In the summer of 1924, the Seanad decided the fate of the military barracks across Dublin.  Senator Thomas Foran, a former prisoner of Richmond Barracks (renamed to Keogh Barracks by 1924) argued that he would “be delighted” if every military establishment in Dublin and Ireland were given over to house people who required accommodation.

Meanwhile, Senator Col. Moore was against this idea, saying that if Dublin were to maintain an army, there ought to be a place to train the troops.

Ultimately, W.T Cosgrave approved a proposal put forward to convert Richmond/Keogh Barracks into housing.

By 1926, the converted barracks were renamed Keogh (or Kehoe) Square.

By 1928, 248 families were housed in the barracks buildings and an additional 218 families lived in houses built on the 13 acre field east of the square.

When the barracks were first converted into flats, they were amongst the finest in Dublin.  Each hall housed 6 families, 2 on each floor, and each flat usually had 2 or 3 bedrooms, a large living room and open fire, a small kitchen, and a toilet.

The estate was working class, with some people struggling to get by on small or no wages while feeding large families.  It was a strong and stable community with strong ties to one another, and characters who passed into local folklore with fondness – like Jane Fitzpatrick, the “woman who walked backwards.”  There was even a band recital at the bandstand every Sunday for many years.

Though the community in Keogh Square, changed and moved on, the Richmond Barracks Exhibition Centre is delighted to shine light on the local history and folklore of Inchicore and Kilmainham.

Cearnóg Keogh á forbairt

I samhradh na bliana 1924, chinn an Seanad céard a dhéanfaí le beairicí míleata ar fud Bhaile Átha Cliath.  Dúirt an Seanadóir Thomas Foran, iarphríosúnach de chuid Dhún Richmond (ar ar tugadh Dún Keogh faoi 1924) go mbeadh sé “thar a bheith sásta” dá n-úsáidfí gach bunaíocht mhíleata i mBaile Átha Cliath agus in Éirinn chun lóistín a chur ar fáil dóibh siúd ar theastaigh a leithéid uathu.

Ach bhí an Seanadóir Cor. Moore i gcoinne an phlean seo, agus dúirt sé má bhí Baile Átha Cliath le harm a choinneáil gur cheart go mbeadh áit ann chun na trúpaí a thraenáil.

Ar deireadh, d’fhaomh an tUachtarán Cosgrave moladh go n-athchóireofaí Dún Richmond/Keogh ina thithíocht.

Faoi 1926, tugadh Cearnóg Keogh (nó Kehoe) ar an mbeairic athchóirithe.

Faoi 1928, bhí 248 dteaghlach ina gcónaí sna bunfhoirgnimh agus bhí 218 dteaghlach eile ina gcónaí i dtithe a tógadh ar gharraí 13 acra taobh thoir den chearnóg.

Nuair a athchóiríodh an bheairic ina hárasáin i dtosach, bhí siad i measc na n-árasán ba dheise i mBaile Átha Cliath.  Bhí sé theaghlach i ngach halla, péire ar gach urlár, agus bhí dhá nó trí sheomra leapa i ngach árasán, chomh maith le seomra suí mór agus tine oscailte, cistin bheag, agus leithreas.

An lucht oibre a chónaigh san eastát, agus bhíodh roinnt daoine ag streachailt leo chun maireachtáil ar thuarastal beag nó gan tuarastal ar bith agus a gclann mhór a bheathú.  Ach bhí an pobal socair, agus bhí an-nasc eatarthu, agus chónaigh daoine éagsúla ann a mhair i mbéaloideas na háite mar gheall ar ghean an phobail orthu, ar nós Jane Fitzpatrick, “an bhean a shiúil droim ar ais”.  Bhíodh ceadal banna fiú ag an ardán banna ceoil gach Domhnach ar feadh na mblianta.

Cé go dtiocfadh fás agus forbairt ar an bpobal seo de réir a chéile, tá an-áthas ar Lárionad Taispeántais Dhún Richmond stair agus béaloideas áitiúil Chill Mhaighneann agus Inse Chór a thabhairt chun solais.