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Dickie Bird

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND

PREAS RÁITEAS THAR CEANN ARD-MHÚSAEM NA hÉIREANN

Dickie Bird

Learn more about Dickie Bird, a horse that served in the Crimean War in 1854 with the 5th Dragoon Guards and whose bones were found by archaeologists in Dublin at Clancy Barracks now on display at the National Museum of Ireland.

Dickie Bird has been placed on display in the reception area of the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks for 2 weeks before being moved to a dedicated exhibition space.

Director of the National Museum of Ireland, Dr Pat Wallace commented that “Dickie Bird is a link with the Crimean War which is regarded as the first modern war. It saw the introduction of rifles, nursing by Florence Nightingale and of war reporting by Dublin born William Howard Russell"

Clancy, formerly known as Islandbridge Barracks, dates from 1798 and a mile west of Collins Barracks. It is beside the Irish National War Memorial Gardens, which Queen Elizabeth will be visiting on Wednesday 18th June during her first visit to Ireland.

The barracks was taken over by the Irish Army in December 1922 and renamed Clancy Barracks in 1942 after Peader Clancy who had been killed during the War of Independence. It was sold in 2004 and before being redeveloped it was excavated by an archaeological team. A plaque on the barrack walls read:

“Near this spot lies the remains of Dickie Bird B7, Troop Horse 5th Dragoon Guards. Which was foaled in 1850, joined the regiment in 1853 and served throughout the entire Crimean Campaign from May 1854 to Jun 1856. He was shot on the 21st November 1874 by special authority of the Horse Guards, to save him from being sold at auction”.

After many days searching for the remains of Dickie Bird the archaeologists believed he had been taken by the regiment when they left Ireland in 1890. However, after talking to a retired Irish Army soldier it was discovered that the plaque had been moved in the 1960’s and finally the remains were found. He was buried with another horse and had been killed by a blow to the head. Normally horses would have been sold and then rendered. As well as being buried by the 5th Dragoon Guards the regiment also commissioned a painting and removed one of his hooves which was turned into a silver mounted trophy now also on display at the National Museum.

Admission is free to all exhibitions at the National Museum of Ireland sites.

Tuesday – Saturday 2.00 – 5.00pm

Sunday 2.00pm – 5.00pm (Closed Monday’s)

For further press information please contact: Dublin: Maureen Gaule, Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland

Tel: 01 - 648 6429

 
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