Ulster Division, Donegal barracks

Discussion in 'Ireland (ie. Irish Defence Force)' started by skidmarx, May 26, 2009.

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  1. Brain picking time, if youse wouldn't mind.
    The 36th Ulster Division were getting themselves trained and organised to be sent over to France in WW1. As well as being billeted in the North there was a detachment based in Donegal.
    May well have been Inniskilling Fusiliers, skins are largely famous in this period for catching german measles, being late for the deployment and marching back to the North to get to France.
    Three questions
    1 What was the name of the barracks
    2Whereabouts was it
    3Does it still exist
    Many thanks
     
  2. Yes it was Finner Camp - modernised in later years but very basic then. It is I think still in use for some training roles. Its a bit like Barrybuddon or Altcar but much, much wilder!
    The Ulster Division's 109th Brigade used it in 1915.
    109th Bde was Inniskillings (9th, 10th and 11th) with a Bn of 14th Royal Irish Rifles. (Brigades were then four Bns strong.)
    The RIR bn was Young Citizen Volunteers from the streets of east Belfast - they did not think much of the inhospitable weather and terrain around Finner. The Inniskillingers were from west Ulster and more able to accept the conditions.
    The weather was in fact so awful that winter that almost the entire 14th Bn RIR was moved to the Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran! The other Bns were moved in stages to Enniskillen and Randalstown.
    The 10th Royal Inniskillings (The Derry Vounteers) were the last to leave.

    After the Treaty of 1922 the British Army handed Finner Camp over to a detachment of the new Free State Army.
     
  3. I was sent a copy of 'Three Cheers For The Derrys!" by Gardiner S Mitchell mentioned in Western's post. The opening pages describe their long march from Finner Camp to Randalstown. The book is an updated addition of a earlier tome.

    It was sent to me some time ago and lay on my book shelf on one of those must get around to moments. It was this post that caused me to give it closer regard.

    I found it a very emotive book to read as it relies on the personal anecdotes of Jim Donaghy and Leslie Bell in particular to carry it along. It makes very honest and easy reading. Be prepared for several 'dust in the eye' moments.
     
  4. I had a recent conversation with a friens who is in 'The Irish Hysterical (Historical) Society and mentioned this thread. Though not a specialist in this field, he rattled off a couple of barracks located in Clonmany and Letterkenny respectively and of WW1 vintage.

    Whereas he wasn't able to recall the barrack names, he did mention that a very young subaltern Gerald Templer was held over in Clonmany barracks until he was old enough to be sent to the Great War. Templer had been commissioned into the Royal Irish Fusilers.