Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Artillery - Ireland

Artillery preserved in Ireland

Data current to 14 July 2019.

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document every historical piece of artillery preserved in Ireland.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these guns to provide and update the data found on these web pages.  Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Guns and Artillery in Ireland would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at hskaarup@rogers.com.

Athlone Castle, Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland

 (Borvan53 Photo)

The earliest recorded “castle” of Athlone was a wooden structure built in 1129, by King Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair of Connacht, possibly on the site of the present castle.  The stone castle which survives today dates from the year 1210 and was built for King John by his Irish Justiciar, Bishop John de Gray of Norwich.  It was built to defend the crossing point of the river at Athlone and to provide a bridgehead to facilitate the Norman advance into Connaught.

 (Author Photo)

The castle of 1210 was a free standing polygonal tower built on a newly built (or existing) ‘motte’ or man-made hill.  This tower, though greatly altered, can still be seen as the central keep or ‘donjon’ of the castle today.  At the time the castle was built the Shannon, as it passed through Athlone, was very different from today.  It is likely that in the early days of its existence the castle enjoyed the protection of a fosse or moat.

The castle was greatly fortified in the late 13th century (ca 1276) when the original ‘motte’ was surrounded with a curtain wall with three-quarter round towers (or drum towers) at the corner.  These features, again greatly rebuilt, still survive today.  The castle was reconstructed by Sir William Brabazon (Lord Justice of Ireland) in 1547. 

The external walls and towers came under heavy fire during the Sieges of Athlone in 1690 and 1691, and they were later destroyed when lightning struck the castle in 1697.  The castle as we view it today shows signs of extensive remodelling during the Napoleonic era when it was modernised and adapted for artillery.  Today the squat drum towers are somewhat reminiscent of the Martello towers (again of the Napoleonic era) which are found around Dublin.

The large scale Ordnance survey map of 1874 named some of the features which were then extant on the castle.  These included the Officers’ quarters & soldiers’ quarters; master gunners’ quarters; guard house; ablutions room; cook house; kitchen; guard house and draw bridge.  The officers’ quarters and soldiers’ quarters were located in the five-bay, two-storey barrack building which overlooks Main Street.  This late Georgian building dates to ca 1810.

 (Author Photo)

The Castle has many interesting features including the shape of the ‘sally gate’ in the wall of the castle overlooking the Shannon; a bow loop from the era when the castle was protected by archers, in the wall facing into Castle Street as well as gun-embrasures and pistol loops on the walls protecting the entrance ramp.  One important feature which disappeared in the 20th century was the drawbridge which survived until the 1940s.  The castle was taken over by the Irish Army in 1922 and continued as a military installation until it was transferred to the Office of Public Works in 1970.

The Keep of the Castle is a National Monument.  The castle which had been part of the defences of Athlone for 750 years became the home of a museum run by the Old Athlone Society in 1966 and of a modern visitor centre developed by Athlone Urban District Council in 1991.  Athlone Castle is pivotal to the understanding of the development of the town of Athlone, linking the modern Athlone with its Norman founders.

 (Author Photo)

Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, heavily corroded, No. 1 of 2.

 (Author Photo)

Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, heavily corroded, No. 2 of 2.  Athlone Castle was first fitted out as an artillery platform shortly after 1800.  At that time it mounted eleven 6-pounder guns, although heavier guns were subsequently installed.  This gun is an 18th century 24-pounder.  The Royal monogram of King George is visible on the barrel (GR).  The embrasure, through which the gun barrel is projecting is brick-lined to soften the impact of hostile fire and to reduce the danger to the gunners from stone splinters.

 (Author Photos)

Cast Iron 10-inch 16-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Land Service Mortar, No. 1 of 2.

 (Author Photos)

Cast Iron 10-inch 16-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Land Service Mortar, No. 2 of 2.

Athlone, Custume Barracks, Ireland

Custume Barracks, named after Sergeant Custume who defended the bridge from the forces of King William III during the Siege of Athlone, were completed in 1691.  The barracks were taken over by forces of the Irish Free State in 1922 and served as the headquarters of 4th Western Brigade until the brigade was disbanded and is now part of 2 Brigade which is headquartered from Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin.  The barracks remains the home of 6th Infantry Battalion as the lead unit, and 2nd Brigade Artillery Regiment and detachments of 2 Engineer Company and the Medical Corps.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, on the parade square, Custume Barracks.

The French 75 mm field gun is a quick-firing field artillery piece adopted in March 1898.  Its official French designation was: Matériel de 75mm Mle 1897.  It was commonly known as the French 75, simply the 75 and Soixante-Quinze (seventy-five).  The French 75 was designed as an anti-personnel weapon system for delivering large volumes of time-fused shrapnel shells on enemy troops advancing in the open.  After 1915 and the onset of trench warfare, other types of battlefield missions demanding impact-detonated high-explosive shells prevailed.  By 1918 the 75s became the main agents of delivery for toxic gas shells.  The 75s also became widely used as truck mounted anti-aircraft artillery.  They were also the main armament of the Saint-Chamond tank in 1918.

The French 75 is widely regarded as the first modern artillery piece.  It was the first field gun to include a hydro-pneumatic recoil mechanism, which kept the gun's trail and wheels perfectly still during the firing sequence.  Since it did not need to be re-aimed after each shot, the crew could reload and fire as soon as the barrel returned to its resting position.  In typical use, the French 75 could deliver fifteen rounds per minute on its target, either shrapnel or melinite high-explosive, out to a range of about 8,500 m (5.3 mi) away.   Its firing rate could even reach close to 30 rounds per minute, albeit only for a very short time and with a highly experienced crew.

At the beginning of the First World War, in August 1914, the French Army had about 4,000 of these field guns in service.  By the end of the war about 12,000 had been produced.  It was also in service with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), which had been supplied with about 2,000 French 75 field guns.  Several thousand were still in use in the French Army at the beginning of the Second Word War, updated with new wheels and tires to allow towing by trucks rather than by horses.  The French 75 set the pattern for almost all early-20th century field pieces, with guns of mostly 75 mm forming the basis of many field artillery units into the early stages of the Second World War.

Britain acquired a number of "autocanon de 75-mm mle 1913" anti-aircraft guns in 1915, as a stopgap measure while it developed its own anti-aircraft alternatives.  These AA guns were used in the defence of Britain, usually mounted on de Dion motor lorries using the French mounting which the British referred to as the "Breech Trunnion".  Britain also purchased a number of the standard 75-mm guns and adapted them for AA use using a Coventry Orndance Works mounting, the "Centre Trunnion".  At the Armistice there were 29 guns in service in Britain.

In June 1940, with many British field guns lost in the Battleof France, 895 M1897 field guns and a million rounds of ammunition were purchased from the US Army.  The basic, unmodified gun was known in British service as "Ordnance, QF, 75mm Mk 1", although many of the guns were issued to units on converted or updated mountings.  They were operated by field artillery and anti-tank units.  Some of the guns had their wheels and part of their carriages cut away so that they could be mounted on a pedestal called a "Mounting, 75mm Mk 1".  These weapons were employed as light coastal artillery and were not declared obsolete until March 1945.

