The Curragh Military Museum

Over the years the military has become part of the Curragh, and the Curragh part of us. Right under our feet is history dating back to prehistoric times; the Fianna used to meet at the Hill of Allen; Henry II camped here on his way to Dublin in 1171; the Jacobite army trained here in 1686-7 and the British after establishing a permanent post in 1855, trained men to go and fight in the Boer War and the trenches of the Somme during World War I.

Now, after several years of research and planning, the Curragh has its own museum, that you can visit and take in the marvels of this magnificent geographical and historical site. we took in all aspects of the Curragh - military, civilian, equitation, conservation and archaeology. The museum is sub-divided into three parts. The environment encompassing archaeology, flora and fauna; the British military presence up to 1922 and finally the Defence Forces.

Before visitors view the exhibits, they can watch an audio visual presentation that has some magnificent aerial shots of the plains including the ring fort at Dun Ailinne, which at one time was part of the Curragh.  The grasslands and the aquifer were the main reasons the British Army built a camp here. Some of the flora and fauna on the plains is unique to this part of the world.

On display are weapons like the Brown Bess musket - one of the longest serving firearm in British Army service and the Martini Henry rifle - brought to fame for its quick firing rate of fire in the later 1800s. Most outstanding in the middle of the British Army exhibit is a beautifully restored short grand piano. Built for Judge Smithly in 1895, the Essex Regiment brought it the Curragh in 1905. The piano was found a number of years back in the old band room being used as a storage table.

Also on display is the Beaverette armoured car - used by the Defence Forces after World War II. It is one of several vehicles preserved in excellent condition by the Cavalry Corps. You can see the last British flag to fly over the Curragh Camp in 1922 - a monument in itself to Irish history.

Some of the photographs from 1922 and just before the hand over to the Free State Army are fascinating. Then, there were 6,000 British Army troops and 4,000 civilians occupying or working in the camp. There were shops, cinemas, a swimming pool, schools and barbers, which all turned the Curragh into a thriving community. Back then standard accommodation was wooden billets, though none of these survive anymore, though the photographs indicate an interesting feature.

Vintage Vehicles

The following vintage vehicles are on display in the museum

Sliabh na mBan

The Sliabh na mBan Rolls Royce armoured car is now on display in the Curragh Military Museum. This car formed part of General Michael Collins convoy which was ambushed on the 22nd of August 1922 in which he was killed. 

This car can be viewed by the public without prior notice during the museum's opening hours.

To avoid disappointment please ring to find out if the vehicle is on display the day of your visit as there are days that the vehicle is not available.

Comet Tank A34

Churchill Tank

Beaverette Mk IV Scout Car

Panhard APC M3

Directions to the Museum

View Larger Map


From Newlands cross continue onto the N7

At junction 3 continue unto Naas Road N7 (signposted Limerick, The South)

Continue unto the M7 motorway (signposted Limerick)

Leave the M7 at junction 12 (signposted The Curragh)

At the roundabout take the second exit.

Follow this road straight to the Curragh Camp.

The museum is on the left hand side of the road approximately 400 metres after the Church.

Curragh Military Museum General Opening Hours

Opening Times




Monday - Wednesday
1000 hrs - 1230 hrs & 1400 hrs - 1630 hrs
1400hrs– 2000hrs
1400 hrs to 1700 hrs
Closed Friday, Saturday & Bank Holidays

Curator Sgt Neil Sourke
Contact Tel : 045 445342
Free Admission and Free Parking

Note: this Museum will be closed from 19/12/2017 until 02/01/2018


Read more about the History of the Defence Forces

The Badge Design

The Badge design (common to all Corps and Services and all orders of dress) is derived from the badge of the Irish Volunteers and was designed by Professor Eoin MacNeill, Chairman of the National Executive of the Irish Volunteers. This badge was originally adopted by the Irish Volunteers in October 1914. [Read more]