The Watchmen – Policing, Crime and Punishment in Monaghan

In the last two centuries of Monaghan’s history there have always been criminals and the terrible crimes they committed. These people have tried to avoid, outwit or outrun the men and women whose job it is to maintain law and order in the region. Monaghan County Museum’s new exhibition, The Watchmen, tells the dramatic story of a place where the police, the criminals they sought and the eventual punishment that many of these desperate people received has been etched into the cultural memory of the county. The infamous Sam Gray of Ballybay, Mary Ann McConkey and her tragic path to the noose in Monaghan Gaol, the Black and Tans in the county, the First Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, Eoin O’Duffy from just outside Castleblayney and a murder in Clones that helped inspire an international bestseller and a major Hollywood movie. All of these remarkable stories and more are investigated in this incendiary new exhibition.

The display is based on an exhibition that was produced by the National Museum of Country Life in Turlough Park, entitled Preserving the Peace – Policing on the island of Ireland 1814 – 2014. Monaghan County Museum has been working with the National Museum for over two years to develop this fascinating story. The original display in the National Museum explored the formation of policing on the island of Ireland and brought that story through to the police services we know today in An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Monaghan County Museum then worked once again with Professor Terence Dooley of Maynooth University to develop a uniquely Monaghan story. Along with the National Museum, Monaghan County Museum also worked with Ballinode Heritage Museum and some of its cross border partners in Fermanagh County Museum, Armagh County Museum and Craigavon Museum Services to source incredible objects and imagery that have brought The Watchmen – Policing, Crime and Punishment to life.

Cavan Monaghan Garda Division has also worked with the museum to develop a range of interactive events and workshops based around the theme of policing in Ireland including a family open day at Monaghan station, schools tours and talks based on crime scene investigation.
For further information on this exciting new exhibition and details of all our events, contact us at (047)82928, email find us on Facebook or call into the Museum at 1-2 Hill Street, Monaghan Town. The museum’s opening hours are Mon – Fri 11am to 5pm and Saturday 12pm – 5pm.


Previous Exhibitions

For Valour

From a Whisper to a Roar

World Within Walls

40th Anniversary Street Party

Treasures of Monaghan

Walking The Colours

Castle Leslie – Between Two Worlds


The Past From The Press

Irish Sign Language Exhibition

Hidden Heritage