Richmond Barracks

Timeline of the building

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Map of Inchicore before Richmond Barracks was built. John Rocque map of 1775.

John Rocque map of 1775. Credit: National Library of Ireland.


View of Richmond Barracks from the 1800s.

Credit: National Gallery of Ireland Collection


Inchicore village around the early 1800s. Richmond Barracks can be seen in the top right corner.

Inchicore village around 1820. Richmond Barracks can be seen in the top right corner. Credit: National Gallery of Ireland Collection


Richmond Barracks was built for the British Army, because during that time Ireland was under British rule.

Regiment review at Richmond Barracks. Credit: Richmond Barracks Collection (J.M. Lynch after M.A. Hayes)


Richmond Barracks and the Grand Canal around 1820.

Richmond Barracks and the Grand Canal around 1820. Credit: National Gallery of Ireland Collection


In 1816, excitement arises at Richmond Barracks.

Titled ‘Prime bang up in Drumcondra’ this satirical cartoon shows the ascent of James Sadler (father of Windham) from Belvedere House in Drumcondra, Dublin in 1812. The Duke and Duchess of Richmond were present. Credit: British Museum


The Dublin Weekly Register reports that in Richmond Barracks there are  ‘discontents in the soldiery’.

Dublin Weekly Register 7 October 1820


The Whiteboys, who have already burnt police barracks in Cork, are thought to be about to attack Richmond Barracks.


The Oxfordshire Regiment from Richmond Barracks help fight a fire at Hibernian Woolen Mills in nearby Kilmainham.

Fireman from the Royal Exchange Assurance company in the 1800s


Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’ and advocate for Catholic rights, opens Goldenbridge Cemetery, with the Catholic Association.

This is the only surviving photographic image of O’Connell and was possibly taken by Dubreuil. This daguerreotype (early photograph) was taken while O’Connell was imprisoned in Richmond Bridewell (a prison on north side of Dublin) along with other ‘Repeal Martyrs’ from the Repeal Association. Credit: National Gallery of Ireland Collection.


The consecration ceremony of Goldenbridge Cemetery was widely reported.

The consecration ceremony of the Catholic burial ground in Goldenbridge is open to the public and tickets are advertised in newspapers. The price to attend this ‘solemn event’ is 2 shillings 6d. (The Pilot 9 October 1829).


Incidents of public disturbance are reported, involving the soldiers and local people.

Drogheda Journal 1830.


Within a couple of years, a temporary Chapel is built in Goldenbridge cemetery.


The 1840s is a decade of unrest with the Young Ireland movement pushing for independence from Britain.

Thomas Francis Meagher and William Smith O'Brien, under arrest in 1848 with a soldier and jailer, probably in Kilmainham Gaol. Credit: Kilmainham Gaol (possibly by Leone Glukman).


The Commander of the Forces issues orders for all men to remain in barracks in Dublin so that they may be called on to deal with food riots and rebel attacks.


The potato crop fails several times all over Ireland, coupled with an inadequate policy response from the British government.


Newspapers begin to report on the Famine in Ireland as it grows steadily worse.

Boy and girl in the West of Ireland. Credit: Richmond Barracks Collection


With government backing, the celebrity chef, Alexis Soyer, sets up a soup kitchen in front of the Royal Barracks.

Soyer’s Soup Kitchen. Credit: Mary Evans Picture Library Ref: 10217290.


The Great Southern and Western Railway line opens in Inchicore.

Inchicore Works: workers inside the workshops around the 1890s. Credit: Irish Railway Record Society Archive, courtesy Ciarán Cooney


Dublin sees a severe outbreak of cholera and instructions are issued to the soldiers of Richmond Barracks.


The sketch of Bridget O’Donnell and her two children is one that is often used to represent the Great Famine.

Bridget O’Donnell and children. Credit: Richmond Barracks Collection.


After six years of famine the population of Ireland has gone from 8.175 million (Census 1841) to 6.55 million (Census 1851) due to emigration, disease and death.

1853 to 1856

The Crimean War begins and regiments of Richmond Barracks prepare to travel to the front line.

Crimean Banquet in Georges Dock, Dublin. Credit: Mary Evans Picture Library.


A report released on military living conditions gives an insight into the lives of soldiers' wives.

Soldiers cleaning equipment. Credit: Unknown


In another report the laundry facilities are listed and what is provided for children.

