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Museums, Heritage Sites & Battle Sites

Museums Image - Irish Volunteers of The Cork Brigade Irish Volunteers of The Cork Brigade


One of the objectives of the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust is “to identify, acquire, maintain and record military and historical objects and information, including archival material, of every description associated or connected with the military heritage of Ireland, and to conserve, restore, repair, re-construct and preserve them”.

In this context, the Trust actively assists and supports the National Museum of Ireland and such other promoters of museums, heritage centres and exhibition venues, as the Trust may from time to time decide, in the development, maintenance and display of military galleries.

The Irish countryside contains numerous sites relevant to military history. Most castles in Ireland were built by the Anglo-Normans for military purposes, with many of these buildings facing attacks and sieges from a variety of opponents.

From the early 1800s, Ireland’s coastline was fortified with numerous Martello Towers, some of which still exist.

The British Army occupied barracks in most Irish towns until 1922, the majority of which no longer are in military usage. While all these buildings are of interest in terms of military history, not all are accessible, for a variety of reasons.

In some cases, access restrictions apply to museums and heritage centres. Some sites of historic battles are under private ownership and therefore not be accessible to the public. Many castles are in ruins and have limited facilities for visitors. Permission may be needed to visit them. Many local museums and museums maintained on a voluntary basis only, open on a limited basis.

The Office of Public Works has responsibility for the day-to-day running of all National Monuments and National Historic Properties. National Historic Properties in State care include: The War Memorial Park, Islandbridge; The Garden of Remembrance; and the Battle of the Boyne site.

In recent years, a considerable number of local heritage centres have been established throughout Ireland, serving people interested in local heritage and history.

Some of the heritage centres and museums listed in this web site have placed an appropriate emphasis on military history, but others will have comparatively little of military interest in their collections. Accordingly, this Research Guide endeavours to provide a broad outline of what a particular institution holds.

It is highly recommended that the opening hours be ascertained before visiting. Many castles have limited access for the disabled.

For the information of researchers, a directory of museums, heritage centres and battle sites is provided on the web site under Directory Listings.

The Trust encourages those in charge of such installations to provide information on their facility for posting in this web site. Likewise, any necessary changes to the information concerning installations posted on this web site would be welcomed.