The 1691 Battle of Aughrim (Irish: Cath Eachroma) was the decisive battle of the Williamite War in Ireland. It was fought between the largely Irish Jacobite army, loyal to King James II, and the forces of William of Orange on 12th July 1691 (equivalent to 25th July in the modern calendar) near the village of Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway.
The battle was a definitive one of Cogadh an Dá Rí (War of the Two Kings) which changed the balance of power in Europe and the world. Repercussions are still being felt today (Northern Ireland, Brexit, etc).
The Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre vibrantly brings to life the most significant and devastating battle fought on Irish soil as part of the wider struggle for the Throne of England in the 1690s. Since this battle is often called the “forgotten battle”, the Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre is truly a hidden gem!
Local historian and local school headmaster, the late Martin Joyce, had a huge interest in the Battle of Aughrim and he established a museum in the national school, which contained artefacts associated with the battle, local farming and domestic implements as well as coins and documents.
Martin Joyce Poster
Martin worked tirelessly to gain recognition for the important legacy of the Battle of Aughrim. After his retirement from teaching in 1975, he devoted much of his time to unearthing the folklore and history of the battle sites around Aughrim. His last years were devoted to the effort to raise the money required to have the Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre built, which would provide a permanent home for the historical collection he had built up over the previous five decades.
Martin Joyce Collection Display
Martin’s work is immortalised in Richard Murphy’s epic poem ‘The Battle of Aughrim’. His famous collection and legacy of museum artefacts are preserved in the Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre. The Martin Joyce Collection is his gift to the people of Aughrim and is an important legacy. It contributes significantly to the memorialising of one of the bloodiest and most significant battles in Irish history.
Martin Joyce Collection
The Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre has been owned, operated and managed by Galway County Council since 1996. The centre was purpose built in partnership with Fáilte Ireland (Ireland West Tourism) and local community development groups in Aughrim Village in 1990, with its formal opening in 2002. The Centre was operated by Irish West Tourism from 1992 until 1996. It is now administered by a Centre Manager (based in the HQ of Galway County Council) who works in co-operation with the Heritage Officer and staff from Corporate Services, Galway County Council. It engages with other stakeholders as required to grow the services and identify and develop activities that will increase quality of services and visitor numbers to the Centre.
Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre