Wednesday, 24 September 2014

National Museum of Ireland - Military Collection.

Last weekend myself and my partner had the good fortune to visit Dublin to see some friends. I'd been on a number of occasions previously, but hadn't considered a trip to the Museum situated at the Collins Barracks site. Thankfully these days many parts of Dublin City Centre which were once a mission to walk to are now connected by a tram system and you can buy a three day travel pass for just 20 Euros.

It's surprising to most that the National Museum even has a military collection, as it's not exactly well promoted through the official website and naturally most of the tourists seem more inclined toward Celtic art, traditional music (and Guiness perhaps). The Collins Barracks site itself is a fantastic feature and was quite central to the British military occupation prior to Independence when it was called The Royal Barracks. I'd just mention that it's good for a family visit because it also houses the Decorative Arts collection and has a nice cafeteria to boot.

A significant part is given over to the 1916 Rising, and anyone who's visiting Dublin with that particular theme in mind should definitely drop by the museum. It has some of the Mauser rifles that were smuggled into Howth and were used during the struggle (the one owned by Irish Revolutionary leader Thomas Clarke is featured below) along with many other original and interesting items. My favourite however was a fantastic artillery piece captured during the Anglo-Sikh War (again pictured below). There's also an Anti-Aircraft Gun, some items from the Irish Guards and their involvement in the Arnhem Campaign plus some displays dedicated to the development of the Irish Defence Forces.

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