Archaeological works have found uncovered various items from 1690 in Athlone Garda barracks

Key finds at a recent excavation of the site of the Garda barracks in Athlone have shown the soldiers enjoyed smoking, gambling and cockfighting.

Archaeological works carried out ahead of the building of a new Garda station in 2018, uncovered items such as coins, musket balls, to a thimble and a hair comb, fragments of clay pipes and glassware from fine wines.

The finds date back to the first soldiers stationed at Athlone during the foundation of Custom Barracks, formerly Victoria Barracks, circa 1690.

Interesting animal bones were also revealed and sent to Zoo-archaeologist Siobhan Duffy as Angela Wallace of Atlantic Archaeology explains: