“Leinsters” to go on display in Birr Library

Leinster Regiment

The Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment

(Royal Canadians) Association


The regimental association formed in 2003 to keep alive the memory of the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment is working with the Offaly County Library Service to set up a display in Birr Library.

The regiment, which had its home depot in Crinkle, Birr, is to be commemorated  in the display that recalls the history and exploits of the men, hundreds from the midlands, who formed one of the finest infantry regiments of the line.

Like all other Irish regiments, the Leinsters entered the annals of military history when the Colours were surrendered to King George V for safe keeping at Windsor Castle in 1922.

The Birr Library has been collecting various Leinster Regimental items since 2008, with the assistance of the late Sean Cooke from Crinkle and other members of the Leinster Regiment Association. 

The Library collection consists of a core reference collection of books, the War Diaries and a photographic collection which has been housed in Birr Library since 2007.  In addition the annual Leinster Regiment Lecture series takes place each summer in the Library.

Now, the regimental association will initially have a display cabinet prominently positioned in Birr Library to tell part of the rich story of the regiment and this will be expanded over time with panels outlining the history of the regiment as well as more items loaned to the library.

Association Chairman (Ireland),Denis Kirby, said he was delighted with the decision by Offaly County Council to devote valuable space and a display cabinet in Birr Library to regimental memorabilia.

Denis adds: “We have a number of pieces to place in the cabinets which have been already been donated to the Library. We know people in Birr, indeed the entire midlands, will have items handed down as family heirlooms such as medals, cap badges, insignia, emblems, uniforms and written records, including newspaper cuttings.

“I would appeal to anyone with such items to get in touch with the Association as we’d like to feature them in Birr Library. We are asking people to lend us the items.

Please contact:  Birr Library, Wilmer Road, Birr, Co. Offaly. Email: birrlibrary@offalycoco.ie Phone: 057 9124950. Librarian: Joe Kinane.


If you have items for the Leinsters collection, they will be cared for, properly attributed and returned to their owners on request.

“We are keen to show the extensive ‘reach’ of the regiment which was formed in 1881 and saw action in South Africa and, of course, during the First World War when they earned no fewer than four Victoria Crosses, which is the highest honour to be awarded any soldier for acts of outstanding bravery.

 “There could be no more suitable location for our display than Birr which was synonymous with the Leinsters. We are immeasurably indebted to Offaly County Council Library Service, particularly Mary Stuart, County Librarian, and Martina Needham, A/ Senior Executive Librarian for their generous and warm support.

“We look forward to bringing the story of the Leinsters to as many people as possible, particularly in the south Offaly area, and it goes without saying that if you would wish to join the association, all you have to do is email: ray.hayden@anglewise.co.uk or membership-secretary@leinster-regiment-association.org.uk