Maynooth College 1914-1918

By Barbara McCormack, Special Collections & Archives

We are currently hosting a very interesting exhibition in the Russell Library to mark the anniversary of World War I. ‘Maynooth College 1914-1918’ was developed to commemorate the role of Irish Catholic army chaplains in the First World War while also documenting the history of Maynooth College during this period.

Memorbilia on display
Memorbilia on display

The exhibition is a collaborative endeavour between St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth and Maynooth University, with a grant from Kildare County Council towards costs.

Exhibition Goals

  • To commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
  • To focus on local history during the period 1914-1918.
  • To assess the impact of the War on the day-to-day running of the College.
  • To commemorate the work of Irish Catholic army chaplains during the conflict.
  • To explore the relationship between the Irish and English Catholic administration at this time.
  • To explore the impact of the War on teaching staff.
  • To explore attitudes towards the threat of conscription in 1918.
  • To create opportunities for community engagement, specifically with regards to adult learners.
  • To encourage learning, reflection and dialogue in relation to Ireland and the First World War.
  • To encourage further research in the area of conflict resolution and military history.
Students, 1916
Students, 1916


The exhibition and accompanying events focused on local history during World War I through an analysis of the following themes:

  1. Daily life in Maynooth College during the First World War.
  2. Meeting the need for Irish Catholic army chaplains at the front.
  3. The threat of conscription in Ireland.
  4. Irish nationalism during World War I.
  5. A German professor at Maynooth College.

WWI exhibition

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