CURRAGH 
LOCAL HISTORY GROUP
HISTORICAL ARTICLE
S

Curragh Early History: The history of the Curragh plains goes back to remote antiquity. The Curragh, at the present time, contains almost 5,000 acres but its ancient name of “Cuirreach Life,” or the Curragh of the Liffey, would seem to imply that long ago it reached that river’s banks.......... Click Here

The Crown and the Curragh:  When the camp was constructed in 1855 it was done so without regard to those who held rights over the Curragh on the basis, we can assume, that it was Crown land. By 1865, considerable discontent had been generated in the neighborhood by the military authorities stopping or threatening to stop certain roads..........Click Here

The First Permanent Camp: It was the Crimean War (1853-1856) which led to the construction of the first permanent camp on the Curragh of Kildare. To meet the growing need for barrack accommodation, Gen. Sir John Burgoyne, Inspector General of Fortifications, in­timated to the Commanding Royal Engineer in Ireland on the 24th of January, 1855, that a camp for 10,000 infantry “would probably be required at the Curragh of Kildare.”..............Click Here

The Curragh Wrens: Travelling by train from Dublin to Kildare in September 1867 a journalist from the Pall Mall Gazette from London described his route as being “past much squalor that seemed less to lie upon the earth, in the shape of wret­ched huts of poverty and idleness, than to be born out of it naturally, as toadstools are”........... Click Here

The New Curragh Camp 1879 Onwards: Beresford Barracks was the first section of the Curragh to be rebuilt, this occurred in 1879. The present red bricked camp emerged on the skyline of the plains about the turn of the cen­tury. The rebuilding went on for a number of years and would appear to have commenced about 1894.............. Click Here

A Royal Visit "The Prince of Wales": In July, 1861, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, came to the Curragh of Kildare to spend a period with the garrison. He arrived at Kingstown, now Dun Laoghaire, aboard the Connaught and as the steamer rounded the pier head salutes were fired simultaneously from the Ajax man-of-war and the Pigeon-house Fort. The Illustrated London news of July 13, 1861,describes how “On Tuesday the Prince proceeded to the Curragh Camp............... Click Here

The Rath Camp 1921: Some short distance to the north-west of the Gibbet Rath and close to the main Newbridge ­ Kildare road junction for the camp there are to be seen traces of foundations of buildings on the plains. It was at this place “The Rath Camp” was established in 1921 by the British to house about twelve to fifteen hundred Irish volunteer prisoners....... Click Here

The handover of the Curragh Camp: Ballyfair House, some two miles south of the Camp, the residence of the General Officer Com­manding, was handed over to the Irish Govern­ment some weeks prior to the handover of the Curragh. Lieut Liam Collins was in command of a small party of about ten other ranks, detailed for the task of taking over Ballyfair.......... Click Here

The Curragh Post 1922: My grandfather joined the army about 1892, he served in the boar war, as can be seen by his medal, but I do not know in which regiment. I do know on their return he found himself in the Prince of Wales, Leinster Regt, 4 battalion. He was with that Regt, until he was pensioned off in 1920, he remained at the Curragh Camp.............. Click Here

Curragh Mutiny: The events which culminated in the Curragh “Mutiny” of March 1914 had their beginnings at the end of the 18th century when by the Act of Union the islands of Great Britain and Ireland were joined administratively. Henceforth one Parliament would serve both countries........ Click Here

Forgotten Heroes: The highest British decoration for “conspicuous bravery or devotion to the country in the presence of the enemy”, which was instituted by Queen Victoria towards the end of the Crimean War in 1856, and is known as the Victoria Cross, has been awarded to many Irishmen........... Click Here

War Games on the Curragh: On the establishment of peace with Russia and the disembodiment of the Militia, the immediate objects for which the camp was apparently formed ceased to exist. However, as a camp of instruc­tion its value was undiminished as the extensive Curragh plains afforded ample manoeuvre room for infantry, artillery and cavalry............... Click Here

Curragh Civil War Executions: Eighty years ago, in December 1922, the Curragh Camp was the scene of a terrible tragedy; it was the execution, by firing squad, of seven young men in the Military Detention Barracks, now the Curragh Prison........... Click Here

Irish Independent 17th May, 1922: The Curragh Camp, the greatest British military station in Ireland, was taken over by Irish troops yesterday morning. British troops marched out of the camp for the last time, whilst the soldiers of Dail Eireann, under Lieut-Gen O'Connell, mounted guard and saluted the Tricolour, which replaced the British flag.............. Click Here

Cavalry Corps 80th Anniversary: The 'Armoured Car Corps' was established on the 14 Sep 1922 (in latter years known as 'Orgainsation Day') under the command of Comdt Joe Hyland............... Click Here

Sliabh na mBan: The Army's Armoured Rolls-Royce No. 2 a.k.a. Sliabh na mban, now one of the Curragh's oldest residents, is the third of one hundred 1920 Pattern or Whippet Rolls-Royces ordered by the British Army at a cost of approximately £2,000 each............  Click Here        

The Bloods an  Historical Overview:  Military Tradition takes time to form , individuals come and go, but a good Unit lives on. On the 24th January 1923, the National Army Garrisons in a number of North-Western towns were declared by General Ristedrd Ua Maolchatha, The Commander-in-Chief to constitute the 3rd Infantry Battalion under the command of Comdt Bernard Sweeney........... Click Here

Schooldays on Curragh: On May 16, 1922 the British Army handed over the Curragh to the Irish Free State.  When the British army left the Curragh Camp they took all their school records with them , but we do know that the present School of Signals on O’Higgins Road was used as a Junior School............ Click Here

"Red Cap's" The Military Police Through the Years:  The Military Police is the law enforcement agency within the Defence Forces, deriving its authority from the Provost Marshal (PM).  During the period in 1922 before the outbreak of civil war when barracks were being taken over from the British Forces, suitable men were enrolled as Military Policemen, in Dublin (20) and the Curragh Camp (30)........... Click Here

Armoured Tank's on the Curragh: The history of the tank in service with the Defence Forces goes back to the late 1920s when the government of the day agreed to the purchase of a Vickers Medium Tank..............Click Here

St. Paul's Garrison Church Curragh Camp: Until 1922 and the departure of the British army, Anglicans worshipped in St. Paul’s Garrison church. (St. Paul, the Apostle with his robust faith and fighting spirit has long appealed to soldiers.............Click Here

Motor Racing The Curragh (1947 - 1954): The Curragh known throughout the world as the home of Irish horse racing, could also boast of having no less than two motor racing circuits in the late 1940s and early fifties...............Click Here

Interment Camp's: The subject of internment camps is never easy to address from any perspective. Reggie Darling in the previous publication captured the interests of a number of enthusiasts for this aspect of local history and created a demand for further information...........Click Here

Curragh Girls National School: The year 2002 marked the fortieth anniversary of the opening of the Curragh Girls National School. Far from ‘forty years a growing’ — we are indeed ‘forty years a shrinking’..............Click Here