As part of its 2018 programme of events, the Artillery Club conducted a successful and memorable Field Trip to Cathal Brugha Barracks on 26 April,

The extensive programme included  a brief by Commandant Margaret Bannister on the Defence Forces School of Music, a rehearsal by the Army Number 1 Band under the baton of Captain John Carpenter, and an informative insight into Military Archives by Captain Daniel Ayiotis, and an impressive conducted tour of the Visitors’ Centre by Company Sergeant Masterson..

Commandant Bannister’s forthright insight into the remarkable history, impressive outputs and numerous challenges facing the  School of Music was appreciated by all.  She reminded us that the School’s instrumentalists, serving in the Defence Forces military and pipe bands, are a valuable national asset, making a significant impact on Ireland’s rich musical and cultural heritage.  Commandant Bannister’s presentation enhanced our understanding, that irrespective of rank, personnel of the School of Music, whose careers, on average, span 40 years, closely protect their artistic integrity and rich legacy, in the art and science of military music.

Following Captain Ayiotis’s  comprehensive brief, members of the Artillery Club now have an enhanced understanding of the role of Military Archives in acquiring, preserving and making available the documentary heritage of the Defence Forces, the Department of Defence and the Army Pensions Board.  The Club commends the work of the professionally trained archivists in cataloguing and digitising significant collections such as the Bureau of Military History, the Civil War and the Military Service Pensions Collection.  Your online collections, including the 1922 Irish Army Census and Image Gallery, facilitate worldwide research.

During the informative tour of the refurbished Military Archives, one of the cultural legacies of the 2016 Centenary Programme, participants on the Field Trip were very impressed with the Reading Room, Conservation Room and Storage Room, which enhance the capability of safeguarding and making accessible Ireland’s military heritage for future generations.

Members of the Artillery Club are encouraged to participate in the Oral History Programme under the auspices of Military Archives,

The Visitors’ Centre is dedicated to the memory of Francis Sheehy Skeffington, Thomas Dickson and Patrick McIntyre, newspaper editors and pacifists, who were arrested and executed without trial, in the guardroom exercise yard on 26 April 26 1916.

The displays include personal memorabilia  that belonged to General Michael Collins. such as his writing desk, the flag that draped his coffin, and his death mask.  Uniforms on view include a Blue Hussar’s tunic.

Participants also availed of the renowned facilities of the Officers’ Mess for coffee and a most enjoyable lunch.

Photographs courtesy of Brig Gen Paul Pakenham (Retd).