OPW HQ, Trim hosts OPW 185 Exhibition

12 December 17

n 1831 – just over 185 years ago – an Act of Parliament in Westminster established the Office of Public Works (OPW). The Act was entitled Public Works (Ireland) Act, 1831 and was subtitled – An Act for the Extension and Promotion of Public Works in Ireland.

To mark this anniversary, the Office of Public Works put together an exhibition celebrating its history and achievements, part of which will be displayed at the OPW HQ in Trim until March 2018.  Maurice Buckley, Chairman of the OPW said, ‘I am delighted to welcome this exhibition to our Headquarters in Trim.  The Exhibition catalogues the long lasting impact that the OPW has had on the quality of our infrastructure, the architecture of our built environment and the allure of our heritage attractions. I would encourage all to come and visit this free Exhibition’.

The OPW185 Exhibition demonstrates the breadth of public works and services carried out by generations of OPW staff over the 185 years of the organisation. The range and breadth of this work includes the design, construction, maintenance and management of piers, harbours, roads, coast guard stations, schools, barracks, garda stations, housing, hospitals, office accommodation, bridges, canals, courthouses, mines, quarries, prisons, railways, drainage, sewerage and water works and post offices. The work of the organisation also includes the provision of furniture and artworks, conserving and interpreting heritage sites, maintaining war graves, providing flood risk management and provision of visitor facilities.

A Timeline has been designed that is 18.5 metres long, which illustrates the Government Acts that have directed the work of the OPW; the main events in each decade; significant projects; the Chairmen of the Commissioners of Public Works and world events impacting on Ireland.

A catalogue of selected files held by the National Archives relating to the OPW has been lodged on the OPW website www.opw.ie/en/history. It is hoped that this exhibition will stimulate interest in the social history surrounding the provision of public works and the work of the OPW.

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Listing Information

Exhibition:               OPW185

Location:                 OPW HQ, Jonathan Swift Street, Trim, Co. Meath

Dates:                     Until March 2018

Times:                     Monday to Friday, 09.00 - 17.30

Admission to the exhibition is free.