Friends Events

Booking for all of the Friends tours is essential.

To book a place on any of the tours please contact Friends Co-ordinator Michelle Considine or the RHA Front of House on 01 661 2558 or email:


RHA Director’s Choice Tour



In keeping with our yearly tradition, RHA Director, Patrick T. Murphy, will guide a group of Friends through the many artworks of the 184th Annual Exhibition, picking out some highlights and his own personal selection of outstanding artworks. This is always a popular event with the Friends so early booking is advised. This summer we will hold a second Director’s Choice tour for RHA Friends to ‘Bring a Friend’. RHA Friends have the opportunity to bring along a friend or family member who is not already a Friend of the RHA, to this tour where they will have the opportunity to join the RHA Friends at a 30% discount on the evening. We have set a goal
to increase the membership of our Friends scheme this year and as Friends of the RHA you are not only our most loyal supporters but also our most valuable advocates. We hope that you will support this new initiative to grow the Friends of the RHA and bring someone along on the day. Booking is essential for both Director’s Choice tours and early booking is advised.


Friends Tour of 150 Anniversary Exhibitions at the National Gallery of Ireland


RHA Friends are invited to take part in a guided tour of exhibitions mounted to mark the National Gallery of Ireland’s 150 Anniversary, shown in the context of the Irish and European collections. RHA Friends will see From the Archives: The Story of the NGI highlighting key aspects and pivotal moments in the gallery’s history from its foundation onwards and its links to the Royal Hibernian Academy. Over 100 items from the archives are on display reflecting all aspects of the development of the NGI and its collections. Friends will be provided with a 150 Anniversary Trail and ‘Your NGI Memories’ leaflet. The tour includes Russborough Revisited, celebrating two donations to the NGI from Russborough, Co. Wicklow: The Milltown Gift (paintings, sculpture, silver, objets d’art), presented by the Countess of Milltown in 1902, and The Beit Gift (17 Old Masters) from Sir Alfred and Lady Beit in 1987. Over 20 works on show include painting by Poussin, Carriera, Panini, Murillo, Gainsborough and Raeburn forming part of the Beit Gift. Also included is the first recorded photos of the interior of Russborough illustrating the collection as it was originally displayed (1860s), 3 recently conserved Rococo mirrors and some of the famous Irish silver acquired by the Milltowns. It coincides with a new publication on Russborough (authors Kevin Mulligan & William Laffan).

NGI Education has organised the tour and a 10% discount for the RHA Friends in the NGI Shop which can be availed of after the tour. (Discount applies to 20 June only). Following the tour NGI Friends have invited the RHA Friends to refreshments in No 5. Booking is essential as places are limited and there is a small fee of €3.50 per person.


Trip to Galway Arts Festival and Studio Visit with artist Dorothy Cross


The Friends of the RHA are invited to take part in a trip to Galway to take in some of the visual arts and theatrical highlights of the Galway Arts Festival followed the next day by a studio visit with artist Dorothy Cross in her Connemara based studio.

We will arrive late Friday morning and throughout Friday will visit the impressive Absolut Festival Gallery one of the largest gallery spaces in Ireland, the Galway Arts Centre, 126 Gallery and the City Museum. We will also have the opportunity to go to the theatre that evening to see Landmark Productions and Galway Arts Festival world premiere co-production Ballytur- A new play by Enda Walsh starring Cillian Murphy, Mikel Murfi and Stephen Rea.
The following day – after the huge success of the RHA exhibition Connemara by Dorothy Cross – we are giving the RHA Friends the wonderful opportunity to visit Dorothy in her Connemara based studio and take a look at her work in progress as she prepares for upcoming exhibitions in September. Friends will be expected to make their own transport arrangements. There will be a fee for this tour and for further details and accommodation recommendations please contact Michelle Considine, Friends Coordinator. Places are limited for this tour so very early booking is advised.


Tour of the Dublin Writers Museum


Dublin is famous as a city of writers and literature, and the Dublin Writers Museum is an essential visit for anyone who wants to discover, explore, or simply enjoy Dublin’s immense literary heritage. At the Writers Museum, Dublin’s literary celebrities from the past three hundred years are brought to life through their books, letters, portraits and personal items. Whatever you think you know about Irish literature, you’re sure to find something to astound and delight you. Did you know, for example, that Oscar Wilde was a promising pugilist during his days at Trinity College, and that Samuel Beckett, had he not turned out to be one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, would also have made a name for himself in the TCD cricket first eleven?

This tour will be full of interesting facts and the museum’s curator, since its opening in 1991, Robert Nicholson has generously offered his time to guide the Friends on the tour. It is a great opportunity to hear all about the museum’s vast collection and wander through the beautiful building, a restored Georgian mansion on Parnell Square, which is a treasure in itself. The sumptuous plasterwork in the first floor gallery of the Writers Museum is worth a visit alone. There will be a fee of approximately €6.50 per person for this tour and the RHA Friends can relax and enjoy a coffee or lunch in the museum’s cafe afterwards. Booking is essential as places are limited.


Trip to Philadelphia


This year, we are very excited to announce that for our RHA Friends foreign art trip we have decided to go further afield and take a trip to Philadelphia, U.S.A. under the guidance of RHA Director, Patrick T. Murphy, Michelle Considine and Rebecca Gale.

We will visit Philadelphia’s major highlights including the Institute of Contemporary Art (where Patrick T. Murphy previously held the position of Director), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and the Barnes Foundation among others and also have the opportunity to visit a private collection or two. As ever the Friends will get to relax and socialise in the evenings over dinner and experience some of Philadelphia’s nightlife. If you are interested in joining us this year please reserve your place early. We will fly out on Tuesday 7 October and the first meeting will take place Wednesday evening for dinner. The tours will begin on Thursday morning and continue through to Saturday afternoon and we will fly home on Sunday. There will be a fee for the trip to be confirmed at a later stage and the hotel will be group booked so that we can avail of a group rate.
If you would like any more information please contact Friends Co-ordinator, Michelle Considine at Places are limited so early booking is strongly advised.



Friends of the RHA play a vital role by supporting the work of the Academy and its core mission to promote contemporary art and artists in Ireland. In fact, if you are reading this you are probably one of those Friends who also enjoy an unparalleled programme of dedicated events including artists’ studio visits, guided exhibition talks and cultural tours (both nationally and internationally) with members of the staff and Academy. This year we hope to increase this support by strengthening our numbers. To do so we will be hosting special Bring a Friend events throughout the year. If you are already a Friend of the RHA, thank you so much for your continued support. We hope that you will consider sharing your passion for art by bringing a friend along to our next event.


Director’s Choice Tour of the 184TH Annual Exhibition.


30% discount offered to new signups on the day
RHA Director, Patrick T. Murphy will be hosting one Director’s Choice tour during this year’s Annual dedicated to those who ‘Bring a Friend’. Friends of the RHA are invited to join the tour and bring up to 5 friends along to enjoy a private tour of the 184th Annual Exhibition as well as a glass of wine with our Friends Coordinators directly after. For bookings please contact Michelle Considine at or tel: (01) 661 2558.