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Soldiering at Home

The British Garrison in Ireland

For almost 500 years, a standing army garrisoned Ireland. Though the soldiers were primarily used to suppress revolts by the Irish, their varied activities in Ireland affected the daily life of Irish people from weddings to football matches. Ireland was also one of the major depots for British Army recruiting and many Irishmen were recruited and trained for service overseas.

Warfare in Ireland

Between 1550 and 1800 Ireland endured four major wars: the battle of Boyne, and many lesser rebellions. The reasons for each war differed, but the hardship experienced by the soldiers and civilians was always much the same. Opposing armies not only fought bloody battles, they also destroyed buildings and crops in their attempts to punish their enemies and feed themselves. As a result, starvation often followed in their wake.

See six artefacts from Soldiering at Home in the online gallery

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