5th Battalion

The 5th Infantry Battalion was formed in Athlone on 01 February 1923 (GRO 16/23) as one of five battalions under the Athlone Command, with its first Commanding Officer being Comdt. B Carrahan. It is apparent from the surviving records that the bulk of the Staff Officers were members of the famous Longford Flying Column under General Sean McEoin, therefore it can be said that the 5th Battalion had its origins in that great Pre-truce unit, with many of its personnel having seen combat experience in the famous battle of Ballinalee.

As a result of the re-organisation in 1924 the unit was moved to the Curragh Camp where it remained until 1928 when it was moved to Portobello Barracks, Dublin. At some point previous to the move the 5th Inf Bn absorbed the 15th Inf Bn in an army wide reorganisation.

One year later in 1929 it was transferred to Collins Barracks which was to be its permanent home until 1941. During the Emergency in 1940 one Company at a time was tasked with outpost duties occupying posts in Co Meath, Blackcastle House, Boyne House and Gibbstown House. In August 1941 all outposts were evacuated and the Unit moved completely to Portobello Barracks, where it remained until October 1942 when it was transferred to Bray, with outposts in Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny, Bray International Hotel, Greystones. The 5th Battalion's next post emergency move was in January 1946 when it was again transferred to Gormanston Camp to be amalgamated wit the 18th Battalion. The unit left Gormanston Camp in November 1946 and moved to Griffith Barracks, The Hibernian School Phoenix Park, and Cathal Brugha Bks. Shortly after the ending of the Emergency the 5th Inf Bn absorbed the 18th Bn. In addition, in the unit reorganisation of the Army in 1959 the 5th Battalion absorbed the 7th Battalion and moved to Collins Barracks.

The 5th Infantry Battalion had found it's home for many years to come. Collins Barracks was to become for many, the true home of the 5th over the coming decades. Sadly, the Irish Government decide to convert Collins Barracks into a museum and as a result the 5th Inf Bn vacated the Collins Bks at 1430hrs, Friday 18 April 1997. Upon conclusion of the parade the Battalion marched through the main gate of Collins Bks onto Benburb street where transport awaited to move the complete Battalion to its new home only 2km up the road to McKee Barracks. The 5th Infantry Battalion would be based in McKee, with one company in Gormanston camp until November 2012. Sadly, one of the nations longest established units was stood down in November 2013 after a complete reorganisation of the Defence Forces. The 5th Bn and the 2nd Bn (based in Cathal Brugha bks) were to be amalgamated to form the 7th Inf Bn based in Cathal Brugha.  

Throughout the history of the 5th Infantry Battalion it had been stationed in several locations. The two locations that have had their history interwoven with the Battalion to this day are Collins Barracks, Dublin and McKee Barracks, Dublin. The following pages provide some brief history on each location.

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5th Infantry Battalion Association

  • C/O NCO's Mess ,
    Mckee Barracks ,
    Blackhorse Ave, Dublin 7
  • Tel:

email: info@5thbattalionassociation.com

Of Interest

  • www.military.ie
  • www.defence.ie
  • www.2fara.wordpress.com
  • www.idfva.ie
  • www.pdforra.ie
  • www.friendsofgarrison.com
  •  www.dfmagazine.ie
  • www.1916tour.ie
  • www.maritimeinjurycenter.com/jones-act