FLHS and FULS visit Islandbridge Memorial (1914-1918) and Arbour Hill Memorial (1916) in Dublin – Saturday 29th June 2013
This year the annual joint exchange visit saw representatives from both the Federation of Local History Societies and the Federation for Ulster Local Studies meet in Dublin. There was a very good attendance from both Federations with a total of sixty members sharing the experience with equal representation divided between both groups.
The buildings that exist today, namely, the prison, the church and the military cemetery were built in 1845/48. The British military cemetery is still well maintained and the schools previously used by the soldiers’ children are beautifully restored and used by the Irish United Nations Veterans Association as their HQ and Museums. The church has many interesting features including a gangway from the prison for prisoners to attend services, a wooden altar made by prisoners in Kilmainham jail and two impressive Harry Clarke stained glass windows installed in 1924 to commemorate the people who died in the 1916 Rising. The coffin of Roger Casement lay in state in the church in 1965 before his burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Finally in the beautiful afternoon sunshine the group visited the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks. Here they were able to relax and enjoy some of the many fine exhibitions on display including the impressively restored former gun running boat, the “Asgard” which was associated with the Easter Rising. Collins Barracks (Royal Barracks) was a former British Army barracks and then used by the Irish army and is reputed to be the oldest purpose built army barracks in the world being built in the 1600s. Designed by the famous architect Thomas Burgh it presented an impressive sight with its expansive parade yard, arched walkways and fine buildings.