Occupation of City Hall by the Irish Citizens’ Army commemorated

Today Monday 24th April, 2017 a ceremony takes place at City Hall, Dublin 2 commemorating the day a garrison of the Irish Citizens’ Army (ICA), led by Captain Sean Connolly, took possession of the building on 24th April, 1916.

A group of descendants of the original garrison of 44 men and women will assemble in the Upper Castle Yard of Dublin Castle at 11.45 a.m. and proceed to City Hall. The group will be led by a piper and an ICA colour party. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr and Eanna Connolly (grandson of Sean Connolly) will form part of this group.

Speaking about the event the Lord Mayor said, “It is fitting that we commemorate this group of Irish Citizen Army members who took part in the Rising of 1916 here in City Hall. I want to welcome all the descendents of the original garrison who are here with us today to mark this special occasion.  I especially want to welcome the descendents of Captain Sean Connolly who was in command of the garrison at the time and who gave his life for the cause.”

Brian McGann, Head of Organisational Development, SIPTU, said, “Given that the ITGWU founded the Irish Citizen Army and in view of its pivotal role in the 1916 Rising, SIPTU is delighted to be a part of this commemorative ceremony. The City Hall garrison notably contained a high proportion of women, including Helena Molony, general secretary of the Irish Women Workers Union and Dr Kathleen Lynn, who took over command when Sean Connolly was killed. The participation of women in the ICA was a commitment to an Irish Republic that would cherish all forms of equality as one of its central values. Larkin and Connolly were committed to the principles of social solidarity and the right of working people to organise in order to advance the cause of labour and oppose exploitation. Those values remain the values of SIPTU today.”

Eanna Connolly said that, “As descendants of those who fought in the City Hall garrison, it is with great pride that we commemorate the events that took place here in 1916.  The men and women of the Irish Citizen Army fought for a vision of a better Ireland that was born out of a shared experience.  It is important that we continue to honour their memory“.

There will be a short ceremony in City Hall which will include a wreath laying and speeches. Today’s event is organised by the ICA City Hall Garrison Relatives Group, which was formed in December 2015 by descendants of the men and women who comprised the garrison.


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Notes to the Editor:

On Easter Monday, April 24th, 1916, at 12 noon a contingent of ICA members under the command of Captain Sean Connolly entered the Upper Castle Yard, after shooting dead Constable James O’Brien of the DMP. Alerted by the shooting, the garrison was mobilised by Major Ivon Price and the ICA group occupied City Hall. Following the death of Connolly shortly afterwards Dr Kathleen Lynn was the senior officer present. She was largely occupied with treating the wounded but identified herself as being in charge when the British recaptured the building on Tuesday as she felt she was less likely to be executed than any of the men involved in defending the building.