Garrison Chapel School. Credit: United Kingdom Archives


Recreation rooms are opened in Richmond Barracks, including a library and games room with plays and lectures taking place.


Amateur theatrics in military barracks were open to the public and provided opportunities for lower army ranks to socialise with local populations.

Theatre poster for Richmond Barracks. Credit: National Museum of Ireland NMIHA-1941-4.


The War Office attempts to close Goldenbridge Cemetery, citing health and safety.


Depression and suicides among soldiers motivates the army into refurbishing the Barracks.

Soldier’s bed in barracks dormitory. Credit: Unknown


Plan of the gym in New Barracks in Limerick.

Plan of gym floor. Credit: National Archives, United Kingdom.


Due to an outbreak of typhoid or ‘enteric fever’ the War Office writes a report on the sanitary conditions in Richmond Barracks.

Map of enteric cases in Richmond Barracks 1889. Credit: Sanitary Report of Richmond Barracks.


The second Boer war starts in South Africa and becomes Britain’s biggest conflict since the Crimean war.

The Argyll and Sutherland Regiment in the parade square of Richmond Barracks, prepare to leave for the Boer war. Note the cottages on the right hand side for soldiers with families. Credit: Unknown.


The 1913 Lockout is a city-wide industrial dispute resulting from Dublin employers locking out thousands of members of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.

Michael Mallin memorial card. Credit: National LIbrary of Ireland.


Emmet Hall at 122 Emmet Road was home to Michael Mallin, strike leader and Commandant of the ICA.

122 Emmet Road, home of Michael Mallin and ITGWU branch.


This cartoon references the tramcar used to bring the military to the Howth gun-running landing in 1914.

Tram cartoon. Credit: Courtesy of National Museum of Ireland HE EW 227 118


War is declared and troops are sent from Britain to the many barracks in Dublin to prepare them for the Western front.

British Army parade in Richmond Barracks  Late 19th/early 20th century. Credit: National Library of Ireland.


The poet Francis Ledwidge joins the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and is one amongst many young Irishmen who serve at Richmond Barracks.

Francis Ledwidge in his British Army uniform. Credit: Library of Congress.


Wives of Irish soldiers in the British Army receive a ‘separation allowance’ and are popularly known as ‘separation women’. 

Poster listing different allowances for families of married soldiers. Dated: 1 March 1915. Credit: National Library of Ireland


Support for Irish independence from Britain has been growing.

The Provisional Government of the Irish Republic To the People of Ireland. A declaration of independence written and signed by the seven leaders often referred to as ‘the Proclamation’. Patrick Pearse read it out on the steps of the General Post Office on the first day of the rebellion and it was posted up all over the city. Credit: National Library of Ireland.


This map shows the rebel garrisons, British army barracks, hospitals, police stations, railway stations, prisons, fire stations, bridges and telephone and postal centres.

Detail of the map showing Richmond Barracks and the South Dublin Union. Credit: National Library of Ireland.


The rebellion lasts one week and at the end of it, around three thousand men and women are brought to Richmond Barracks.

Surrender of Boland’s Mill Garrison. Men from the 3rd Battalion of the Irish Volunteers being led down Northumberland Road after the surrender of the Boland’s Mill Garrison carrying weapons and a flag. Eamonn De Valera is marked by the white X above his head. Credit: National Library of Ireland.


The rebel leaders are court-martialled within Richmond Barracks.

Rebel prisoners held at Richmond Barracks.


Along with 22 other women, Rose McNamara and Marcella Cosgrove serve in Marrowbone Lane Garrison.

Rose McNamara and Marcella Cosgrove. Credit: Dublin City Council Culture Company.


This plaque is near the Fatima Luas stop, about a 30-minute walk from Richmond Barracks.

Marrowbone Lane Garrison Plaque. Credit: Dublin City Council.


The rebel leaders are court-martialled within Richmond Barracks.

Plunkett Scrapbook, courts martial 1916 Top caption: ‘Major McBride, centre figure in uniform, (who was shot) being marched away after sentence.’ Lower caption: ‘Two of the brothers Plunkett (in slouch hats) under escort.’ Credit: Military Archives.


Main newspapers condemn the rebellion and the pro-Unionist Irish Times calls it ‘An Orgy of Fire and Slaughter’.

