Skip to content

Permanent Exhibition

Irish Wars 1919 to 1923

Free admission

E. Coy A.S.U. 3rd Batt. Dublin Brigade IRA patrolling on Grafton Street July 1921

The Irish Wars exhibition will be closed on 7th & 8th May, apologies for any inconvenience caused. 

Irish Wars 1919 – 1923 has been substantially reimagined as part of the Museum’s Decade of Centenaries Commemorations

Dr Audrey Whitty, Head of Collections and Learning at the National Museum of Ireland, spoke about the exhibition on RTÉ radio 1.

Items returning to display from the National Museum of Ireland’s collection after 15 years in storage, include the death masks of Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, Cathal Brugha and Terence MacSwiney.

As well as the re-imagined exhibition on display as part of the Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition, visitors now are invited to the online exhibition where they can explore a selection of the newly displayed objects, which feature in the exhibition in the Soldiers and Chiefs Galleries at the National Museum of Ireland- Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks.

The online exhibition explores new theme interpretations such as civil disobedience, imprisonment, hunger strike, propaganda, women in warfare and the effects of the conflict on civilian populations – all of which aims to increase public understanding of this complex period in Ireland’s history.

The online exhibition also includes two key artefacts on loan from private family collections, an IRA Intelligence File which has been digitised and shown publically for the first time– and hair shorn from a woman in a ‘bobbing’ or ‘punishment shearing’, found in the possession of Michael Barry when he was arrested in 1920.

Other objects new to the exhibition and included online are the RIC handcuffs worn by Seán Hogan when rescued by the Tipperary Brigade at Knocklong, 1919; experimental weapons made by the IRA; items used in escapes from Lincoln, Mountjoy and Kilmainham prisons; The propeller of the British airplane destroyed at Kilfinane, Co. Tipperary, 1921.          

The exhibition is supported by a wide range of multi-media, including contemporary newsreel film provided by the Irish Film Institute of stop and searches, funerals, and IRA captures and destruction from the period 1919 – 1923.

Brenda Malone, Curator of the Irish Wars 1919 – 1923, explained: “A distinct aspect of the reimagined Irish Wars exhibition is the focus on the personal stories of ordinary people involved in atrocities and tragedies on both sides of the conflict. In developing it, we had the opportunity to expand and develop traditionally underrepresented stories, like the role of women in the conflict.”


Irish Wars 1919 to 1923 is located at:
Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7
D07 XKV4


Irish Wars 1919 – 1923 forms part of the permanent exhibition ‘Soldiers and Chiefs’, but it has been substantially reimagined as part of the Museum’s Decade of Centenaries Commemorations

Decorative Arts & History

Exploring the Irish Wars, 1919-1923

View the exhibition in detail here

Exploring the Irish Wars, 1919-1923

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