During the Second World War, the British also received the American half-track M3 Gun Motor Carriage under Lend Lease terms and used these in Italy and Northern Europe until the end of the war as fire support vehicles in Armoured Car Regiments.  (Wikipedia)

Canadian Army T30 Howitzer Motor Carriage halftracks equipped with a 75-mm M1897A4 howitzer, aka "French 75" in Italy ca 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607690)

  (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field gun mounted on a Mk. V carriage.  The 18-pounder was the standard British Empire field gun of the First World War-era, and was produced in large numbers.  It was used by British Forces in all the main theatres, and by British troops in Russia in 1919 . Its calibre (84-mm) and shell weight were greater than those of the equivalent field guns in French (75-mm) and German (7.7-cm) service.  The first versions were introduced in 1904.  It was generally horse drawn until mechanisation in the 1930s.  Later versions remained in service with British forces until early 1942.

 (IWM Photo, 4700-101)

A Morris 6x4 Field Artillery Tractor of 96 Field Battery, Royal Artillery, tows one of the unit's Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field guns (mounted on a Mk. V carriage) and limber over sandy terrain in 1938.  Note the tracks fitted to the Morris tractor to give more purchase on the sand.

Baldonnel, Casement Aerodrome, County Dublin, Ireland

Baldonel is chiefly known as the location of the headquarters of the Irish Air Corps (Irish Air Defence Forces) at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, which has been in operation for over 90 years in the locality, first as a RFC then a RAF aerodrome until the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, when the Irish Air Corps (IAC) took command of the field.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Bofors 40-mm L/60 QF Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, mounted on a wheeled gun carriage.  The Bofors 40-mm gun is an anti-aircraft autocannon designed in the 1930s by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors.  It was one of the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft systems during the Second World War, and was used by most of the western Allies as well some captured systems being used by the Axis powers.  A small number of these weapons remain in service to this day.

Bantry Bay, Bantry House, Ireland

Four Smooth Bore Muzzle Loading Guns stand forward of Bantry House, a manor with a history dating back to the 1590s.  Bantry House (originally called 'Blackrock') was constructed in about the year 1700 on the South side of Bantry Bay.  In 1750, Councillor Richard White bought Blackrock from Samuel Hutchinson and changed the name to Seafield.

   

 (Author Photos)

Blomefield Cast Iron 12-pounder 34-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight unknown, (208, CLYDE iron works, 1796) on the left trunnion, (12PR) on the right trunnion, 250-cm long, 12-cm barrel diameter, King George III cypher, no broad arrow mark observed, mounted on a concrete stand.  No. 1 of 4, forward of the castle facing the water.

The 12-pounder SBML Gun was an intermediary calibre piece of artillery mounted on warships of the Age of sail.  They were used as main guns on the most typical frigates of the early 18th century, on the second deck of fourth-rate ships of the line, and on the upper decks or castles of 80-gun and 120-gun ships of the line.  The 12-pounder calibre was consistent with both the French and the British calibre systems, and was therefore a widely used gun with many nations between the 17th and the 19th century. 

 

  (Author Photos)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 11-2-16 (1,304 lbs) above the cascabel on the breech, (Serial No. 539 TBC, CARRON, Year TBC) on the left trunnion, (6-P) on the right trunnion, Falkirk, mitre over crowned M above the touchhole, 186-cm long.  No. 2 of 4 forward of the castle facing the water.

 

 (Author Photos)

French Cast Iron 18-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight not observed (2,361 lbs) TBC, (Serial No. 23836) on both trunnions, A4RP above the cascabel on the breech, 280-cm long, 11-cm barrel diameter, mounted on a concrete stand.  This gun may have been recovered from the French Frigate Surveillante, scuttled in Bantry Bay after an attempted invasion in 1796.  No. 3 of 4 forward of the castle facing the water.

In 1796, Theobald Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen attempted to land a formidable French armada, commanded by Admiral Hoche, in Bantry Bay.  It was intended to expel the British and establish an Irish Republic. The armada consisted of 50 naval warships and 15,000 men.  Richard White, having heard about the invasion had trained a militia to oppose the landing as he and his tenants were loyal to the British crown.  Munitions were stored in Bantry House for safe keeping.  Look outs were posted on Both Mizen Head and Sheep's Head to send warning of an invasion.  In the end the French armada never had a chance of landing.  The weather was too severe, and even ship to ship communication was too difficult.  Ten ships were lost.  One of these the Surveillante remained on the bottom of Bantry Bay for almost 200 years.

Surveillante was an Iphigénie-class 32-gun frigate of the French Navy.  She took part in the Naval operations in the American Revolutionary War, where she became famous for her battle with HMS Quebec; in 1783, she brought the news that the war was over to America.  She later took part in the French Revolutionary Wars.  She took part in the Expédition d'Irlande in December 1796.  She was badely damaged in a storm and was not seaworthy enough to returnto France.  She was scuttled in Bantry Bay in 1796.  The wreck was found in 1979.  In 1985 it was declared a national monument and work began on the excavation, preservation and exhibition of the ship and its contents.

  (Author Photos)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 13-10 (1,466 lbs), (I) on both left and right trunnions, maker unknown, mitre over crowned M above the touchhole, 176-cm long.  No. 4 of 4 forward of the castle facing the water.

Bere Island, West Cork, Ireland

Bere Island fortifications.  In 1898 the British Military raised a compulsory purchase order on the eastern end of Bere island, West Cork.  Tennants were cleared from the land in order to construct fortifications. The purpose of these fortifications was to protect the British Fleet at anchor in the bay while routine maintenance was carried out. Seven gun batteries were constructed at the Ardaragh Battery and the larger Lonehort Battery. The Ardaragh battery pointed northwards towards Castletownberehaven bay while the Lonehort battery faced eastwards towards the eastern approach to the bay.

Three batteries were also built to defend the western approach to the bay, Reenduff, Derrycreveen and Ardnakinna.  All of these batteries were modest constructions compared to the site of Lonehort battery. The Lonehort battery consisted of two 6" guns and one 9" gun. Over time the battery developed into a fort with ammunition stores, barracks and watchtowers with high powered searchlights. A 15 foot dry-moat was built surrounding this fort and this could only be crossed at one point by a small iron bridge. This fort became known as Fort Berehaven.

Berehaven remained in the hands of the British during the first World War. Ireland became a free state in December 1922 due to the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922, however a clause in the treaty meant the harbour defences at Cork, Berehaven and Lough Swilly were to remain in control of the British government and became known as the Treaty Ports. The defences at the Treaty Ports could not be extended or repositioned without the consent of the Free State government and whether they could be used during hostilities depended on that government's attitude at the appropriate time.

During the inter war years the value of maintaining the Treaty Ports was considered on a number of occasions by the British Defence Chiefs. In a potential war with Germany, the Royal Navy required Cork Harbour as a base for anti-submarine units and minesweepers to cover the western approaches. If Cork Harbour was not available for any reason, anti-submarine units could be used from existing bases in England, but because of the extra distance to be covered, would only be able to patrol for a shorter time and distance as compared to operating out of Cork. If the potential enemy was France, Cork Harbour and Berehaven were required as bases for the fleet.

