Skip to content

Onsite Guided Tour: 1913 - 1923, A Decade of Military Conflict

Tour at a glance

Level: Junior and Senior Cycle, Transition Year
Group Size: 30
Location: Soldiers & Chiefs exhibition, 20th century gallery
Duration: 45 minutes
Available: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Booking: Please contact to book this session

Students are introduced to the experiences of ordinary Irishmen and women involved in World War I, the 1916 Rebellion, the War of Independence and Irish Civil War, and how all these events affected combatants and civilians alike.

The guide was equally engaging and knowledgeable - extremely enjoyable. The supplementary information really compliments our school course
Teacher Feedback


Curriculum links

Junior Cycle History
Strand 1: Developing historical consciousness, working with evidence, acquiring the 'bigger picture'
Strand 2: Recognising key change, Exploring people, culture and ideas, Applying historical thinking. 
Senior Cycle History
Working with evidence: 
- History and the Historian. 
Later Modern field of study: Irish History, 1815-1993
- Movements for political and social reform, 1870 - 1914. 
- The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition: 1912-1949. 
Later Modern field of study: History of Europe and the Wider World, 1815-1992
- Nation States and International tension, 1871-1920. 

Learning outcomes

  • Gain a greater knowledge of military conflicts Irishmen and women were involved in at the beginning of the 20th century
  • Develop an understanding of why Irishmen and women enlisted to go to the First World War as soldiers and nurses, and why some chose to fight at home instead
  • Key battles the Irish were involved in abroad (leper, the Somme), and at home (1916 Easter Rising, War of Independence, Civil War)
  • Life for everyday soldiers in the First World War
  • Life for civilians during the Irish Revolution


Resources and suggestions

The Historical Collections Online. This is a sample of 10,000 artefacts from the National Museum of Ireland’s Historical, Military and Easter Week Collections, published as part of the Decade of Commemorations.
At the Museum
Also visit the following related galleries in the Museum: Recovered Voices: the Stories of the Irish at War 1914-1915 and Asgard

Before your visit

  • We recommend teachers try to visit the exhibition in advance, if possible, to get familiar with the layout, key objects and key narratives within the exhibition
  • Read literature and poetry depicting events from and around the period
  • Use these resources and the exhibition visit to imagine and discuss the feelings and motives of people in the past and to discuss how an event in the past may have been perceived by those who participated in it
  • Consider choices made by individuals and organisations and the contexts these choices were made in
  • Plan a project around your visit. Students could research key personalities and organisations

After your visit
Ideas for post-visit activities include:

  • Plan a project on a key personalities/conflicts
  • Hold a classroom debate on a contentious issue or event
  • Consider contemporary contexts such as equality, migration, globalisation
  • Consider the value of Museums as places to display objects that connect us with our history
  • Create a museum in your classroom

Recommended reading

A Military History of Ireland (1995) by Thomas Bartlett and Keith Jeffery
Soldiers and Chiefs: the Irish at War at Home and Abroad From 1550 
Dublin's Great Wars: The First World War, the Easter Rising and the Irish Revolution (2018) by Richard Grayson
Out of the Dark 1914-1918: South Dubliners who fell in the Great War (2014) by Ken Kinsella 
The Irish Civil War 1922-23 (2008) by Peter Cottrell 

Teacher feedback

Brings to life things they read about in textbook and makes history more real.

A high level of knowledge was portrayed by tour guide.

[We learned about] the lives of ordinary people not really covered in text books...


Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date

Receive updates on the latest exhibitions

Decorative Arts & History

Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7,
D07 XKV4

+353 1 677 7444