Photographs of the seven signatories from the Sinn Fein Rebellion Handbook. Credit: National Library of Ireland


Captain Bowen-Colthurst of the British army is tried for the unlawful killing of pacifist Francis Sheehy-Skeffington.

HannaSheehy-Skeffington (far right) arrives at Richmond Barracks with her sisters Mary Sheehy-Kettle and Kathleen Sheehy Cruise O’Brien and friend Meg Connery. Credit: Library of Congress.


Having served in Gallipoli, Francis Ledwidge is injured and returns to Dublin on leave.

Francis Ledwidge   as a young man in 1913 or 1914. Credit: Bain Collection, Library of Congress


A general election sees the Nationalist party, Sinn Féin, win a landslide victory over the whole of Ireland.


The first Dáil Éireann (Parliament) sits in Dublin

During the War of Independence, the funeral of IRA member Sean Doyle is led by F Company 4th Battalion, in 1920. The procession is walking along Emmet Road in Inchicore  and Richmond Barracks is on the left. Credit: Diarmuid O’Connor/Ken Larkin.


Following the establishment of the Irish Free State, Richmond Barracks is handed over to the Irish National Army.


Town planner Patrick Abercrombie proposes his Dublin of the Future

Harry Clarke's 1922 illustration 'The Last Hour of the Night' reflects a tough period in Dublin's history, marked by poverty and the violence of the War of Independence and the Civil War. It shows the city's struggle and endurance during hard times.


Kehoe Barracks is vacated by the Irish Army.


Kehoe Barracks is handed over to Dublin Corporation to house ‘the poorer class of workers’.

Irish Times 24 April 1925. Credit: Irish Newspaper Archive.


The former garrison chapel used by soldiers becomes the church of St. Michael of the Angels

St Michael’s Church windows. Credit: Jozef Voda.


The Christian Brothers open St Michael’s school in the old recreation rooms and the gym.

St Michael’s School in the 1970s. A playing pitch can be seen where our garden is now. Credit: Dublin City Libraries.

1930s to 1960s

Hundreds of families live in Keogh Square.

Wedding group celebrating outside McDowell’s pub on Emmet Road. It is still there today. Credit: Liam O’Meara.


Most of the barracks is demolished to make way for new public housing.

A view of the new flats of Tyrone Place and cottages of Keogh Square. Credit: Dublin City Libraries.


St Michael's  Estate is built by Dublin City Council on the site to house working-class families and the elderly.

Newly built St Michael’s Estate in the early 1970s. A playground is visible and an old barrack building on the right (now a Health Centre). Dublin City Library and Archive (photograph by Billy Mooney).


St Michael’s Estate begins to deteriorate.

The ‘Red door’ of the St Michael’s Family Resource Centre. Credit: St Michael’s Family Resource Centre


St Michael's Christian Brothers school closes.


Plaque to Francis Ledwidge


The Health Services Executive opens a Primary Care centre in one section of the old barracks.


The last block of St Michael's estate is demolished.

Demolition of St Michaels’ Estate. Credit: Joe Lee from film ‘Barrack Square Estate’.


Renovation begins.

An early plan drawing of the barracks  can be seen as well as an early photograph of the cupola. Credit: Dublin City Council Culture Company.


The restoration process.

Aerial view of Richmond Barracks. Credit: Joe Lee from film 'Barrack Square Estate'.


The local community attends the launch of the Richmond Barracks renovations.

The local community attend launch of the renovation plan. Credit: Joe Lee from film 'Barrack Square Estate'.


Richmond Barracks opens as museum with tours of the gymnasium, the old school rooms and garden.

Dinny Timmins shows his grandmother’s home where he was born in Keogh Square. The family lived on the other side of the square from where you are standing now, near Finnerty’s shop. Credit: Photo by John Peacock, courtesy of Liam O’Meara.


Richmond Barracks becomes a cultural centre.


Local group, The Yarn School, create a Commemoration Quilt in honour of the seventy seven women detained in Richmond Barracks in 1916.

Women of the Yarn School sit below a photograph of the women and girls	who took part in the Easter Rising of 1916. Credit: Dublin City Council Culture Company.

With thanks to Liam O'Meara, local historian and author of  From Richmond Barracks to Keogh Square, (Dublin, 2014)

Further reading from your local library