Dublin City Library & Archive

Tatty, Dublin One City One Book 2020

dwyer hickey Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey is the Dublin One City One Book choice for 2020.  "I’m absolutely delighted. Tatty is a novel that is connected to the city of Dublin in so many ways – it’s an honour to have it chosen as Dublin One City One Book for 2020.”

Dora Maguire Historian In Residence Blog

Black and White portrait of DoraThis week I have had the great pleasure of visiting Massachusetts and presenting a paper at the annual national meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies held in Boston. It was my second time attending such a gathering, having also presented a paper on Dublin poet Maeve Cavanagh MacDowell two years ago, when ACIS met in Kansas City, Missouri. This time around I spoke about the life of Dora Maguire, another woman who happened to be profiled in R. M. Fox’s 1935 book of essays Rebel Irishwomen.

Collinstown Aerodrome Raid 1919

Old Photo of Dublin AirportThe Soloheadbeg Ambush in January 1919 did not lead to a wide scale conflict immediately. For much of 1919, the Irish Volunteers embarked on a mainly defensive campaign, primarily searching for arms. As a result, some skirmishes broke out leading to some deaths.

Grangegorman HIR Blog

Henrietta Entrance Kings InnLast month I was in the King’s Inns building for the launch of a remarkable short film. Trish McAdams directed and wrote Confinement for the Grangegorman Development Agency, who asked her to create a public art project. The film’s 30-minute running time evokes three hundred years of the history of the King’s Inns, Henrietta Street and the Grangegorman Asylum. The story is told through the imagined voice of Tony Rudenko, an artist who lived in Henrietta Street until his death in 2014, who was also a friend of the director.

National Shell Factory

Shell FactoryThe National Shell Factory in Parkgate Street  was set up during the First World War following lobbying by various business and engineering interests, who came together in 1915 to form the Dublin Armaments Committee. The site of the factory was chosen by Captain Fairbairn Dowie, who had been seconded from the London Scottish Regiment to take charge of the operation. The factory had been a woolen mill prior to the war.

Statue of King William III

Dublin supported James II at the Battle of the Boyne, but following his defeat by William III, a protestant ascendancy resumed control of the city and began to forge links with the new and successful monarchy.  This process intensified after the death of Mary II in 1695 left William III as sole monarch. Dublin Corporation added William’s arms to the City Sword  in 1697 and in the following year, the king presented a chain of office to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, carrying the monarch’s bust on a medallion, which is in use to this day.

Marx, Engels and Ireland Historian In Residence Blog

Karl MarxAs the world commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, it may come as some surprise to hear that both Marx and Fredrich Engels, authors of The Communist Manifesto and creators of modern-day Marxist thought, were both strong proponents of Irish independence. In November 1867 Marx wrote that what Ireland really required was ‘Self-government and independence from England, an agrarian revolution and protective tariffs against England’.

Anna Manahan and The Rose Tattoo

Anna Manahan PortraitIn advance of the Irish Theatre Archive moving to its new home in the planned new City Library at Parnell Square Cultural Quarter, Dublin City Archives are focusing on cataloguing their backlog of theatre collections. I began working as the theatre archivist in July of this year and the first collection I tackled was the Anna Manahan Papers. One of the most interesting incidents in her career was her performance of the lead role in the Irish premiere of The Rose Tattoo in 1957. The run proved to be a historic moment for Irish theatre and in Anna’s words sent her career “rocketing”.

The Role of Women in the Revolutionary Decade

Cumann na mBanSometimes we forget that much of what we take for granted today was achieved by the struggle of people who fought against huge obstacles, whether it was in the national struggle for independence that we are commemorating in this decade of centenaries or in the striving to achieve decent working conditions, equality for all citizens and wide-ranging social justice. Despite the fact that women played a significant role in most of those struggles, too often the perception lingers that they were only the passive beneficiaries of men’s activities. One of the reasons for that misperception was the social policy that underpinned the institutionalisation of gender inequality, even after women gained access to the vote in 1918.

Labour movement and the revolutionary decade

Damaged Liberty Hall 1916The 1966 Irish history syllabus for secondary schools was consistent with the focus of the 50th anniversary celebrations. It highlighted the role of advanced nationalists and downplayed and even deliberately obscured the role of individuals and groups who might possibly undermine the conservative hegemony of the Irish state. These included the organised labour movement and several women’s organisations, who were described essentially as auxiliaries to the independence struggle.

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