1689 - 2012, The Irish & France
Three Centuries of military relations
Les Irlandais et la France - Trois siècles de relations militaires
This exhibition was originally produced by the Musée de l’Armée (The Army Museum), Paris.
The exhibition shows Irish and French military cooperation between 1689-2012. From the "Wild Geese" to Napoleon’s Irish Legion, to the First World War, to Samuel Beckett’s time in the French resistance, the exhibition retraces the history of the close relations between the Irish and France.
The exhibition was first displayed in the NMI-Decorative Arts & History as part of Culture Connects – Ireland’s EU Cultural Programme 2013. It has been enhanced in the Museum of Country Life by several additional objects, including the Battle Flag of Ramillies from 1709, captured by the Irish Brigade in the French service.
The Wild Geese is the name given to the Irish who joined armies on continental Europe. One of their descendants, Patrice MacMahon, became President of the Third French Republic in 1873.
The exhibition also covers the French expeditions to Ireland, the little known story of the Irish in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, the role of Irish men and women in World War I and World War II – in particular Samuel Beckett’s involvement in the French resistance. It also details the most recent cooperation between the French and Irish army in the EUFOR mission in Chad.
This exhibition has been produced with the support of:
• The French Embassy in Ireland
• The Gathering Ireland 2013
• Veolia Ireland Ltd
The exhibition will run from 27 June -29 September 2013. Its showing in Co. Mayo coincides with “In Humbert’s Footsteps”, the General Humbert commemorative Gathering event which will take place in Killala, Castlebar & Lahardane this August.