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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Carlow Military

Source: Carlow in Old Picture Postcards (1994), & Carlow in Old Postcards Vol. 2 / Vol. 3 by Michael Purcell. (1999 & 2000)

The following images and accompanying text is taken form the above sources to give a picture of the military activities in Carlow during the period of the Civil War and the two Great Wars and we would like to dedicated this page to the many Carlovian men and women who lost their lives during this period of unrest.

Carlow Military Barracks
Two very detailed Maps of the Carlow Military Barracks located on Barrack Street and the County Goal in Carlow town.
The date of the plans are 26 Jan 1887 and they include the surrounding area including the Goal and hospital, Barrack Street.
These images were contributed to the website by Terry Curran c2007
(Click on images to enlarge)

Plate 42: - Women played an important role during the War of Independence and the Civil War. Lena Whelan of the Dublin Road is pictured here in her Cumann na mBan (Women’s Army) uniform. The bandolier belonged to Tom Seely of Tullow Street, who was active in the I.R.A. movement. In 1997 Carlow County Heritage Society returned the bandolier to Tom’s grandson Fintan Seely, who is a well-known New York publican. It is now on display in his pub in Manhattan. My (Michael Purcell's) own mother was in Cumann na mBan and in 1923 she was interned in Kilmainham Jail. In 1927 Lena Whelan married Dick Clifford, an ex-British Army soldier. This postcard came to me (Michael Purcell) courtesy of Lena’s niece Catherine Smith of Smith’s Newsagency.
  On Parade in Carlow Military Barracks.
John MurphyCounty Carlow Military Museum (CCMM)  Here is a very rare photo of a unit based in the Barracks c.1917-1922?  Some of the formation are wearing side caps (Implying a different unit?) The BOS was told to fall in the guard. Clearly visible is the Carlow skyline. If anyone knows the exact year of the photo and the unit(s) Please contact John Murphy at Facebook or myself.
  Plate 43: - With the country still in a state of unrest, soldiers of the newly-established Free State Army parade in the Haymarket in 1923. From here they marched to the Old Union Workhouse on the Kilkenny Road which had been converted to a barracks. In the background the gates lead to the Butter-market and Carlow Fire Station at the rear of the Town Hall.
  Plate 44: - The rear of the old Union Workhouse following its conversion into an army barracks. It was found to be unsuitable and within a short time was handed over to Carlow County Council for use as offices and stores. It was demolished in 1971. Carlow's Regional College, Institute of Technology, now stands on the site.
  45 Sunday after last Mass, with the Cathedral in the background. Carlovians drill and parade in the barrack yard. Ireland remained neutral during the Second World War and despite the fact that there were not enough weapons to arm the National Army, local citizens joined the L.D.F. (Local Defence Force), and prepared to repel ‘invasion from any quarter’.
  Plate 55: -  In 1923 soldiers of the newly-established Free State Army marched across Burrin Bridge to take possession of the Old Union Workhouse on the Kilkenny Road. The move had aroused controversy, the old and infirm had to he moved to the former British military barracks in Barrack Street. The Free State commanding officer had stated that if the Union was still occupied he would remove all occupants, inmates and staff. Vacant possession was granted. The iron bridge was erected in 1863. It was replaced by a concrete bridge in 1932. The house in the background is the home of Dr. O'Meara. father of Carlow's most noted artist Frank O'Meara. The building with the pillars at the entrance is Deighton Hall. formerly the courthouse; it was donated by Joseph Deighton to St. Mary’s Church vestry. To the right we see a garage sign on the building which replaced Kellys Mill; this garage was later demolished to make way for a new road. Kennedy Avenue.
  Plate 67: - The old jail in Carlow which was situated at the top of Bridewell Lane. Many of the 1798 rebels were interned here. We are told that many of the prisoners could look out through the top windows and see their fellow rebels being tortured and put to death in the barrack yard in Barrack Street. Soon after this photo was taken a major refurbishment of the building was undertaken by R.N. Gillespie Ltd. In the 1990s the building was demolished and is now replaced by modern shops and apartments.
  The old Carlow Barracks (c1966)Plate 68: - The south wing of the old barracks in Barrack Street. The infamous 1798 Court Martial trials took place in this section of the barrack building, prisoners were executed in the front yard. In 1922, following the withdrawal of the British Army, the newly established Irish Free State Army took over the building. Later it was discovered that the building was too small to accommodate the 500 soldiers stationed in Carlow. In February 1923, the army decided to moved to the Old Union Workhouse on the Kilkenny Road, which is on the south side of the town, and the inmates of the workhouse were moved in Crossley Tenders to the barracks. The barracks was renamed the Sacred Heart Home but later became known as the County Home and was administered as a Home for the Elderly by the Mercy nuns. The building is now demolished and a Retired Persons home has been built on the site now.
This view of Carlow Barracks supplied by Harry Furr (c2008) was taken in 1958 by taken by my father, Harry Furr. He was Born in the barracks in 1902 and lived in there with his 10 siblings, (5 were born in the Barracks). Harry's father was a permanent staff instructor with the 8th Bn KRRC (The King's Royal Rifle Corps) for 9 yrs.
  Plate 69: - With a Lancia Armoured Lorry known as ‘Handy Andy’ in the background, soldiers of the Irish Free State Army pose for this photo. A few civilians also managed to get into the picture, including one in the driver’s seat. Capt. Doyle is marked X, a note on the back of the picture states: Capt. Doyle - later murdered at Enniscorthy when leaving evening devotions at the Cathedral and unarmed. There is no date on the photo for the killing but I presume he was killed during the Civil War.
  Plate 70: - 70 Platoon under Lieut. McDarby about to leave the old barracks in Carlow for ‘Column Duty’, in the area. The buildings in the background were demolished in 1973. Today a home for the elderly, Bethany House, stands on the site. It was opened in February 1974 by the Minister for Health, Brendan Corish, and was the first building erected in the move to replace the Sacred Heart Home. In the distance we can see Thompson’s Hanover Works and the spire of St. Mary’s Church.
  Plate 71: - This picture is captioned ‘Autumn 1922’. CO.’s Crossley Touring Car on the Barrack Square in the Old Military Barracks Carlow. Staff Capt. John A. O’Farrell in the back seat is marked x; he was accidentally shot dead in the same square on Christmas Eve, Sunday, 24th December 1922. John was having a friendly sparring match with Lt. McDarby when his Webley revolver fell from its holster and went off delivering the fatal shot which killed him instantly.
  Plate 72: - On the move: Crossley Tender from Clonskeagh with a party of soldiers armed with Winchester Repeaters prepare to move into the new barracks. The local population protested against the move to take over the Workhouse. A letter from Padraig Mac Gamhna T.D. to General Mulcahy in 1922 summed up the feelings of many:  The Guardians of Carlow Union have brought to my notice that the Free State Military Authorities have given them notice that Carlow Workhouse is being taken over by the military authorities in December. As a former member of that body, and as one of the representatives of the county, I wish to protest strongly against such un-warranted action being taken, and that without any regard whatever as to the care of the sick, poor and infirm.
allinree Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks, County Carlow.

