in official Museum pamphlet

NOTE: More information on the Museum can be found at the Irish-Jewish community website.


3/4 Walworth Road,
(Off Victoria Street)
South Circular Road,
Dublin 8

Walworth Road is two blocks south of South Circular Road, just east of Victoria Street.


085-706-7357 (international +353 85-706-7357)


1 MAY - 30 SEPT.
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday
11.00..a.m. - 3.30.p.m.

1 OCT - 30 APR
Sunday only
10.30.a.m. - 2.30.p.m.


Free but donations gratefully accepted


Adult and school groups can be catered for by telephoning the number listed above.

The Museum is a Reg. Charity No. CHY6589


The Irish Jewish Museum is located in the once highly Jewish populated area of Portobello, around South Circular Road, Dublin 8.

The former Walworth Road Synagogue, which could accommodate approx. 150/160 men and women consisted of two adjoining terraced houses. Due to the movement of the Jewish people from the area to the suburbs of Dublin and with the overall decline in their numbers, the Synagogue fell into disuse and ceased to function in the mid-1970's. The premises remained locked for almost ten years and was brought back to life again with the establishment of the Irish Jewish Museum Committee in late 1984.

The Museum was opened by the Irish born former President of Israel Dr. Chaim Herzog on 20th June 1985 during his State visit to Ireland. It is managed by a Committee of dedicated people, varying in numbers from 20 - 30, who voluntarily give of their time.

The museum preserves an important, though small, part of Ireland's cultural and historic heritage.


The Museum contains a substantial collection of memorabilia relating to the Irish Jewish communities and their various associations and contributions to present day Ireland.

The material relates to the last 150 years and is associated with the communities of Belfast, Cork, Derry, Dublin, Limerick & Waterford.


The Museum is divided into several distinct areas. In the entrance area and corridors there is a display of photographs, paintings, certificates and testimonials.

The ground floor contains a general display relating to the commercial and social life of the Jewish community. A special feature adjoining the area is the kitchen depicting a typical Sabbath/Festival meal setting in a Jewish home in the late 19th/early 20th century in the neighbourhood.

Upstairs, the original Synagogue, with all its ritual fittings, is on view and also the Harold Smerling gallery containing Jewish religious objects.



Jews have lived in Ireland for centuries. The earliest reference is in the Annals of Innisfallen in the year 1079 which records the arrival of five Jews from over the sea. It is probably that they came as merchants from Rouen in France.

There is little doubt that following the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1496 that some arrived on the South coast. The honour of having the first Jewish Mayor in Ireland goes to the town of Youghal in Co. Cork, where a Mr. William Annyas was elected to that position in 1555. Since then Sir Otto Yaffe was Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1899 and Mr. Robert Briscoe was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1956 and 1961, his son Mr. Ben Briscoe was Lord Mayor in 1988, and Mr. Gerald Goldberg was Lord Mayor of Cork in 1977.

The earliest record of a Synagogue in Ireland dates from 1660 with the establishment of a prayer room in Crane Lane, opposite Dublin Castle.

The oldest Jewish cemetary dates from the early 1700's and is situated near Ballybough Bridge, Clontarf, Dublin 3.

Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, there was some Jewish immigration from Central Europe, but the main influx came between 1880 and 1910 when approx. 2,000 Jews came from Eastern Europe and settled in Belfast, Cork, Derry, Drogheda, Dublin, Limerick, Lurgan, and Waterford. They participated fully in all walks of life, in the professions, trades, and manufacturing. Only a handful of Jews came during the Nazi period and shortly after the end of World War II.

The Jewish population peaked at approx. 5,500 in the late 1940's. The numbers have now declined to approx. 1,400 in southern Ireland and 400 in Northern Ireland.


Following the 1992 General Election, three Jewish representatives were elected to Parliament -

(Zach's note: T.D. stands for "Teachta Dála", pronounced "ty-OCH-ta DAW-la", which means "Delegate of the Dáil", or Parliament)


The Irish Jewish Museum wishes to preserve and present for public display, and make available to research workers and students, material relating to the Irish Jewish community and Judaism in general. Donations of objects and financial contributions are welcome for the upkeep of the Irish Jewish cultural heritage.

Your donation can be made by Bank Transfer to:

Bank: Trustee Savings Bank,
Address: 215 Lr. Rathmines Road, Dublin 6.
Sorting Code: 99-06-05
Account No.: 301-417-24


BUSES: 16, 16A, 19, 19A, 22, 22A, 155 to Victoria Street, South Circular Rd.

14, 14A, 15, 15A, 15B, 15C, 65, 65B, 83 to Lennox St., South Richmond Street.

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