Dublin Remembers 1916

The Irish Brigade at Hulluch, April 1916

Gas attackIn the week Patrick Pearse declared the Irish Republic on the steps of the General Post Office (GPO), the Irish Brigades of the 16th (Irish) Division suffered horribly in a gas attack launched by the Germans on 27 April 1916 at Hulluch.1 Like the men from the 2nd Dublins back in May 1915, many died years later as a result of this attack. On 29 April the Germans launched another gas attack on the Irish lines, however on this occasion the wind turned right round and blew the gas back over the German lines, the result being equally appalling.2 During April 1916, the Irish Division suffered 2,128 Irish causalities; approx. 538 were killed, the remainder were to suffer chronic lung and breathing conditions for the rest of their lives.3

Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, St John Ambulance and 1916

W&R Jacob & Co.Jacob's Biscuit Factory on Bishop Street was one of the sites occupied by the Irish Volunteers during Easter Week, 1916, and has acquired iconic status within Irish history.   The Jacob's Biscuit Factory Archive has recently being catalogued and opened to public access in the Dublin City Library and Archive.  In conjunction with the Business Information Centre the exhibition "W&R Jacob and Easter Rising" will be open to the public from 13 April, with a talk by Dr Séamas Ó Maithiú on 21 April.

Right: Sketch of Bishop Street Factory, c.1900s, Jacobs Biscuit Factory Archive (DCLA) (View larger image)

Reflecting the Rising

Reflecting the RisingOn Easter Monday, 28 March 2016 people from all over the country flocked to the streets of Dublin to commemorate the 1916 Rising. The atmosphere around the city was fantastic - and so was the weather! RTÉ's Reflecting the Rising filled the city's streets, squares, parks and buildings with history, drama, literature, music, talks, reenactments, arts, dance, play and crafts.

Alfie Byrne MP

Citizens in ConflictCitizens in Conflict #8. In 1916 the Dublin Harbour constituency was represented at Westminster by Alfred (Alfie) Byrne MP.  Dublin Harbour contained Mountjoy Ward, North Dock Ward, Rotunda Ward, (except a portion in the College Green constituency) and the portion of South Dock ward north of a line drawn along the centre of Great Brunswick Street. It also included the portion of Trinity Ward lying north of a line drawn along the centre of Great Brunswick street and the towns of Ringsend and Irishtown as well as sections of Beggar’s Bush. About 8,000 men had the vote in the constituency.

The British Army in Easter Week

Citizens in ConflictCitizens in Conflict #7. On paper there were nearly 3,000 British troops in Dublin on Easter Monday. But in reality the authorities were not prepared for immediate action. On Easter Sunday, only 400 British troops in Dublin were in ‘immediate readiness’ for action; 100 at each main barracks and a guard of six at Dublin Castle. Many officers were at the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, while the commander of forces in Ireland, Major-General Friend, in London. His deputy Colonel H.V. Cowan, had a total of 2,385 men available, including those at races or on a day’s leave.

Apart from 6th Cavalry Reserve regiment at Marlborough Barracks, every unit in the city was part of an Irish regiment. The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment was at Richmond Barracks, the 10th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers at the Royal Barracks, 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles at Portobello Barracks. It was the 5th Royal Irish Lancers from Marlborough Barracks shot at in O’Connell Street.

After the Rising: A Nightime Visit

Citizens in ConflictCitizens in Conflict #6. In the hugely successful movie Michael Collins, directed by Neil Jordan, Collin’s man in the police, Ned Broy, gives him access to the secret files of Dublin Castle. Broy did indeed secure access for Collins to secret archives, but this was in Great Brunswick Street police station rather than Dublin Castle. Here's Broy's account from the Bureau of Military History Witness Statements:

‘After the Rising, an enormous mass of Sinn Féin literature was captured by the military and police from meeting places and homes of Volunteers for weeks after the Rising was over. All this literature, maps, etc., were stored in the Brunswick St. Detective Office. When the Volunteers began to reorganise in 1917, I gradually returned to them samples or copies of all documents, maps and publications which had been captured, which were of some help to them in picking up the treads of their organisation again.’

Launch of Richmond Barracks 1916: We were there - photos

Richmond Barracks 1916 publication launchThe Lord Mayor of Dublin, Críona Ní Dhálaigh, launched the book 'Richmond Barracks 1916: We were there, 77 women of the Easter Rising' to a packed audience at the Chapel, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8, on International Women's Day, Tuesday, 8 March 2016.   This new publication gives voice to the 77 women who were arrested and held at Richmond Barracks following the Easter Rising. A leather bound edition of the book was presented to President Higgins and Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh. The audience was entertained by an instrumental performance by Cora Venus Lunny and and Kate Ellis, poetry recitals by Jo Kennedy and Jane Clarke and Damien Dempsey singing Aunt Jennie.

The 77 Women Commemoration Quilt was also unveiled at the event. This unique quilt commemorates the 77 women arrested after the Easter Rising and forms a link to the present through the 77 contemporary women who crafted each special panel.

View the photo slideshow of the event below.

We were there, 77 Women of the Easter Rising

Richmond Barracks 1916This International Women's Day we remember the women of the 1916 Rising and their place in Irish history.  You can discover more about these women and their determined commitment to Ireland’s revolutionary movement in a new book Richmond Barracks 1916: We were there, 77 women of the Easter Rising.

All over Dublin city on Easter Monday morning 1916 hundreds of women assembled and marched with their male comrades to their appointed garrison positions to take part in the uprising. Women of the Irish Citizen Army, Cumann na mBan, the Clan na nGaedheal Girl Scouts and individual women spent the next few days running first aid stations, cooking, provisioning, fighting and, crucially, delivering dispatches and food between the insurgent outposts, running the risk of death as they dodged bullets in a city in revolt.

Inghínídhe na hÉireann

Citizens in ConflictCitizens in Conflict #5. One of the most significant radical women's organisations in the pre-1916 period was Inghínídhe na hÉireann, (Daughters of Ireland) founded around 1900. Many of those who would come to prominence in Cumann na mBan, the Irish Citizens Army or in politics more generally had been members of the Inghínídhe. These included Maud Gonne, Helena Molony, Jenny Wyse Power, Máire Nic Shiubhlaigh and Marie Perolz.

3rd Battalion actions during Easter Week 1916

Citizens in ConflictCitizens in Conflict #4. The area in which the 3rd Battalion was to operate was a very large one and far more men were expected to be available then turned out to be the case.

Battalion Commander: Éamon de Valera.

Strength: Approximately 170 officers and men.

Positions Held: Boland’s Bakery, Boland’s Mills, close by, the Dock Milling Company's Premises and adjoining the latter the Railway Locomotive Works, Barrow Street, the Dispensary, Clanwilliam House with its outposts at 25 Northumberland Road, the Parochial Hall, and Carrisbrooke House, Westland Row Railway Station, Railway Level Crossing at Lansdowne Road, builders' yard alongside Clanwilliam House, Horan’s Fort at the corner of Haddington Road and South Lotts Road, the railway line was held at many points between Westland Row Station and the Level Crossing, Guinness' Stores, many other stores and warehouses clustering round the docks and manned by snipers.

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