As part of a series of local events commemorating 100 years since the start of the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I, Longford County Library is currently hosting an exhibition highlighting Longford’s connections to the ill-fated operation.
On April 25, 1915, Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, with the aim of defeating the Ottoman Empire, which was aligned with Germany.
It was hoped the operation would shorten the war, but in reality it led to a nine-month struggle which resulted in the Allies withdrawing. There were almost 400,000 casualties, with between 3,500 and 4,000 of those being Irishmen.
The exhibition covers the involvement of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, commanded by Lord Granard, which landed at Gallipoli as part of the second attack. The regiment had been stationed in the cavalry barracks in Longford (later Connolly Barracks) from October 1914 until April 1915. It also includes information on the local men who fought and died in the campaign.
Another feature of the exhibition is a number of projects completed by students from Transition Year classes in some of the county’s secondary schools, which focus on some of those who were killed.