‘the Irish republican version of the Imperial War Museum’

There’s an interesting article and audio slideshow by Henry McDonald in today’s Guardian about the republican museum in north Armagh.



In a garden in a quiet cul-de-sac in north Armagh, a nondescript brown shed contains the Irish republican version of the Imperial War Museum.

The private collection contains the toilet-roll holder from the room where IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands died in May 1981, letters from supporters to Sands, an original rebel uniform from the 1916 Easter rising, secret communications smuggled out of the Maze prison and a 19th-century cell door from London’s Pentonville jail where Irish republican prisoners were incarcerated. There are piles of original black rubber bullets fired during riots in the early 1970s. There are even Airfix-style models recreating the Maze prison.

All visits are arranged quietly on the “republican grapevine”, but have managed to bring together former republican rivals who were once deadly enemies. Former members of the Provisional and Official IRAs as well as the Irish National Liberation army have met again during private visits to the collection. Earlier this month the surviving “hooded men” – republican suspects used as “torture guinea-pigs” by the British army early in the Troubles in 1971 – gathered together for the first time in a reunion at the museum.

The Guardian was given access last week to the privately owned museum which also hosts visits by foreign tourists and even some Ulster loyalists.

Will the day ever come when the Ulster Museum is able to borrow some of the memorabilia to display as part of a local history exhibition?

(via Guardian)

Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger.

While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.