With their advent to power in 1932, the Fianna Fail Party, with de Valera as prime minister, adopted a policy of severing ties with and distancing the Free State from the United Kingdom. This resulted in a period of strained relations between the two governments. A new constitution was introduced in 1937, whereby the Free State, now called Eire, became a republic in all but name. As de Valera laid claim to the Treaty Ports, as well as Northern Ireland, he was not prepared to enter into any defence agreement with the United Kingdom. The most that he was prepared to offer was a declaration that Eire would not allow itself to be used as a base for attacks on the United Kingdom.

The impasse was broken in March 1938, when the British government announced that the Treaty Ports would be returned to Eire unconditionally by the end of the year. In May, the British and Irish military authorities met to discuss what equipment was to be handed over. This reclamation of the treaty ports allowed Ireland to claim neutrality during the Second World War.

During the Second World War, Churchill threatened to take back the treaty ports by force if necessary to use as refuelling bases for the British navy. Ireland set up defence forces at Berehaven fort at this time and these defence forces remained at the fort until 1945 when the war ended.

The Batteries on Bere island, including Fort Berehaven are currently abandoned and in various states of decay.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun on Mk. II(L) CP Garrison Mounting, No. 1 of 2, on its original gun mounting facing the sea.  The BL 6-inch gun Mk. VII is a British naval gun dating from 1899, which was mounted on a heavy traveling carriage in 1915 for British Army service to become one of the main heavy field guns in the First World War, and also served as one of the main coast defence guns throughout the British Empire until the 1950s.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun on a Mk. II(L) CP Garrison Mounting, No. 2 of 2, on its original gun mounting facing the sea.

Bunratty Castle, County Clare, Ireland

There are five Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Guns preserved inside the grounds of Bunratty Castle, a large 15th century tower house in County Clare.  It is located in the centre of Bunratty village, by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport.

 (Chris Light Photo)

 (Nils E. Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 1 of 5 in Bunratty Castle.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 2 of 5 in Bunratty Castle.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 3 of 5 in Bunratty Castle.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 4 of 5 in Bunratty Castle.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 5 of 5 in Bunratty Castle.

Cobh, Ireland

  

 (Colin Stone Photos)

 (Bruce S Photo)

 (Jarda315 Photo)

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun (Serial No. 3659) on the left trunnion, possibly by Foullon at Alexandrovski, with double-headed Eagle on the barrel, mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage.  No. 93 is marked below the vent.  This gun is a war trophy from the Crimean War, 1854-1855.  A number of Irish regiments fought in the Crimean War.  The British seized some 1,500 iron SBML guns and hundreds of bronze cannon at the end of the Crimean War (1853-1856).  Shortly afterwards, guns captured at the great Russian Naval base of Sevastopol in the Crimea were offered for display in towns and cities throughout the UK and the British Empire, and many are still to be found where they were set up as war memorials in 1856.   This gun was found in the mighty fortress of Sevastopol.  No. 1 of 2 facing the Cobh harbour near Westbourne Place.  Munster.

 (Bruce S Photo)

Blomefield Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight unknown, (WCo) Walker & Company of Rotherham, Yorkshire, England on the left trunnion, (Serial No. unknown) on the right trunnion, mounted on a 24-pounder iron garrison carriage, No. 2 of 2 Guns facing the harbour.

Connolly Barracks, Curragh Camp, The Curragh, Ireland

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, a Crimean War Trophy mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, Serial No. 16722, ABS 1917, inside the museum.

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, No. 1 of 2 on the parade square.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, No. 2 of 2 on the parade square.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Funeral carriage.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance QF 2-pounder anti-tank gun.  The 2-pounder is a 40-mm (1.575-inch) British gun that was used during the Second World War.

 (IWM Photo, H23836)

Ordnance QF 2-pounder anti-tank gun of 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment, Scotland, 3 September 1942.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

2-pounder QF Light Anti-Tank Gun, previously at Mullingar.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun.  The 6-pounder was designed in the UK and used by Commonwealth forces during the Second World War.  Although planned before the start of the war, it did not reach service until the North African Campaign in April 1942 where it replaced the 2-pounder in the anti-tank role. The American Army also adopted the 6 pounder as their primary anti-tank gun which they designated as the 57-mm Gun M1.

 (IWM Photo, B8207)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun and Universal Carriers of the 15th (Scottish) Division during Operation 'Bluecoat', the offensive south-east of Caumont, France, 30 July 1944.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

QF 3.7-inch Anti-Aircraft Gun.  This gun was previously located at McGee Barracks, Kildare, 1 ADR, now closed.  

The QF 3.7-inch AA was Britain's primary heavy anti-aircraft gun during the Second World War.  It was roughly the equivalent of the German 88-mm FlaK and American 90-mm AA guns, but with a slightly larger calibre of 94-mm.  Production began in 1937 and it was used throughout the Second World War in all theatres except the Eastern Front.  It remained in use after the war until AA guns were replaced by guided missiles beginning in 1957.  The gun was produced in two versions, one mobile and another fixed.  The fixed mounting allowed more powerful ammunition, Mk. VI, which gave vastly increased performance.  Six variants of the two designs were introduced.

 (IWM Photo, H993)

QF 3.7-inch Anti-Arcraft Gun on a travelling carriage in London in 1939.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

QF 3.7-inch Mountain Howitzer.  First introduced in 1917, this howitzer was used during the Second World War, equipping artillery units.  The weapon was designed to be broken into eight mule loads, for transport over difficult terrain.  On occasion the gun was dismantled and manually hauled up to the upper floors of buildings to provide close support in urban fighting.  A lightened version was used briefly by airborne formations.  Given an open gun position, a practised crew could have the guns unloaded from the mules, reassembled and deployed ready for action in barely two minutes.  The 3.7-inch howitzer's adjustable suspension system allowed it to be deployed on almost any position, even those too uneven or with too steep a gradient to allow field artillery to be sited.  The process of removing the howitzer from a position and reloading it onto the gun mules involved much more lifting and securing loads than deploying it, but could be accomplished in three minutes in favourable conditions.  The howitzer has a split trail, the first British weapon to have one, which allowed forfiring at very high angles (a useful feature in mountainous terrain).  It also had a large rectangular shield to protect the crew from small-arms fire, but this was often omitted to save weight.  When it was first introduced, the howitzer had two wooden wheels and was light enough be towed by two horses.  Later marks have pneumatic tyres and could be towed by any light vehicle, such as the Universal Carrier or jeep.

 (IWM Photo, 4700-64)

QF 3.7-inch Mountain Howitzer in action in Burma in 1944.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field gun mounted on a Mk. V carriage, Connolly Square.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun.  The 25-pounder was used during the Second World War.  It had a 3.45-inch (87.6-mm) calibre.  It was introduced into service just before the war started, combining high-angle and direct-fire, relatively high rates of fire, and a reasonably lethal shell in a highly mobile piece.  It remained as a Commonwealth field gun well into the 1960s, with smaller numbers serving in training units until the 1980s.  Many Commonwealth nations used theirs in active or reserve service until about the 1970s.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field guns, to be preserved as monuments.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Brandt mle 27/31 (3.2-inch, 81-mm) mortar.  Designed by Edgar Brandt of France, this weapon is a refinement of the Stokes mortar.  The Brandt mortar was highly influential, being licensed built or copied by numerous countries.   It has a smoothbore metal tube fixed to a base plate (to absorb recoil), with a lightweight bipod mount.  The mle 27/31 could be disassembled into 3 loads, plus the ammunitions loads, and a complete crew was 10 men.  When a mortar bomb was dropped into the tube, an impact sensitive primer in the base of the bomb would make contact with a firing pin at the base of the tube, and detonate, firing the bomb towards the target.  HE and smoke mortar bombs fired by the weapon weighed 3.25 kilograms.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Light Guns, one outdoors, one inside the museum.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

QF 3.7-inch Anti-Aircraft Gun.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field gun mounted on a Mk. V carriage.

