The Civil War In Dublin: Images from Irish Life (July 1922)

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On 28 June 1922 the forces of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State, led by Michael Collins, attacked the Anti-Treaty garrison at the Four Courts. This action is generally believed to mark the beginning of the Irish Civil War. Fighting spread to the centre of the city with Anti-Treaty troops occupying part of O’Connell Street (including the Gresham, Crown, Granville and Hammam Hotels) as  well as outposts on Gardiner Street, Parnell Street, and Aungier Street. The Anti-Treaty forces were defeated after a week of heavy bombardment and street fighting. Over three hundred combatants were killed or wounded with Republican leader Cathal Brugha among the fatalities. Over two hundred civilians were killed during ‘the Battle of Dublin’ that lasted from 28 June to the 5 July 1922.

The images in this gallery are taken from a special supplement to the Irish Life newspaper that was published on 14 July 1922 entitled 'Ireland's Tragic Week'. Each photograph was accompanied by a short text. As you can discern, the editors of the Irish Life did not take an unbiased view of the hostilities. We have reprinted the accompanying text unedited and as it originally appeared in the pages of Irish Life.

We hope that these images may be of general interest and, in particular, to anyone doing research or a school project on the Civil War in Dublin.

Further Resources

Dublin City Public Libraries has a wide range of sources on the social, political, and cultural history of Dublin, some of which are available online and some through the Dublin City Public Libraries network.
The Reading Room, Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street holds a wealth of material on the history of Dublin, including books, pamphlets, journals, street directories, and almanacs.

The following online resources can be accessed free of charge at your local library (access links via our NetVibes portal). Ask library staff for information and assistance.

  • Libraries and Archives Digital Repository: Digital records relating to Dublin, including photographs, postcards, letters, maps and ephemeral material. Highlights of the collection include the Fáilte Ireland Photographic Collection, Wide Street Commission Map Collection (1757-1851), the Irish Theatre Archive and the Birth of the Republic Collection, which comprises material from the period of the foundation of the Irish state.
  • Irish Times Digital Archive: This online archive service gives access to contemporary editions of the Irish Times from the mid-nineteenth century until the present.
  • Irish Newspaper Archive: This online archive service gives access to contemporary editions of the Irish Independent and a range of other newspapers.
  • The Ireland-JSTOR Collection: This online archive of academic articles can also be accessed free of charge at your local library.

For further reading, consult the Library Catalogue.

View The Civil War In Dublin Gallery


Hi there
I am a canadian teacher and getting into a unit on Ireland and it's history. A woman told me the face of Dublin was affected by war even to this day, that you see 'proof 'of the civil unrest even to this day. Is this 'proof' that she spoke of 1- evidence of destruction from war (and if so was it the civil war or the 1974 bombings) or 2) was this proof she spoke of memorials and cementeries. Basically, my question is: Can you still see evidence of destruction due to civil war or the bombings of 1974 in Dublin?

Hi Kristi,
I think what the lady you were speaking to was suggesting is that evidence of war is still evident in Dublin city. For example, the GPO (General Post Office) still has bullet holes visible in the columns and face of the building dating from the Easter Rising 1916.


I am working in Hammam Buildings which is the successor of the Hammam Hotel. I am interested in getting some of the archive photographs printed and hung around our building. Who do I need to ask about copyright?

Hi Karl,


The best thing is to send in an email to specifiying which photographs youa re interested in and what it is you want to do with them.


All the best,



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