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Collins Barracks, Cork

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Title: Collins Barracks, Cork  
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Collins Barracks, Cork

Collins Barracks, Cork
Dún Uí Choileáin, Corcaigh
Cork, Ireland
Entrance gate and guardroom in the late 19th Century
Collins Barracks, Cork is located in Ireland
Collins Barracks, Cork
Collins Barracks, Cork
Type Military barracks
Site information
Operator Irish Army
Open to
the public
Partial (Barracks museum is open to public at certain times)
Site history
Built 1801 (1801)
Garrison information
Garrison 1st Southern Brigade of Irish Army

Collins Barracks is a military barracks on the Old Youghal Road on the north side of Cork in Ireland. Originally serving as a British military barracks from the early 19th century, it was surrendered to the Irish military following the Irish War of Independence, and remains the headquarters of the 1st Brigade of the Irish Army.[1] A museum in the barracks is open to the public at selected times.[2]


  • History 1
    • Formation 1.1
    • Independence 1.2
    • Late 20th century 1.3
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Further reading 4



Originally erected between 1801 and 1806, the barracks' works were completed by Abraham Hargrave to designs by John Gibson[3][4] in a prominent position on the hills overlooking the city and the River Lee.

Initially known simply as The Barracks, the complex was extended in 1849 and renamed to Victoria Barracks, to celebrate a visit by Queen Victoria.


In the period following the Easter Rising (1916), the Irish nationalist Thomas Kent was executed by firing squad at the barracks. He was the only person outside Dublin, apart from Roger Casement, to be executed for participation following the Rising, and the married quarters of the Barracks were later named in his memory.

During the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921), British forces from the barracks were involved in the executions of several Republican prisoners. On 28 April 1921, four Volunteers, Maurice Moore, Thomas Mulcahy, Patrick O'Sullivan and Patrick Ronayne, were executed by firing squad at the barracks,[5][6][7] followed by the execution of Patrick Casey a few days later,[8][9][7] and of Daniel O'Brien on 16 May 1921.[7][8]

Removal of material following the burning of the barracks by retreating Anti-Treaty forces in August 1922

Following the War of Independence, under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, and after housing British forces in the city for more than one hundred years, the barracks were handed over to Commandant Sean Murray of the Army of the Irish Free State in 1922.[10] The barracks were substantially damaged by retreating Anti-Treaty forces during the Irish Civil War,[11][12] and after this conflict were renamed for Michael Collins, the first commander-in-chief of the Free State, and a native of County Cork.

Late 20th century

A garrison for the Southern Command of the Irish Army since the 1920s, the complex was visited by US President John F. Kennedy in 1963.[10]

The barracks now houses the headquarters of 1 Southern Brigade, with permanent and reserve elements of several army corps, including Infantry, Artillery, Engineering and Logistics units.

From 2004 the barracks have been subject to a modernisation program,[13] which involved building new messing facilities, a gymnasium and workshops.

See also


  1. ^ "Army - Organisation - 1st Brigade". Irish Defence Forces (official site). Retrieved 31 August 2014. The [1st] Brigade Headquarters is located in Collins Barracks, Cork 
  2. ^ "Military Museums - Collins Barracks Cork". Military Heritage of Ireland Trust Limited. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Dictionary of Irish Architects - Abraham Hargrave - Works". Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dictionary of Irish Architects - John Gibson - Works". Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Aideen Carroll. Sean Moylan: Rebel Leader. Mercier Press. p. 120. 
  6. ^ "Four Irishmen Are Executed by Crown Forces of England". The Miami News. 27 April 1921. 
  7. ^ a b c "Cork County Gaol, Memorial to Executed IRA Volunteers". Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Seán Enright. The Trial of Civilians by Military Courts: Ireland 1921. 
  9. ^ "Death of Patrick Casey; 2nd May, 1921; Cork". National Archives of the UK. 
  10. ^ a b "Collins Barracks Museum detail (including pictures)". Cork Heritage Open Day. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Gerry White, Brendan O'Shea (2013). Irish Volunteer Soldier 1913-23. Osprey Publishing. p. 45.  
  12. ^ "Irregulars Burning Cork — Barracks and Public Buildings in Flames". Galway Observer. 12 August 1922. The flames of burning buildings lit up the sky over Cork City on Thursday night. The irregulars had consigned to the fires all the military and police barracks, Government House, the Victoria Hotel, and other structures in the centre of the city 
  13. ^ "Department of Defence - Press Release - Military Museum in Collins Barracks, Cork to be Refurbished and Relocated". Department of Defence (Ireland). 11 August 2004. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 

Further reading

  • The Barracks: A History of Victoria/Collins Barracks. Dan Harvey & Gerry White. ISBN 1-85635-194-7
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