Cork, Ireland

 (Kieran Sheehan Photo)

Cast Iron possible 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight unknown, SOLID on the left trunnion, King George 2 cypher, 2, on the barrel, mounted on a wood gun carriage, Camden Fort Meagher, Cross Haven, Cork Harbour.

Cork, Haulbowline Island, Ireland

Haulbowline Island lies in Cork Harbour.  The western side of the island is the main naval base and headquarters for the Irish Naval Service, with the eastern side previously used for heavy industry.  Since 1966 the island has been connected to the mainland by a roadbridge.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

QF 12-pounder 12-cwt Mk. I Gun on Mk. I Garrison Carriage, Haulbowline Square.  The QF 12-pounder 12-cwt gun was a versatile 3-inch (76.2 mm) calibre naval gun introduced in 1894 and used until the middle of the 20th century.  It was produced by Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick, and used on Royal Navy warships, exported to allied countries, and used for land service.  In British service, the "12-pounder" was the rounded value of the projectile weight, and "12 cwt (hundredweight)" was the weight of the barrel and breech, to differentiate it from other "12-pounder" guns.

Corofin, County Clare, O'Dea Castle

 (Bruce S Photo)

Cast Iron possible 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on a wood stand, guarding O'Dea Castle

Devoy Barracks, Naas, County Kildare

The barracks, which were originally known as Naas Barracks, were built for local militia units in 1813.  They became the depot of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers when that regiment was formed in 1881.  The Royal Dublin Fusiliers were disbanded at the time of Irish Independence in 1922.  The barracks were secured by the forces of the Irish Free State in February 1922.  The barracks, which were renamed Devoy Barracks after John Devoy, an Irish republican, closed in 1928 and the site was subsequently used for a variety of industrial uses.  The Irish Army Apprentice School was established on the site in 1956 but closed in 1998 when the barracks were finally decommissioned.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun.

Dublin, Ireland

 (MGen (Ret'd) P.F. Nolan Photo)

Bronze 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, Royal Irish Artillery Regiment, 1796.  National Museum of Ireland.  This gun was one of a consignment of thirty-six guns, 6-pounders and 12-pounders, received by the Royal Irish Artillery Regiment in 1796.  This regiment, established in 1756, had its headquarters in Chapelizod, Dublin from 1760 until its amalgamation with the Royal Artillery regiment, Woolwich, London, on passing of the Act of Union in 1801.  The inscription on this 12-pounder gun include, the maker’s name, Francis Kinman, London, date of manufacture, 1794, the Irish harp with the Royal Irish Artillery motto, and the motto of the Marquess of Drogheda, the Master General of Ordnance in Ireland at that time.  (Internet: http://www.militaryheritage.ie/military-heritage-projects/series-of-articles-national-museum/12-pounder-gun/)

Armada Cannons.  The larger of these cannons, the siege cannon, was recovered from the Spanish Armada wreck of the Trinidad Valencera, off the coast of County Donegal.  The Trinidad Valencera was a Venetian merchant ship that had been seized in Sicily in 1586 and forced into the service of Philip II of Spain.  At 1,100 tonnes she was the fourth largest of the ships of the great armada of 1588, with which Philip tried to invade England.  After a battle with the English and a violent storm, many ships from the fleet were wrecked around the Irish coastline.

The siege cannon was cast in 1556 by the Founder Royal, Remigy de Halut, in Brussels.  It bears an inscription stating who made it, together with the arms of Philip II and is decorated with dolphins and stylised foliage.  It is bronze, weighs 2.5 tonnes and would have fired a 41 lb iron ball.  This was one of a number of siege guns that the 130-ship armada carried in preparation for the proposed conquest of England, together with 19,000 soldiers and their supplies.

The smaller ‘pedrero’ cannon from the Juliana was recovered off Streedagh Strand in County Sligo.  The Juliana was one of three Armada vessels wrecked on this part of the coast in the storm of 21 September 1588, where they broke up and where the bodies of 1,000 crew members were later found.  The pedrero cannon was small and comparatively light in weight.  It fired a large stone ball and would have been a ferocious weapon at close quarters in ship to ship fighting.

When the cannons were raised, they were completely impregnated with salt from the sea.  Salt, when combined with oxygen and water in the air, causes rapid corrosion in metal, so the salt had to be removed before the cannon could be dried out.  This was achieved by placing the cannons in tanks of fresh water, alternating between hot and cold to make the metal expand and contract to force the salt out.  The last two washes were carried out with de-ionised water, to ensure that the salt content of the cannons was as low as possible.

The cannons were then dried out thoroughly and the painstaking work of cleaning off corrosion and concretions could begin; a process which took several weeks.  The layers of dirt and corrosion had to be carefully removed mechanically with hand tools to reveal the original surfaces of the cannons under them.  A thin coating of lacquer was then applied, followed by a coating of wax to protect the cannons while on exhibition at Collins Barracks.  (Internet:http://www.museum.ie/en/list/projects)

 Iron Swivel cannon with a long tapering barrel, moulding round muzzle, and two short trunnions, Y-shaped supports for the trunnions.  The gun has an open breech closed by a hinged breech block with hook attachment at its side. The gun also has a straight handle to the rear terminating in a knob.  Probably English, 17th century.

Arms and armour in the museum collection include swords, pistols and long-arms, mainly Irish and English weapons from the 16th to the 20th Centuries, along with some from Europe and the USA.  There is also a sizeable number non-Western muskets and swords collected in the 19th Century.  The long-arms include flintlock, percussion and semi-automatic weapons.  There are also a number of cannons.  The edged weapons consist of swords, daggers, bayonets, pole-arms, some crossbows and clubs.  (Internet: http://www.museum.ie/en/collection/arms-and-armour.aspx)

Two Bronze 32-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Carronades, King George I cypher, mounted on iron garrison carriages stand in front of the Bank of Ireland in Dublin.

Two large 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Guns with cannonballs cemented in their mouths, mounted on wood naval gun carriages in front of the Pigeon House gates, Dublin.

Six QF 12-pounder 12-cwt Mk. I Guns on Mk. I Garrison Carriages, are located in Dun Laoighaire Harbour, under the control of the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment.

 (tmob Photo)

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, with the double eagle and crown cypher of the Romanov family crest on the barrel.  The gun is mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, standing on the harbour wall, East Pier, Dún Laoghaire.  This gun is a Crimean War Trophy.

