The National Gallery of Ireland was established under act of Parliament in 1854. It opened to the public in 1864 and now houses 13,000 items. This includes over 2500 oil paintings and 10,000 other works in different media.
The administration of the institution is divested in the Board of Governors and Guardians. The Board consists of seven up to 17 members.
The Gallery is now an autonomous national cultural institution under the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997. It contains the most important collection of historic Irish paintings.
The Act provided for the establishment of a National Gallery of paintings, sculpture and fine arts. Trustees were appointed and with power to receive grants, donations. The trustees were empowered to lay out money in building and purchase of the site.
The Governors of existing institutions including Marsh’s Library were empowered to remove the existing library to the new building.
Governors & Guardians
The Governors and Guardians were incorporated under the Act and subsisted as a body corporate. The Governors have powers to make bylaws for the management of the gallery.
The legislation has been amended a number of times to allow the Governors and Guardians to do various things,. They hold exhibitions of pictures selected by them from the pictures in the National Gallery for the purpose of such exhibitions. They may transport them to other buildings and maintain them during the course of the exhibition. They must take reasonable and necessary steps to preserve the pictures while out of the gallery.
There is a provision for loans inwards and outwards of works. Provision is made for the guardians to lend works for display at various places including the official residence of the President, Houses of the Oireachtas, diplomatic premises and approved institutions.
The functions of the Governors were expanded under the National Cultural Institutions Act 1997. They includes functions to increase and diffuse in and outside the State, knowledge of the visual arts by whatever means considered appropriate.
Orchestras & Choirs
National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) (Amendment) Act 2023
The purpose of the National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) (Amendment) Act 2023 is to provide for the transfer of the National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, RTÉ Cór na nÓg and RTÉ Cór Linn from RTÉ to the NCH. The Act provides for the transfer of staff, property, rights and liabilities of the Orchestra and Choirs, amends the functions of the National Concert Hall.
This included the operation of an orchestra and choirs, and increases the size of the Board by one additional member. It also amends the Broadcasting Act 2009 to reflect the transfer of function and responsibility from RTÉ.
Transferred to National Concert Hall
The transfer of functions relating to the orchestra and choirs from RTÉ to the NCH on the transfer day. It also provides for the transfer of any administration and business in the performance of those functions. It provides for the transfer of staff who performed duties relating to the orchestra or choirs from RTÉ to the NCH and sets the conditions for that transfer.
The Act substitutes the name of the National Concert Hall for that of RTÉ in any legal proceedings relating to the orchestra or choirs. Every act done by RTÉ or the NCH in relation to the transfer prior to the commencement of the 2023 Act is deemed valid and effectual for all purposes.
The maintenance and operation of an orchestra and choir is tranferred to the functions of the NCH.
The 2023 Act amends the Broadcasting Act of 2009 by replacing the previous function to manage orchestras and choirs with a function to manage a concert orchestra.