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Permanent exhibition

Soldiers and Chiefs - The Irish at War at Home and Abroad from 1550 to the present day


***Please note, we regret that some of our Military History galleries are closed temporarily while repairs are carried out in this part of the building. Find out more***

The award-winning Soldiers & Chiefs exhibition traces Ireland's military history from 1550 into the 21st Century, using over 1,000 objects from all over the world over 1,700 square metres of Collins Barracks, the oldest military barracks in Ireland.

This exhibition uses original artefacts, letters, replicas and interactives to show how soldiering and warfare have affected the lives of Irish people, both combatant and civilian, at home and abroad. Explore Irish military history over three main themes:

Soldiering in Ireland

The British Garrison in Ireland - Explore how the presence of the British Army affected life in Ireland
Warfare in Ireland - Explore the major wars and rebellions in Ireland from 1550 to 1800

Soldiering Abroad

The Wild Geese - Migrant Irish soldiers played important roles in the armies of Europe.
Irish in the American Civil War - Irish emigrants served in both the Union and Confederate Armies in the American Civil War.
Irish in the British Service - Explore the Irishmen who served in the British Army across the world.

Soldiering in the 20th and 21st Centuries

The Irish in the First World War - Over 200,000 Irishmen fought in the British Army in WWI, while Irishwomen worked on war service at home.
1916: The Easter Rising - Explore how the rebellion of 1916 set a course towards Irish independence.
The Irish Wars - War of Independence & Civil War - Discover the fight for independence through military action and civil disobedience, and the Civil War that followed.
Claiming the Future - Explore the formation of the Irish Army in the new state.
Irish Naval Service - Discover Irish naval service through the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Emergency and WWII - Discover how WWII affected life in Ireland, and how Irishmen and women served abroad in foreign armies.
Defending the Peace - Explore the service of Irishmen and women on UN Peacekeeping missions.
Don’t forget to visit the Barracks Life Room, where you have the opportunity to discover what life in the Barracks was like as a soldier in the 19th and 20th centuries. Explore the detailed reconstruction of how a barracks room would have looked in 1879 and in 1943, try on costumes, handle objects, and explore our military history using computer interactives.

Download Floor Plan: Here


Soldiers and Chiefs - The Irish at War at Home and Abroad from 1550 to the present day is located at:
Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7
D07 XKV4

Explore the Irish military experience through its history at home in Ireland and in armies across the world.
Decorative Arts & History

Ireland's military history

Learn more about Ireland's military history from 1550 to the 21st century

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Ireland's military history

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Decorative Arts & History

Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7,
D07 XKV4

+353 1 677 7444