Detached two-storey gable-fronted Tudor Revival former police barracks, c.1845, with turret on a circular plan on a square base. Renovated, c.1990, to accommodate residential use.

Source: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage

  Plate 73: - The former workhouse and new military barracks at Carlow. A soldier passes by the chapel, in the background we see one of the towers which were a feature of the Old Union / Workhouse building. Originally built to accommodate eight hundred paupers the Workhouse, or ‘the spike’ as it was sometimes called, was a dreaded institution. In July 1853 boys aged between 10 and 14 years were given tobacco and whiskey to ‘encourage’ them to clean out the workhouse cesspits. In the autumn of 1971 the building was demolished. Today the Carlow Institute of Technology building is erected in the area pictured here. It is considered to be one of the leading centres for third-level education in Ireland. Under the guidance of Institute Director John Gallagher and Chairman Edmund Burke it is intended to further expand the educational services available.
The Barrack Yard showing the Court Martial room people were condemned to death during the Troubles

  Plate 75: - Ballykinlar number 1 Internment Camp. Hut 22, B. Company During the War of Independence members of the Irish Republican Army were rounded up and imprisoned in internment camps. During their internment one of the Carlow prisoners Patrick 0’ Toole died, he was 29 years old. In 1920 due to ill health he resigned as secretary of the Carlow Transport Union. Nevertheless he was arrested by the British and interned in Ballykinlar.

Pictured here are back row, left to right: James Byrne, who later lived in St. Killian’s Crescent; David Murphy Leighlin, Pa. McDermott, publican, Shamrock Square; J. Traynor, Dublin; T. Murphy, Cork; and J. Donnelly, Rathvilly. Second row: D. Quirke, Tipperary; PJ. Gallagher, Tipperary; F. Doran, Kildare; E. McDonnell, Cavan; E. Morrissey, Dublin; T. Coleman, Tipperary; and C. Quirke, Tipperary.  Third row: J. Smith, Bagenalstown; P J. Byrne, Dublin; M. Barnett, Dublin; G. Malone, Dublin; P Coyne, Liverpool; J. Curran, Dublin; and P Garland Dublin. Fourth row: J. Hayes, Cork; P. Kavanagh, Dublin; R. Ward, Dublin; J. Maher and M. Quirke, Tipperary.



Source: Carlow in Old Picture Postcards (1994), & Carlow in Old Postcards Vol. 2 / Vol. 3 by Michael Purcell. (1999 & 2000)

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