digitised works

Elsie McDermid's 1916 Letter

Elsie McDermidOn Wednesday, 27th May 2015, Dublin City Council's Public Library Service took possession of a copy of a rare eye-witness account of the outbreak of the 1916 Easter Rising. The account was in the form of a letter written by Elsie McDermid (seen on the right), a popular opera singer of the era, to her mother in England on the occasion of Elsie's visit to Dublin. She was in Dublin to perform in Gilbert and Sullivan shows at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. However, the performances were cancelled as a result of the dramatic outbreak of the Easter Rising on Monday 24th April 1916. Elsie wrote a 26-page letter and in it she related, among other things, the digging of trenches in St. Stephen’s Green and eye-witness accounts of the first casualties on the streets of Dublin.

Elsie letter

Visit the 'Elsie McDermid Letter' Image Gallery or view PDF version below.

The letter, which includes Elsie’s hand-drawn maps of Dublin during the Rising, now forms part of a personal 1916 archive owned by Elsie’s nephew Colin McDermid.

1916 Rising Dublin Fire Brigade log-book goes on display

Tom Geraghty, Mary Clark, Margaret Hayes with Fire brigade log bookDublin City Council has acquired a unique Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance log-book which covers the period of the Easter Rising, 24-29 April 1916. The log-book relates to Tara Street Fire Station and records hour-by-hour the response of the Dublin ambulance service to those injured in the Rising.

Right: Fire Brigade historian Tom Geraghty, City Archivist Mary Clark and City Librarian Margaret Hayes seen here with the Fire brigade log book. (Click image to view larger version)

View the Logbook below.

Details are given regarding the call-out of ambulances throughout Easter Week, giving names, addresses and ages of victims with an account of injuries suffered and the name of the hospital to which they were delivered.

Feedback