The National Museum of Ireland, Museum of Country Life in association with the French Embassy in Ireland is delighted to present this exhibition which was originally produced by Musée de l’Armée, Paris (the Army Museum, Paris ). The exhibition was first seen in the National Museum, Dublin as part of Ireland’s EU Cultural Programme 2013. It has been enhanced by additional material not previously seen in the Dublin exhibition. A highlight of the exhibition is the display of the Ramillies flag which is on loan from Kylemore Abbey. This flag was captured at the Battle of Ramillies (in Belgium ) in 1709 by Lord Clare’s Irish Brigade.
The exhibition shows Irish and French military co-operation since the 17th century. From the Wild Geese and the First World War, to Samuel Beckett’s time in the French resistance and to the close Irish-French military links today, the exhibition retraces the history of the close relations between the Irish and France.
Covering the period 1689 to 2012, including the Irish Wild Geese regiments which fought in the service of France in the 17th and 18th centuries, the exhibition goes right up to the present day. One of the descendants of the Wild Geese, Patrice MacMahon, became President of the Third French Republic in 1873 and from him the salad dressing mayonnaise was named! The exhibition also covers the role of Irish men and women in World War I and World War II – in particular Samuel Beckett’s involvement in the French resistance. The exhibition concludes with the story of the most recent co-operation between the French and Irish army in missions under international umbrellas such as the EUFOR mission in Chad and the UN in Lebanon. The exhibition will run until 29 September 2013.