Established in the 1760’s initially for the instruction and education of the children of deceased soldiers, the Royal Hibernian Military School was lucky to survive a fire that broke out in March 1925. The military school had by then been taken over as a barracks and hosted the first Irish speaking battalion of the Free State army. The fire started in a room beneath the clock tower and thankfully there was no loss of life as the fire spread quickly. Members of the army saved as much property as possible but the fire destroyed the roof and a considerable part of the upper floor. The fire brigade were quick on the scene but the weather was so cold in that March it hampered their efforts due to icicles forming on some of the hoses. The building, designed by Francis Johnston(see my earlier post in relation to him and the Richmond Gate at Kilmainham) now houses St. Mary’s Hospital after development in that direction by the Irish Army in the 1940’s.