The Trust’s activities derive from its Mission Statement and prescribed Objectives. Fostering knowledge of Irish military heritage, the Trust’s Mission Statement and Objectives are implemented, on a voluntary basis and through donated support, across a range of activities including:
- Annual Award
Encouraging and rewarding the scholarly research of Ireland’s military heritage by the younger generation, the Trust holds an annual competition for university students, in honour of Major Charlie Trainor MM, 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The award is titled: The Military Heritage Annual Award. The award will be made to the author of the paper which is deemed outstanding by a panel of judges, and which, through new research, adds to the knowledge and understanding of Ireland’s military heritage.
Safeguarding the legacy of Irish soldiers, the Trust will accept donations of military artefacts, equipment, letters, medals, objects, and photographs, preserving those articles in order to address shortfalls in museums associated with military heritage, thus ensuring access for future generations. Such donations will be presented to an appropriate designated museum. The Trust advises that all archaeological objects found, with no known owner, belong to the State and should be reported to the National Museum of Ireland, or the National Museums of Northern Ireland.
Mindful of the need to honour and respect the selfless service, courage and loyalty of Irish men and women, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice, and all of whom made a significant contribution to the island’s military heritage, the Trust plays an active role in national and local commemorations, especially during the Decade of Centenaries. Encompassing the different traditions of the island of Ireland, the Trust fully supports the national programme which commemorates in a non-partisan, inclusive and respectful manner, significant events that took place in Ireland during the period 1912 to 1922, which was a defining period of our shared history. The Trust has an active involvement in the National Day of Commemoration and hosts a lunch in the Masters Quarters of the former Royal Hospital, Kilmainham for Northern Ireland attendees, which is funded by the Department of An Taoiseach.
Educating and fostering public awareness of military heritage, the Trust remains proactive in enhancing its communications framework, including public relations. The Trust avails of the World Wide Web and various social media outlets, as a means for sharing information with the widest possible audience. The Trust uses its Web Site, Facebook and emails to improve information sharing and better meet the needs of the military heritage community. The process includes the publication of the Trust’s Newsletter and the posting of appropriate information, bulletins, and event data on the Trust’s Web Site.
- Decade of Centenaries
In the context of the Decade of Centenaries, the Trust retains liaison with the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, the Expert Advisory Group, and other appropriate Government Departments, agencies and organisations. Following on from its successful Seminar in December 2012, the Trust maintains its momentum of supporting the Decade of Centenaries concept by identifying appropriate activities, which it will sponsor, commensurate with the Trust’s objectives. The Trust remains proactive in ensuring that it is represented at appropriate annual commemorations associated with the Decade of Centenaries. In addition, in the unlikely event that the commemoration of a particular military event is not being considered at local or national level, the Trust will make a submission to the appropriate authorities.
Supporting interests in military heritage, the Trust receives enquiries from the general public through its Web Site, by email and in writing. In response, the Trust endeavours to provide information and advice. During 2013, a total of thirty-eight enquiries were received through its Web Site: www.militaryheritage.ie. The Web Site also provides a comprehensive Guide to Irish Military Heritage which outlines indicators enabling individuals to identify locations where they can access information.
- Focal Point
Promoting mutual support throughout Ireland, the Trust serves as a focal point and sustains links with the diverse range of academia, associations, communities, heritage sites and museums, who share a common interest with the common Irish military heritage.
Identifying the requirement for good governance, high ethical standards, transparency and accountability, as a Company limited by guarantee, the Trust implements the provisions of appropriate legislation, including the Companies Acts 1963 to 1999, and the Trust’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. The business of the Trust is managed by its Directors, who regulate their meetings in accordance with the needs of the Trust. The Directors are responsible for the preparation of the Trust’s financial statements in accordance with applicable law. The Trust is examining the viability of establishing a strategic framework to assist in planning, implementing, reviewing and evaluating its activities. Annual General Meetings are convened during the month of May. Members of the Trust, including its Directors, and its Company Secretary are volunteers. Members pay an Annual Subscription. Annual Audited accounts are formally presented at Annual General Meetings and are made available to the Revenue Commissioners on request.
- Military History
Understanding the importance of the accurate assessment and record of conflict and war, the impact that military operations has on society, the requirement to address lessons learned, and the relationship with evolving military doctrine, the Trust supports the work of associations, military colleges and universities in the study of history as a critical means of educating military leaders, and to enhance public awareness of the military service of Irishmen and women at home and abroad. In this context, the Trust fully endorses the role of the Military History Society of Ireland in promoting the study of military history and in particular of Irish men and women in war.
Acknowledging the need to collect, preserve, exhibit artefacts and material associated with military heritage, and noting the need for centres of research and learning, the Trust encourages the establishment and funding of national, regional and local museums, and museums falling under the auspices of the Defence Forces, Veterans’ Associations and Regimental Associations. The Trust has developed a close relationship with the National Museum of Ireland and with museums in Northern Ireland in advancing military heritage. Examples include the Trust’s association with the Soldiers and Chiefs Exhibition in Collins Barracks, Dublin, and links with the Enniskillen Castle Museum – the Inniskillings Museum, County Fermanagh.
Broadening our historical perspective, recognising the importance of regimental heritage, and creating opportunities for unity of effort throughout the island of Ireland, the Trust is engaged in strengthening partnerships and collaboration with and between relevant stakeholders including Veterans’ Associations, Regimental Associations, Representative Associations, Universities and Academia, Historical Organisations, Battlefield Sites, Heritage Sites, National Monuments, Museums, Visitors’ and Interpretive Centres and Historic Properties.
Addressing its core issues, the Trust concentrates on projects to achieve its objectives. In the past, projects included support for the Soldiers and Chiefs Exhibition in Collins Barracks and hosting a Seminar on the Decade of Centenaries. Projects in train include the Military Heritage Annual Award, the Decade of Centenaries and the Room of Reflection.
Building on the vast reservoir of military history publications, the Trust assists the publication of research that supports its core focus on military heritage. In this context, the Trust has commissioned and launched publications. The Trust also supports the disseminating the results of research and associated publications to educate the wider public through positive engagement with the media and appropriate associations. The Trust acknowledges the valuable contribution that the Military History of Ireland’s publication “The Irish Sword” makes to our understanding of Irish military heritage.
Fulfilling its objectives and enhancing its interests, every opportunity is exploited by the Trust to be represented at appropriate events, including conferences, commemorations, exhibitions, lectures, launches, seminars, parades, presentations, and religious services.
Understanding the importance of research, nurturing a new generation of researchers and inspiring learning, the Trust welcomes research inquiries from all quarters. During the course of a year, the Trust receives and answers a significant number of inquiries from the general public, students, researchers, veterans’ and historical associations. Utilising the web site and its research links, the Trust provides technical advice, direction and information.
- Seminars, Conferences & Lectures
Engaging interested stakeholders and the wider public, the Trusts organises and provides support for conferences, lectures and seminars in order to broaden participants’ understanding and knowledge; to provide a forum for in-depth, open, informed and non-partisan discussion; and to assemble academia, associations, historians and researchers, in matters associated with military heritage. Following on from its successful Seminar in 2012, the Trust maintains its momentum of supporting the Decade of Centenaries by identifying appropriate activities, which it will sponsor, commensurate with the Trust’s objectives.