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Kildare Barracks: From the Royal Field Artillery to the Irish Artillery Corps


Mark McLoughlin

A comprehensive account of the famous Kildare Barracks which was central to life in Co. Kildare for almost a century, passing through the hands of the British Army and the Irish Free State, taking in two world wars, the Irish War of Independence, and the Irish Civil War. Fascinating personal histories of the gunners who served at the barracks which had a huge impact on the activity and development of the county during the twentieth century.


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This charming history explores the life and experiences of the gunners stationed in Kildare Barracks while it was under both British and Irish military commands over the course of almost 100 years. Built in 1901 to train British artillery brigades for service in the Boer War, and closed in 1998, the barracks provides an exceptional spotlight for the local history of County Kildare and the military history of twentieth-century Ireland.

Through numerous personal histories the book reflects upon the importance of the barracks in shaping the activity and development of the county. These tales – both informative and touching – provide a means of examining landmarks in Irish and international twentieth century history, including the Curragh Mutiny, the First World War, the Irish War of Independence, the Irish Civil War and the Emergency – while telling the story of a national military institution and the personnel who passed through.

Table of Content

Part I: The British 1902-1922
Chapter 1: Construction of the Barracks
Chapter 2: The Royal Field Artillery: 1902
Chapter 3: The Early Years
Chapter 4: Military Activity and Training
Chapter 5: Military Discipline, Crime and Punishment
Chapter 6: Sport and Entertainment
Chapter 7: The Curragh Incident 1914
Chapter 8: The First World War
Chapter 9: The War of Independence
Chapter 10: Lieutenant J.H. Wogan-Browne
Chapter 11: The Evacuation: 1922

Part II: The Irish 1922-1998
Chapter 12: The Civic Guard – 1922
Chapter 13: The Artillery Corps 1925-1939
Chapter 14: The Coolmoney Camp Diary
Chapter 15: Expansion of the Artillery Corps – 1930s
Chapter 16: Tragedies, Crimes and Entertainment
Chapter 17: Sport
Chapter 18: The New Barracks
Chapter 19: The Emergency Years
Chapter 20: Peacetime 1947-59
Chapter 21: The Anti-Aircraft Regiment
Chapter 22: Military and Barrack Life
Chapter 23: United Nations Service
Chapter 24: The Reserves – Forsa Cosanta Aitiul
Chapter 25: The Artillery School in the late Twentieth Century
Chapter 26: Not just Bricks and Mortar

About the Author

Mark McLoughlin lives in Kildare and is the Editor of The Curragh: A Lifetime of Memories, (1997) and The Curragh Revisited (2002). He is also the author of many articles on Kildare during the Civil War.