According to the Kingstown Town Commissioners minutes of 17 July 1857, 16 pounds was raised from the townships rates for the purchase of one "Russian gun" from the Secretary for War, Lord Panmure.  The 24 pound gun arrived and was placed on a carriage that had been made at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, London.  This Russian gun was one of nearly 3,000 that were captured during the Crimean War.  Most of them were reportedly from the siege of Sebastopol - due to public discontent with the management of the war it is suspected that these numbers were exaggerated in order to show why the siege took so long.  In the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, it was agreed that each of the victors would receive cannons from the Russians as trophies of their victory.  Some of these Russian guns were put on display in towns throughout Britain and Ireland.  In Ireland over 20 towns are believed to have applied for and received a Russian gun for display.  The Russian double eagle and crown of the Romanov family crest is still visible on the gun.

Dublin, Arbour Hill

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun.

Dublin, Clancy Barracks

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt anti-tank gun.

Dublin, Collins Barracks

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field gun mounted on a Mk. V carriage.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Bofors 40-mm L/60 QF Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, mounted on a wheeled gun carriage..

 (Colin Stone Photos)

QF 12-pounder 12-cwt Mk. I Gun mounted on a Mk. I Garrison Carriage.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ruag 120-mm heavy mortar.

Dublin, McKee Barracks

The Irish Defence Forces maintain a 6 gun ceremonial 25 pounder Battery in McKee Barracks, a military installation near Phoenix Park in Cabra, Dublin.  These guns were re-conditioned in 2003, with original parts, painted olive green with a chrome finish to the muzzle break.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 4.5-inch howitzer.  This was the standard British Empire field (or ‘light’) howitzer of the First World War era. It  entered service in the UK in 1910 and remained in service through the interwar period and was last used in the field by British forces in early 1942.  It was generally horse drawn until mechanisation in the 1930s.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field gun mounted on a Mk. V carriage, No. 1 of 2.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance QF 18-pounder Mk. IV field gun mounted on a Mk. V carriage, No. 2 of 2.

Duncannon, County Wexford, Ireland

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a naval gun carriage, No. 1 of 2.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a naval gun carriage, No. 2 of 2.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun unmounted, No. 1 and No. 2 of 3.

(Colin Stone Photos)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun unmounted, No. 3 of 3.

Fort Davis, County Cork, Ireland

Fort Davis is a coastal defence fortification close to Whitegate.  Together with similar structures at Fort Mitchell (Spike Island), Fort Camden (Crosshaven), and Templebreedy Battery (also close to Crosshaven), the fort was built to defend the mouth of Cork Harbour.  Though used as a fortification from the early 17th century, the current structures of the 74 acre site date primarily from the 1860s.  Originally named Fort Carlisle and operated by the British, the fort was handed-over to the Irish Defence Forces in 1938, and renamed Fort Davis.  The facility is owned by the Department of Defence, and is used as a military training site.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun on a Mk. II(L) CP Garrison Mounting.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Fort Davis guns facing the sea.

Fort Dunree, Ireland

 (Kittysoftpaws Photo)

 (Colin Stone Photo)

 (Patrick McKie Photo)

  (Andreas F. Borchert Photo)

QF 12-pounder 12-cwt Mk. I Gun mounted on a Mk. I Garrison Carriage, No. 1 of 2 facing north-west across Lough Swilly.

 (Andreas F. Borchert Photo)

 (Alistair Cunningham Photo)

QF 12-pounder 12-cwt Mk. I Gun mounted on a Mk. I Garrison Carriage, No. 2 of 2 facing north-west across Lough Swilly.

 (dingbat2005 Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun on a Mk. II(L) CP Garrison Mounting, No. 1 of 2 facing out to sea.

 (Kenneth Allen Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun on a Mk. II(L) CP Garrison Mounting, No. 2 of 2 facing out to sea.

 (Kenneth Allen Photo)

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Blomefield Cast Iron 12-pounder 34-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 1 of 2, mounted on a concrete stand, below two Coastal Defence Guns.

 (Kenneth Allen Photo)

Blomefield Cast Iron 12-pounder 34-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 2 of 2, mounted on a concrete stand, below two Coastal Defence Guns.

 (Michael Murtagh Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun on a Mk. II(L) CP Garrison Mounting, facing out to sea.

 (Andreas F. Borchert Photo)

Naval mine in front of the memorial erected by the Inishowen Friends of Messinas.

 (Andreas F. Borchert Photo)

Searchlight, Fort Dundee.

 (Andreas F. Borchert Photo)

Rangefinder, originally located close to the position of the coastal defense gun and now exhibited in the underground bunker. The inscription reads: LOCATED: Close to the Gun Position at the same height above sea level.  ROLE: Records the changes in range and bearing to a moving target (Ship approaching Gun Position).  Two NCO's operate this instrument. One operates the telescope keeping the cross wires on the ship's bow water line while the other reads the range and bearing to the Target.  It is used for short range engagements up to 10,000 yds.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

17-pounder QF Towed Anti-Tank Gun.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun.

Galway, Ireland

 (Kanchelskis Photo)

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, a Crimean War Trophy mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage, No. 1 of 2 in a downtown park.

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, a Crimean War Trophy mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage, No. 2 of 2 in a downtown park.

Glen of Imaal, County Wicklow, Ireland

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field guns.  Ex-7 FAR.  (Colin Stone Photos)

Kilbride, County Wicklow, Ireland

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Bofors 40-mm L/60 QF Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, mounted on a wheeled gun carriage, serving as a Gate Guardian.

Kinsale, Charles Fort, County Cork, Ireland

Charles Fort is a star fort located on the water's edge, at the southern end of the village of Summer Cove, on Kinsale harbour, County Cork.  James Fort is located on the other side of the harbour.  Charles Fort is built on the site of an earlier stronghold known as Ringcurran Castle, which featured prominently during the Siege of Kinsale in 1601.  The fort, which is named after Charles II, was designed by the Surveyor-general Sir William Robinson.  The fort was built in the 1670s and 1680s to a star fortification design - a layout specifically designed to resist attack by cannon.  The inland bastions of the fort however are overlooked by higher ground, a fact of critical importance when the fort was besieged by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (then 1st Earl) in 1690 during the Williamite War in Ireland.  Repairs were made following the siege, and the fort remained in use as a British Army barracks for two hundred years afterwards.  An early lighthouse was established here in the 17th century.  The fort was relinquished by British forces following the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, but it fell out of use after being burned by the retreating anti-Treaty forces during the Irish Civil War in 1922.  The complex was named a National Monument of Ireland in 1971 and has been partly restored by Dúchas, the Irish heritage service.

 (The Speckled Bird Photo)

Charles Fort, seaward embrasures.

 (Jimmy Harris Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun, unmounted, No. 1 and No. 2 of 2, on the ground inside the fort.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun, unmounted, No. 1 and No. 2 of 2, on the ground inside the fort.

 (Blorg Photo)

Cast Iron 32-pounder 17-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Carronade with a Blomefield pattern breeching ring, mounted on an iron garrison carriage, No. 1 and No. 2 of 2.

Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland

  (Nils E. Photo)

 (William Murphy Photos)

Cast Iron possible 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun,  mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 1 of 2 in the courtyard at King John's Castle.   The castle was built by Anglo-Norman invaders and settlers of Ireland early in the 13th century.

Cast Iron possible 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun,  mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 2 of 2 in the courtyard at King John's Castle.

 (Nils E. Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, No. 1 of 3 inside King John's Castle.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, No. 2 of 3 inside King John's Castle.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, No. 3 of 3 inside King John's Castle.

