The somewhat inappropriately titled #ECWtravelogue ventured across the Irish Sea in search of a decent pint of Guinness. Or rather #3 son did, I have visited all these places before - long before the ECWtravelogue existed.

Any mention of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and Ireland, is going to have to tread very carefully. Cromwell's actions, and the actions of the New Model Army, understandably raise strong emotions. The Irish component of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms is known as either the 11 Years War, the Irish Confederate Wars or the Irish Uprising.

Ireland had risen against English rule in 1641, and Charles sent a force to quash the rebellion. The advent of Civil War in England meant that those troops sent to Ireland were withdrawn to England, supposedly to support the Crown. A combination of the King's attention switching, and the withdrawal of the majority of English forces meant that the Irish Confederacy pretty much took control of the island of Ireland.

Fast forward to 1649, Charles has been executed, and Oliver Cromwell has been appointed to the post of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Parliament is facing a mutinous New Model Army, and Ireland has declared Charles II King. Defeated Royalists have flocked to Ireland to regroup and plan for an invasion of England. Throw into the mix reports of atrocities committed against Protestant settlers, which have been distorted and exaggerated by newsbook reporting, and it is only a matter of time before the New Model Army are shipped off to Ireland to retake the island. 

The bloody suppression of the Irish by the New Model Army is the subject of much debate. Described as either war crimes/sectarian cleansing; or, excessive, but 'acceptable' (by the contemporaneous conventions of war) treatment of besieged towns that refuse to surrender. 

So, our attention turns the National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts & History branch, housed in the Collins Barracks.

The museum houses a permanent exhibition 'Soldiers and Chiefs - The Irish at War at Home and Abroad from 1550 to the present day'.

Amongst the items on display are a number of artefacts that are of interest.

Postcodes for SatNavs

Collins Barracks, Benburb Street D07 XKV4

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  1. I'm popping over later in May with half an eye on visiting a couple of the northern battlefields. Not going to have time for a Dublin detour but one to note for the next time!


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