Since its construction, the barracks has played a significant role as a staging post during some major conflicts such as the Napoleonic War, Crimean War, Zulu War, Boer War and the First World War.
The Military Museum, Collins Barracks, Cork, opened in 1985 and was situated in the Clock Tower Block. In 2005 the Museum was moved to the Old Guard Room, one of the oldest buildings in the barracks which is located just inside the old Main Gate. Its purpose is to tell the history of the barracks, the history and traditions of the Defence Forces and the story of General Michael Collins.
The museum’s Collection contains significant artefacts that are associated with key periods of this history. Included in the Collection are a number of iconic military uniforms dating from the 1800’s right through to the present day.