Millmount, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland

Millmount is a large fortified complex situated on a great mound on the South bank of the River Boyne.  The fort has played a crucial part in Drogheda's history and has been a dominant feature from Norman settlement, to Cromwell's invasion to the more recent Civil War in 1922, in which the famous Martello tower was shelled and all but destroyed.  Today the complex houses the Millmount Museum which houses a wide variety of artifacts of local and national importance. The complex is Drogheda's most dominant feature, clearly visible from all parts of the town.  The Martello tower is affectionately known as "The Cup and Saucer" by locals. The whole fort is a national monument and has been designated as Drogheda's Cultural Quarter.

 (474do5 Photo)

 (Kieran Campbell Photo)

Bronze 9-pounder 13-1/2-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight unknown, mounted on a wood traversing gun carriage, No. 1 of 2, set into the original mounts in the Martello tower at Millmount overlooking the North Quay on the River Boyne.

Bronze 9-pounder 13-1/2-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight unknown, mounted on a wood traversing gun carriage, No. 2 of 2, set into the original mounts in the Martello tower at Millmount overlooking the North Quay on the River Boyne.

Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Ordnance QF 4.5-inch howitzer.

Mullingar, Belvedere House

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun.

Mullingar, Columb Barracks

Columb Barracks, which were originally known as Wellington Barracks after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, were built as part of the response to the Irish Rebellion and completed between 1814 and 1819.  The barracks were taken over by forces of the Irish Free State in 1922 and renamed Columb Barracks after Patrick Columb, an Irish Republican who had been killed in Mullingar earlier that year.  They became home to the 4th Field Artillery Regiment and the 54th Reserve Field Artillery Regiment.  The barracks closed in March 2012.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

QF 12-pounder 12-cwt Mk. I Gun mounted on a Mk. I Garrison Carriage, 1902, No. A.2515, V.S.M., Queen Victoria cypher. 

Many guns were mounted on pedestals secured to the ground to defend harbours against possible attack by small fast vessels such as torpedo boats, until the 1950s.  These guns were traversed (moved from side to side) manually by the gunlayer as he stood on the left side with his arm hooked over a shoulder piece as he aimed, while he operated the elevating handwheel with his left hand and grasped the pistol grip with trigger in his right hand.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

French 75-mm Field Gun, aka Canon de 75 Modèle 1897, Mullingar Square.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Brandt mle 27/31 (3.2-inch, 81-mm) mortar.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Brass Smoothbore Muzzleloading model in a trophy cabinet.

Oldbridge, County Meath

 (Windsocker Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading, mounted on a wheeled wooden gun carriage, on display at the entrance to the Oldbridge Estate.  The gun stand in a park commemorating the  Battle of the Boyne between King William III and his father- in-law, King James II, fought on 1 July 1690 (11 July according to the present day calendar).  Both kings commanded their armies in person. William had 36,000 men and James had 25,000 - the largest number of troops ever deployed on an Irish battlefield.  At stake were the British throne, French dominance in Europe and religious power in Ireland.

Ringaskiddy, County Cork

 (Bruce S Photo)

Blomefield Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on an iron garrison carriage,  located in front of the Port of Cork Ferry Terminal.

Ross Castle, Killarney, County Kerry

 (Disco1878 Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Guns mounted on wood carriages guarding the castle.  (teeoff2 Photos)

Ross Castle (Irish: Caisleán an Rois) is the ancestral home of the O'Donoghue clan though it is better known for its association with the Brownes of Killarney who owned it until recently. It is located on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park.

Rosses Point, County Sligo, Ireland

 (Windsocker Photos)

Spanish Cast Iron 7-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage.  This Cannon is said to have been rescued off the wreck of a Spanish Ship sunk in Sligo Harbour.  The Santa Maria de La Vision of the Spanish armada was wrecked at Streedagh Strand along with Juliania and La Lavia.  English divers found them under shifting sand in 1985. The Three ships whadbeen at anchor in Sligo Harbour before a storm and they may have dragged and lost their anchors when they were driven ashore.

Rosslare Harbour, County Wexford, Ireland

 (David Hawgood Photo)

9-inch 12-ton Mk. I Muzzleloading Rifle with Millar pattern breeching ring, mounted on a concrete stand, No. 1 of 2 on the sand at Quality Beach.

9-inch 12-ton Mk. I Muzzleloading Rifle with Millar pattern breeching ring, mounted on a concrete stand, No. 2 of 2 on the sand at Quality Beach.

Spike Island, Fort Mitchel, (Fort Westmoreland), County Cork, Ireland

 (Kondephy Photo)

Cast Iron possible 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on an iron gun stand overlooking the entrance to Fort Mitchel with two Blomefield Cast Iron possible 24-pounder 50-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Guns, mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage, No. 1 and No. 2 of 2 guarding the entrance to Fort Mitchel.

 (StevieG Photo)

Blomefield Cast Iron possible 24-pounder 50-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage, No. 2 of 2 guarding the entrance to Fort Mitchel.

 (Travel Lodge Ireland Photo)

Cast Iron possible 24-pounder 50-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on a Naval gun carriage on the fortress wall.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Cast Iron possible 24-pounder 50-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on an iron gun carriage.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

QF 12-pounder 12-cwt Mk. I Gun mounted on a shielded iron gun mount.

 (Irish Defence Forces Photo)

1 Artillery Regiment fire as part of the 21 Gun Salute from Spike Island to mark the 75th Anniversary of the handover of the Treaty Ports.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun, on an iron Naval Mounting.

 (Guliolopez Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun on a Mk. II(L) CP Garrison Mounting.

 (Brian Cleary Photo)

 (Spike Island Ferry Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun mounted on a concrete stand.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun.

   (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 17-pounder Anti-Tank Gun.  The 17-pounder is a 76.2 mm (3 inch) gun developed by the British during the Second World War.  It was used as an anti-tank gun on its own carriage, as well as equipping a number of British tanks.  Used with the armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS) shot, it was capable of defeating all but the thickest armour on German tanks.  It was used to 'up-gun' some foreign-built vehicles in British service, notably to produce the Sherman Firefly variant of the US M4 Sherman tank, giving British tank units the ability to hold their own against their German counterparts.

 (IWM Photo, B10171)

Ordnance QF 17-pounder anti-tank gun of the 21st Anti-Tank Regiment, Guards Armoured Division, guards the approaches to Nijmegen Bridge, the Netherlands, 21 September 1944.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

40-mm Bofors Light Anti-Aircraft Gun on naval mount.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

40-mm Bofors Light Anti-Aircraft Gun on wheeled mount.

 (Colin Stone Photo)

40-mm Bofors Light Anti-Aircraft Gun on wheeled mount with shield and limber.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 4.5-inch howitzer.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Artillery Command Post vehicle.

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Artillery Fire Control vehicle.

Strandhill, County Sligo.

 (GuidiGO Photos)

Blomefield Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, facing the harbour.  No. 1 of 2.

  (Winsocker Photos)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, facing the harbour.  No. 2 of 2, on display in a garden at the foot of the Knocknarea mountains.

Templemore, County Tipperary, Ireland

 (Colin Stone Photos)

Ordnance QF 4.5-inch howitzer.

Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland

 (Kglavin Photo)

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, a Crimean War Trophy mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage.  Crimean War Memorial, in front of the Tralee Courthouse.

Tramore, County Waterford, Ireland

 (Paul O'Farrell Photo)

9-inch 12-ton Mk. I Muzzleloading Rifle with Millar pattern breeching ring, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, on Lady Doneraile Walk, facing the harbour.

Trim Castle, County Meath, Ireland

 (Jim Stanton Photo)

Russian Cast Iron  36-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, (Serial No. unknown) on the left trunnion, possibly by Foullon at Alexandrovski, with double-headed Eagle on the barrel, mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage.  This gun is a war trophy from the Crimean War, 1854-1855. (Trim Castle is a Norman castle on the south bank of the River Boyne in Trim, County Meath, Ireland. With an area of 30,000 m², it is the largest Norman castle in Ireland).

Youghal Battery, County Cork, Ireland

 (Grimhelm Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, resting on concrete stands in the Youghal Battery, No. 1 of 3.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, resting on concrete stands in the Youghal Battery, No. 2 of 3.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, unmounted, resting on concrete stands in the Youghal Battery, No. 3 of 3.

Guns in Northern Ireland

Ardglass, County Down, Northern Ireland

  (Ardfern Photos)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, at the junction of Quay Street and Kildare Street, Jordan's Castle.

 (Ardfern Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 1 of 4, Ardglass Golf Club, Castle Place.

Cast Iron 32-pounder 17-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Carronade with a Blomefield pattern breeching ring, mounted on a wooden naval gun carriage, No. 2 of 4, Ardglass Golf Club, Castle Place.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 3 of 4, Ardglass Golf Club, Castle Place.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage, No. 4 of 4, Ardglass Golf Club, Castle Place.

Armagh, County Armagh, Northern Ireland

 (Kenneth Allen Photo)

 (Henry Clark Photo)

Russian Cast Iron  possible 36-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, (Serial No. unknown) on the left trunnion, possibly by Foullon at Alexandrovski, with double-headed Eagle on the barrel, mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage.  This gun is a war trophy from the Crimean War, 1854-1855.

Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

 (Notafly Photo)

Cast Iron possible 2-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, 1780, mounted on a wood naval stand in Ward Park, Bangor Abbey.

 (BangorArt Photo)

 (Aubrey Dale Photo)

 (Ross Photo)

German 10.5-cm deck gun, left-side breech end view.  This gun was taken from German sU-boat U-19 and is located in Bangor`s Ward Park.  The gun was used in the Battle of Jutland.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

 (Ardfern Photo)

Cast Iron possible 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a wood gun carriage, inside the Ulster Museum, Stranmillis Road.

 (Ardfern Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a wood gun carriage, inside the Ulster Museum, Stranmillis Road.

Derry, "Maiden City", Northern Ireland

 (WT-shared, Northern Counties Photo)

17 Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Guns mounted on wood naval carriages guard the city's ancient walls.  (Derry is one of 52 walled towns in Ireland).

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 1.  Elizabethan Rose and Crown cypher, 17th Century.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 2.  Elizabethan Rose and Crown cypher, 17th Century.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 3.  Demi-Culverin made by Thomas Johnson, ordered by the earl of Essex in 1598 for Lough Foyle, via Sir Henry Bagenal in Dublin.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 4.  Arms of the City of London cypher, almost certainly part of a consignment of ten cast-iron cannon sent for the defence of Culmore in 1620.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 5.  Arms of the City of London cypher, almost certainly part of a consignment of ten cast-iron cannon sent for the defence of Culmore in 1620.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 6.  Arms of the City of London cypher, almost certainly part of a consignment of ten cast-iron cannon sent for the defence of Culmore in 1620.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 7.  Arms of the City of London cypher, almost certainly part of a consignment of ten cast-iron cannon sent for the defence of Culmore in 1620.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 8.  Arms of the City of London cypher, almost certainly part of a consignment of ten cast-iron cannon sent for the defence of Culmore in 1620.

 (Giorgio Galeotti Photo)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 9.  Demi-Culverin, Vintners of London cypher.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 10.  Demi-Culverin, Salters of London cypher.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 11.  Demi-Culverin, Fishmongers of London cypher.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 12.  Demi-Culverin, Mercers of London cypher.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 13.  Demi-Culverin, Grocers of London cypher.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 14.  Demi-Culverin, Merchant Taylors of London cypher.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 15.  Demi-Culverin, Merchant Taylors of London cypher.

 (SeanMack Photo)

 (Nicholas Raymond Photo)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 16.  Produced between c. 1773 and 1796 by John Wilkinson at Bersham, North Wales.

 (Gav Connolly Photo)

 (Romeparis Photo)

Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 17.  Produced between c. 1773 and 1796 by John Wilkinson at Bersham, North Wales.

  (National Library of Ireland Photo)

Roaring Meg, named because of its ferocious sound in battle, was used during the Siege of Derry. One account of the famous cannon from the time of the Siege in the Seventeenth Century said: "The noise of its discharge was more terrifying than the contents of the charge to the enemy." The barrel of the cannon bears the inscription 'Fishmongers London 1642,' marking the fact that the cannon was one of 24 cannon sent to the Derry by the City of London and the London Companies after the 1641 siege.

Grey Point Fort, Helens Bay, County Down, Northern Ireland

 (Nick Photo)

Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun.

(Nick Photo)

Breechloading 6-inch Mk. VII Gun on a Mk. II(L) CP Garrison Mounting No. 1 and No. 2 of 2, Crawfordsburn County Park.

Lisburn, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

  (Notafly Photos)

 (Ardfern Photos)

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, a Crimean War Trophy mounted on an iron garrison carriage.  This gun was captured at Sebastopol and presented to the city in 1858.  It is on display in the Castle gardens, Castle Street.

Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland

 (Ardfern Photo)

Russian Cast Iron 24-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, (Serial No. unknown) on the left trunnion, possibly by Foullon at Alexandrovski, with double-headed Eagle on the barrel, mounted on an iron garrison gun carriage.  This gun is a war trophy from the Crimean War, 1854-1855.  Armagh Down Bridge, Bank Parade.

 (P Flanagan Photo)

Cast Iron possible 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun on a wood stand, roadside marker, A2 Newry to Warrenpoint Road.

Artillery in service with Irish expatriate soldiers known as the Wild Geese

As part of the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, the Irish forces of Patrick Sarsfield, who had fought the army of William of Orange to a standstill, were given the option of sailing to France to join the Stuart King, James II, in exile.  Shortly after Sarsfield signed the Treaty of Limerick a French fleet arrived with reinforcements and many urged Sarsfield to tear up the Treaty and fight on.  This he would not do; having given his word of honour, he kept it.  Believing they had negotiated a treaty that guaranteed the rights of their people, perhaps as many as twenty thousand Irish soldiers sailed with Sarsfield to France.  The treaty that Sarsfield had honoured was not honoured by the British.  In a vindictive twist, they tore up the treaty and replaced it with severel Penal Laws which stripped Irish Catholics of their land, persecuted them for their religion and removed all rights of citizenship.  These grievances led to the exodus of Irish recruits who joined various foreign armies in the hope of one day restoring their land and rights.  These Irish soldiers are known to this day as "The Wild Geese".

