Skip to content

Temporarily Closed

The 18 pounder Field Gun 9168: Lost and Found

Free admission

***Please note, we regret that some of the Military History galleries, including the gallery where this artefact is on display, are closed temporarily while repairs are carried out in this part of the building. Find out more***

This gun was the standard light artillery gun of the British and Commonwealth forces in WWI. Up to 250,000 Irishmen served in the British Army at this time, many of whom were gunners who used large weapons, such as this 18pdr, on the Front.

However, this gun is most closely associated with the Irish Civil War of 1922-1923, when it was acquired by the new Irish state from the departing British forces. It is likely to be one of those used against the Anti-Treaty IRA forces occupying the Four Courts (and Public Record Office of Ireland) as part of the Battle for Dublin in the summer of 1922. The presence of the Anti-Treaty IRA’s homemade mines in the building and its shelling by the Irish Free State forces led to the complete destruction of the national archives held there, the loss of which
still resonates today.

The gun saw further service in the reserves in the Irish Army, and was sold on after WWII, where it eventually came to rest in Virginia where it was discovered in 2016, authenticated, and brought to Ireland by the Irish Defence Force to be restored to its original state.


The Ordnance Corps technicians at the Defence Forces’ Ordnance Base Workshops (OBWs) adopted an archaeological approach when working to conserve this Mk II 18-pounder field gun. This involved thousands of hours of painstaking work to conserve the field gun, which is now owned by the Irish Defence forces. 

Conor Sweetman joined Myles Duggan on the RTE History Show to tell the tale of #FieldGun9168 from the Irish Civil War. This unique artefact is kindly on loan from the Irish Defence Forces & is currently on display in the National Museum of Ireland- Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks



The 18 pounder Field Gun 9168: Lost and Found is located at:
Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7
D07 XKV4

From its production in England and war service in France, to its role in the Irish Civil War on the streets of Dublin and onwards to a quiet field of ivy behind the Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre in Virginia, USA, the story of 18pdr field gun number 9168 is a fascinating relic of Ireland’s early years of independence.

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