Garda museum opens in Dublin Castle
A new Garda Museum officially opened at Dublin Castle last night tells the story of policing in Ireland from the era of night watchmen to high tech CSI investigators.
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan cut the ribbon at the entrance to "a treasure trove" of fascinating items from the history of the gardaí and its predecessors.
She was taken on the museum tour by its curator, Garda Sergeant Martin Drew and museum designer Dara Lynne Lenehan.
Keeping the peace in turbulent times features strongly in the exhibitions with stories of baton charges in the 1913 Lockout in Dublin, upheavals of the 1916 Rising and the burning of police barracks in the War of Independence.
A decision to keep the new force completely free of politics meant gardaí were not allowed to vote until 1959. Mutinies by police are also featured. The 88 gardaí who died while on duty are honoured too.
Weapons seized from criminals were on display, including a crossbow, a sawn-off shotgun, and a Kalashnikov rifle.
Ms O'Sullivan (above right, on the tour) said the museum "showcases the tremendous contribution An Garda Síochána has made to this country and its people".
"It also shows how An Garda Síochána's strong focus on working closely with communities has remained the same," she said.
An earlier policing museum housed in a medieval tower in the castle closed some years ago due to unsatisfactory conditions.