1812 – Crinkill Barracks, Birr, Co. Offaly
Built between 1809 and 1812 at the instigation of Lawrence Parsons, 2nd Earl of Rosse, who had supported the need to build military barracks within a few hours’ march of the River Shannon. Very much in the standard format of the time, the accommodation ranges were three storeys with many stairwells and entrances, all facing the parade grounds. The central range was remarkably long. A church was later added.
In 1873 under the Cardwell Reforms, the barracks became the depot for the 100th (Prince of Wales’s Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot and the 109th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Infantry). Following the Childers Reforms, the 100th and 109th regiments amalgamated to form the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) with its depot in the barracks in 1881. The regiment moved into the barracks on 17 November 1882. Some 6,000 recruits enlisted at the barracks during the First World War. The Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment was disbanded at the time of Irish Independence in 1922.
The barracks were taken over by the Irish Army at Independence but a small group of Irish Republican Army irregulars took control of the barracks and burnt them to the ground on 14 July 1922. The remaining ruins were demolished in 1985. Very little now remains save for portions of a boundary wall.