An Cosantóir

Centenary Issue November December 2022

An Cosantóir the official magazine of the Irish Defence Forces and Reserve Defence Forces.

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55 on the ground floor to give supplementary heating to the accommodation above. The years 1939-1943 saw the building of the Administration Block on the Southside of the Barracks Square. Later the Cook House and Dining Hall were built and in 1957, the Garrison Church replaced a wooden hut in use since the 1920's. The Barracks was occupied before its completion by an advanced party of the 10th Hussars, nicknamed the Cherry Pickers, who moved from the Curragh into the new Barracks in 1891. The regiment was involved in the charge of the light brigade at the battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War in 1854. It took four years to build between 1888-1892. The new Barracks was renamed Marlborough Barracks after John Spencer Churchill the 7th Duke of Marlborough, Lord Lieutenant and Viceroy of Ireland from 1876-1879. He was the grandfather of Winston Churchill. So began 30 years of occupation by the British Army. On either side of the entrance to the Officers Mess stand a pair of canons captured at the Battle of Guerat in 1849. The guns were part of a presentation made to Field Marshal Gough on his retirement from the British Indian Army. They were formerly displayed in the National Museum from which they are on loan. On approach to the Mess the building is crowned with a pinnacle 86ft high Royal Crest that was in turn replaced by the Army Crest designed by Prof Eoin MacNeill for the Irish Volunteers in 1913, depicting the cap badge of the Defence Forces today worn by the Army, Navy and Air Corps. A bust of the Duke of Marlborough was also removed from over the main door. A pair of bronze Marley horses standing in the foyer came from the sale of Marshal Neys effects in Paris in 1818. He was a French Military Commander who fought in the Revolutionary wars and the Napoleonic wars. He was named Marshal of the Empire by Napoleon 1st. In the entrance hall is a bust of Richard (Dick) McKee by Laurence Campbell. Room four has a fine display of trophies won over the years by the Equitation School. Hanging on the walls is a unique collection of portraits of former Chiefs of Staff dating back to the formation of the State. Among those, are of our first President Douglas Hyde and Michael Collins. In 1926 the barracks was formally renamed McKee Barracks to honour Richard "Dick" McKee. He joined the Volunteers in 1913 and during the Easter Rising he fought at Jacobs Factory under Thomas McDonagh. After the Rising he was sent to Knutford Prison and then interned in Frongock Camp, Wales. After his release, he was involved with the reorganisation of the Volunteers with Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy. McKee was promoted eventually to Brigadier of the Dublin Brigade. He had been involved in the arrangements for the assassination of British intelligence officers that took place on 'Bloody Sunday' 21st November 1920. Having been arrested the previous day, he was tortured and killed at Dublin Castle, alongside Conor Clune and Peadar Clancy, in reprisal that night. A section of army recruits standing at ease outside the Equitation School Army recruits in McKee Bks HISTORY OF MCKEE BARRACKS

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