Artillery in Ireland: Glen of Imaal, Kilbride, Charles Fort - Kinsale, Limerick, Millmount, Old Bridge, Ringaskiddy, Ross Castle, Rosses Point, Rosslare Harbour, Strandhill, Templemore, Tralee, Tramore, Trim Castle, and Youghal Battery

Artillery preserved in Ireland,

Glen of Imaal, Kilbride, Charles Fort - Kinsale, Limerick, Millmount

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document every historical piece of artillery preserved in Ireland.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these guns to provide and update the data found on these web pages.  Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Guns and Artillery in Ireland would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at

The Artillery Corps (An Cór Airtléire), initially founded in 1924, is the artillery branch of the Irish Army.  The Corps is charged with providing fire support to other sections of the Army.  Since the Second World War, the Artillery Corps has been organised into separate Coastal Defence, Field Artillery and Air Defence Regiments.  In the late 20th century, the Coastal Defence component was dissolved and integrated with the Field Artillery component.  In 2013 the Air Defence regiment also ceased to operate as a separate component, and the Field Artillery regiments, known as Brigade Artillery Regiments, took over the Air Defence role.

Today the Artillery Corps comprises the Artillery School, located in the Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC) in Curragh Camp, and two Brigade Artillery Regiments (one for each of the two Brigades of the army), located in Collins Barracks, Cork (1 BAR) and Custume Barracks, Athlone (2 BAR).

Glen of Imaal, County Wicklow, Ireland

(Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field guns.  Ex-7 FAR.

The Glen of Imaal Disaster, 1941

During 1939, with the outbreak of the Second World War, the Defence Forces 1 Anti-Aircraft Battery was expanded to an Anti-Aircraft Brigade.  This particular Brigade consisted of two Medium Batteries, two Light Batteries and a Searchlight Battery with the Brigade Headquarters garrisoned in Portobello Barracks, Dublin.  In 1940, the formation was designated as the 1 Anti-Aircraft Battalion.

In June 1941, some of the Battalion’s personnel, garrisoned in Kildare Barracks (renamed Magee Barracks in 1952), were assigned to the newly established 12 pdr Battery.  As with many units at the time, this Battery also trained in mines and explosives.

On 16 September 1941, fifteen personnel drawn from this Battery and the Depot and School Artillery Corps, (three Lieutenants, one Battery-Sergeant, two Sergeants, five Corporals and four Gunners), along with a Lieutenant Engineer Instructor, were accidentally killed when a training mine exploded in Glen Imaal.

This was the worst single incident involving loss of life in the history of the Irish Defence Forces. This incident, known as the Glen of Imaal Disaster occurred during a training exercise involving 27 officers and men from the army's anti-aircraft battalion, artillery school, and Corps of Engineers. Sixteen soldiers were killed when an antitank mine unexpectedly exploded (15 dying immediately and 1 later succumbing to his wounds). Other injured soldiers were rushed to the Curragh military hospital where several received surgery. Three men were fully blinded in the accident, two more partially.  A memorial to the disaster was raised near Seskin Bridge in 1986. May they Rest in Peace.

n 1958, a stained-glass window was dedicated in the Church of the Most Holy Rosary, McKee Barracks, and in 1986, the Minister for Environment Mr John Boland T.D. unveiled a Monument at Seskin Bridge, consisting of a 14-ton basalt monolith upon which is mounted on a polished granite plaque the names of the sixteen Defence Forces personnel who died on 16 September, 1941.

The 1941 accident remains the single tragedy with the greatest casualties in the history of Óglaigh na Éireann.  John Caffery, the last known survivor of the accident, and who was also involved in the evacuation of Dunkirk, died on 03 October 2011, aged 94. (Brigadier-General Paul A. Pakenham (Retired), President, The Artillery Club)

"But if fate me should call
And in action I should fall
Keep those Limbers a Rolling Along.

Then in peace I’ll abide
When I take my final ride
On a Limber that’s Rolling Along."

Kilbride, County Wicklow, Ireland

(Colin Stone Photo)

Bofors 40-mm L/60 QF Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, mounted on a wheeled gun carriage, serving as a Gate Guardian.

Kinsale, Charles Fort, County Cork, Ireland

Charles Fort is a star fort located on the water's edge, at the southern end of the village of Summer Cove, on Kinsale harbour, County Cork.  James Fort is located on the other side of the harbour.  Charles Fort is built on the site of an earlier stronghold known as Ringcurran Castle, which featured prominently during the Siege of Kinsale in 1601.  The fort, which is named after Charles II, was designed by the Surveyor-general Sir William Robinson.  The fort was built in the 1670s and 1680s to a star fortification design - a layout specifically designed to resist attack by cannon.  The inland bastions of the fort however are overlooked by higher ground, a fact of critical importance when the fort was besieged by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (then 1st Earl) in 1690 during the Williamite War in Ireland.  Repairs were made following the siege, and the fort remained in use as a British Army barracks for two hundred years afterwards.  An early lighthouse was established here in the 17th century.  The fort was relinquished by British forces following the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, but it fell out of use after being burned by the retreating anti-Treaty forces during the Irish Civil War in 1922.  The complex was named a National Monument of Ireland in 1971 and has been partly restored by Dúchas, the Irish heritage service.

(The Speckled Bird Photo)

Charles Fort, seaward embrasures.

(Jimmy Harris Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun, unmounted, No. 2 and No. 1 of 2, on the ground inside the fort.

(Colin Stone Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun, unmounted, No. 1 and No. 2 of 2, on the ground inside the fort.

(Blorg Photo)

Cast Iron 32-pounder 17-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Carronade with a Blomefield pattern breeching ring, mounted on an iron garrison carriage, No. 1 and No. 2 of 2.

Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland

(Nils E. Photo)

(William Murphy Photos)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun,  mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 1 of 2 in the courtyard at King John's Castle.   The castle was built by Anglo-Norman invaders and settlers of Ireland early in the 13th century.

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun,  mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 2 of 2 in the courtyard at King John's Castle.

(Nils E. Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, No. 1 of 3 inside King John's Castle.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, No. 2 of 3 inside King John's Castle.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, No. 3 of 3 inside King John's Castle.

Millmount, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland is listed on a separate page on this website

Mullingar (artillery preserved in this location is listed on a separate page on this web site)

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