Dublin Fire Brigade and the 1916 Rising

On Monday, 25th January 2016 at 10.30 a.m. an tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh will launch a new exhibition ‘Dublin Fire Brigade and the 1916 Rising Exhibition’ in the Vaults, City Hall, Dame Street. The exhibition tells the story of Dublin’s Fire-fighters during Easter week 1916. The exhibition contains rarely seen material which has never before been brought together in one place, including material from Dublin Fire Brigade’s museum and private collections.

Exhibits show the impact of the Rising on the city while, we learn about the Brigade’s involvement throughout that week. Fire engines and ambulances crews were on continuous duty dealing with the ravaging of the city centre, working in dangerous conditions and at times, under gunfire. The log book that gives an account of the Battle of Mount Street Bridge forms part of the exhibition.

The exhibition also tells the story of fire-fighter Joe Connolly, who in 1916, as a young Irish Citizen Army member, left Tara Street Fire Brigade Station to fight in the Rising. He would return to the brigade after his release from imprisonment in Frongoch and would later go on to lead the DFB as Chief Fire Officer.

Speaking about the exhibition an tArdmhéara says “I am delighted to be involved with opening this exhibition here in City Hall, a venue which was a 1916 battleground and which provides an evocative backdrop for this exhibition of rarely seen material. I want to congratulate Dublin Fire Brigade on putting together an important piece of Dublin’s lost history in this exhibition. The work done by the members of Dublin Fire Brigade during the Rising has never been truly appreciated and as we reflect on the events of that time, it is of great significance that we can now acknowledge the heroism of these men who were simply doing their job, but in the worst of circumstances. Mholfainn d’éinne go bhfuil suim acu san Éirí Amach cúirt a thabhairt ar an taispeántas tábhachtach seo agus is féidir cur lena gcuid eolais i dtaobh obair an Bhriogáid le linn seachtain na Cásca 1916. I encourage anyone with an interest in the Rising to view this important exhibition to learn about the Brigade’s work.”

Among the many rare and never before displayed pieces in this exhibition are a silver medal issued by the local Council in 1916 to the firemen of the Rathmines township fire brigade in recognition of their service in the rebellion. This has come on loan from Canada from the grandson of the man who was awarded it in 1916. Other rare pieces from the fire brigades of both Powers Whiskey Distillery and Guinness Brewery are on display. Both brigades sent men to assist the city fire brigade to battle the huge fires after the surrender on 29 April 1916.

Admission to the exhibition is free, Monday to Saturday 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Photographs to be syndicated by Jason Clarke Photography on the day