The Creation of a Nation exhibition tells the story of King House, Boyle and the Connaught Rangers during the struggle for Irish independence.
The exhibition explores this pivotal period of Irish history that spans the Easter Rising (1916), the War of Independence (1919 – 1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922 – 1923).
At the time Boyle was one of the most heavily garrisoned towns in the country and King House, having been purchased from the King family in 1795, was the army barracks of the Connaught Rangers. The chilling jail cells in the basement show the appalling conditions endured by soldiers who broke military discipline and IRA prisoners held at the barracks.
We tell the personal story of a Connaught Ranger soldier, Private James Joseph Daly, and his heart-breaking final letter home. In 1920 the Connaught Rangers, stationed in India, had staged a mutiny in protest against the violent conduct of the Black and Tans occurring in Ireland. 69 mutineers were court marshalled and 14 sentenced to death. Only one, Private Daly, was executed.
The exhibition details how the most violent fighting in Boyle took place in July 1922, during the Irish Civil War. We learn how the town was blockaded and mines placed in many locations, including King House.