For the next hundred years the French Army included an Irish Brigade in its Order of Battle, beginning with the men of Justine MacCarthy (Lord Mountcashel), followed by the influx of Sarsfield's 20,000 soldiers.  A steady stream of young men from Ireland followed.  "Cuimnidh ar Luimneach agus ar Feall na Sasanach!" (Remember Limerick and the Saxon Faith (i.e., English betrayal)), became a battle cry of the Irish Brigade in the service of France.

Although many of these young Irishmen may have joined foreign armies looking for adventure and others just to make a living, many were looking to fight the ancient enemy, England.  It has been estimated that as many as half a million or more Irishmen died fighting for France in the century after Limerick.  The majority of the recruits came from the counties of Clare, Limerick, Cork, Kerry and Galway.  French ships which arrived on the west coast smuggling in brandy and wine would depart with recruits for the Irish Brigade.  In the paper work required for the ship's manifests, the recruits were be listed as "Wild Geese", thus the origin of the name.  In 1745, after France's Irish Brigade was instrumental in the famous victory over the British at Fontenoy, England's King George II would express a sentiment many British soldiers would have reason to second over the years: "Cursed be the laws which deprive me of such subjects."

Though the term "Wild Geese" is usually used for the men of the Irish Brigade in France, France was not the only destination of these "Wild Geese".  Many went to Spain, where Irishmen had actually been serving for many years in great numbers, forming a number of regiments in the Spanish army.  Irishmen served in the Armies of Austria, Russia, Poland and the various German Kingdoms.

Many of the "Wild Geese" rose to prominence in the Armies of Europe.  George Brown of the Austrian Army, was made a Field Marshal by Emperor Charles IV and eleven different men named Walsh became Field Marshals or Generals there.  Francis Maurice Lacy, was a Field Marshall in the Austrian and Russian Armies and many reached high commands in France and Spain.  An Irishman named McMahon became Minister of War and President of France. The "Wild Geese" fought in battles all over Europe and the world through the years.

In South America Bernardo O'Higgins became the Liberator of Chile and Admiral William Brown, from Mayo, became the Father of the Argentine Navy.  Members of the Irish Brigade of France served as Marines with the American Continental Navy under John Paul Jones on the "Bonhomme Richard" and others were at the Battle of Yorktown with Rochambeau.  The Hibernia regiment of Spain fought the English at Pensacola, Florida in 1781. Many thousands of Irishmen were already living in America, and 17 of them rose to be generals in the Revolutionary army.  They are as much "Wild Geese" as their irish brothers in arms in other armies, fighting in great numbers to do in America what they and their fathers could not do in Ireland: Throw off the iron arm of England.

During the American Civil War, six grandsons of George McCook, a United Irishman, were Union Generals and another six were field officers.  Irish-born Meagher, Corcoran and Shields were Union Generals and for the Confederacy, Corkman Patrick Cleburne was one of their finest commanders.  More that 150,000 Irishmen served in the US army, most notably with the Irish Brigade, and some 50,000 more wore the grey uniform of the Confederacy. Fifty-three percent of the 600 Nuns who served as nurses during the American Civil War were born in Ireland, and no doubt many more were Irish-American.  All deserve to be included in the list of exiles of the Gael with the proud name of "Wild Geese."  The history of Ireland includes the history of the many millions of people driven from their land by famine and oppression, that led to the existence of all the "Wild Geese."  (Internet: The Wild Geese Today, http://www.thewildgeese.com/)

Artillery Corps (Ireland)

The Artillery Corps are the artillery section of the Irish Army.  Founded in 1924, the Corps provides fire support to other sections of the Army.  From the early 20th century, the Artillery Corps was organised into separate Coastal Defence, Field Artillery and Air Defence Regiments.  In the late 20th century, the Coastal Defence component was dissolved and integrated with the Field Artillery component.  In 2013 the Air Defence regiment also ceased to operate as a separate component, and the Field Artillery regiments, known as Brigade Artillery Regiments, took over the Air Defence role. Today the Artillery Corps comprises the Artillery School, located in the Defence Forces Training Center (DFTC) in the Curragh Camp, and two Brigade Artillery Regiments (one for each of the two Brigades of the army). They are located in Collins Barracks, Cork (1 BAR) and Custume Barracks, Athlone (2 BAR).  Each regiment comprises one headquarters battery, one Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) battery, one Air Defence battery and three gun batteries. 

Irish Field Artillery elements are equipped with L118 and L119 105-mm howitzers (main artillery support weapons), Brandt mle 27/31 (3.2-inch, 81-mm) mortars, and Ruag 120-mm heavy mortars.  An Ordnance QF 25-pounder field gun is retained for use as a ceremonial gun.  Air Defence elements are equipped with the RBS-70 Surface to Air Missile system.  Bofors EL-70 40-mm air defence guns previously in use have been in storage since 2013.  The Browning .50 calibre HMG on a cobra mount also serves.

 (William Murphy Photo)

 (Irish Defence Forces Photo)

105-mm L118 Field Gun.

The 31st Reserve Field Artillery Regimentwas a field artillery unit of the Southern Brigade Irish Reserve Defence Forces tasked with the defence of part of County Tipperary and also with providing support to the 1st FAR, a unit of the Irish Army. 

The Corps of Artillery of the Irish Army was founded in 1924, and based in Connolly Barracks in the Curragh Camp.  The Patron saint of the corps is Saint Barbara, and she appears on the corps insignia sitting astride a cannon.  The 31st FAR came into being on 1 October 2005, and was made up of units from the former reserve structure, the FCÁ.  The units which were disbanded in order to form the new 31st FAR were the 8th FAR (Cork), 3rd FAR (Tipperary) and part of the 14th Infantry Battalion also from Tipperary.

The 8th FAR was originally formed in Ballincollig in 1979.  It was made up of the reserve batteries which had once formed part of the 1st FAR. The regiment consisted of two batteries: 2nd Battery (25 Pounder field guns) and 21st Heavy Mortar Battery (120 mm Mortars).  The unit moved to Collins Barracks in Cork City following the closure of Ballincollig Barracks.  2nd Battery and 21st Battery merged to become 1st Battery of the 31st FAR on 1 October 2005.

Glossary

Demi-culverin: A bore averaging 4 inches (11.4-cm) and firing a shot of 9–12 lb (4.1–5.4kg).   A medium gun similar to but slightly larger than a saker and smaller than a regular culverin, developed in the late 16th century.

Saker: A bore averaging 3 inches (8.9-cm) and firing a shot of 5–6 lb (2.3–2.7kg). Used both to loosen stonework and as an anti-personnel weapon.  16th century, slightly smaller than a culverin.

Minion: A bore averaging 3 inches (8.3-cm) and firing a shot of around 4 lb (1.8kg). Primarily an anti-personnel weapon for use in the field.  A small gun used during the Tudor period and into the late 17th century. 

Falcon: A bore of 2 inches (7-cm) and firing a shot of 2–3 lb (1.1–1.4kg).  Like the falconet, it is a field piece used as an anti-personnel weapon.

Falconet: A bore averaging 2 inches (5.7-cm) and firing a shot of around one lb (0.7kg).  15th century light gun.