history (podcasts)

O'Connell Street...the story of the street and its buildings

O'Connell StreetIn this podcast, architects Klaus Unger and Stephen Kane present a history of Dublin City's main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, formerly named Sackville Street. Hear about the unique design features of some of its famous landmark buildings and the stories behind them.  Klaus and Stephen outline the origins of O'Connell Street area as it evolved from the tangle of medieval Dublin, before discussing the influence of the Wide Street Commission, Lord Gardiner, and renowned architects Edward Lovett Pearce, Richard Cassels, Gandon and Francis Johnston (Nelson's Pillar).

Working on the Railway in Dublin, 1900-1925

Rail car engravingIn the early years of the 20th century, the Great Southern and Western Railway was the largest railway system in Ireland and it was a significant employer in Dublin.  In this talk, Mary Muldowney looks at aspects of the lives of Dubliners who worked for the GS&WR, from the turn of the century to its reinvention by the Dáil in 1925.  Mary looks at working conditions, pay, pension and industrial action, focusing especially on the lives of those who were engaged at the lower levels of the pay scales, men and women who were completely dependent on the railways.  At a time of political, economic and social upheaval jobs on railway were highly prized, as they were relatively stable and often came with accommodation.

May and James's Love Letters during the Rising

Letters - May & James by Tessa FinnWhen May Finn died after 50 years of widowhood, her family found a hidden trove of more than 90 love letters carefully tied in ribbons.  They had been written in 1916 as she and her fiancé approached their wedding day that June. Great historic changes were playing out in Ireland at the same time. Their world was being “changed utterly” but did they really understand it?

Listen to Tessa Finn, talk about and read from the extraordinary exchange of love letters between her grandparents which took place during the turbulent year of the Rising.  The letters provide an intimate glimpse into the lives of two people growing in love, not involved in the conflict but touched by it in many ways.

Remembering and reinventing the Rising

1916 Commemorations in 1966Listen to historian Donal Fallon discuss the history of commemorating the 1916 Rising, while looking at events such as the first anniversary in 1917, the often-violent Easter parades of 1930s Dublin and the fiftieth anniversary in 1966.

Recorded on Thursday 23 June 2016 at 6.30pm in Dublin City Library and Archive as part of the Dublin City Council 1916/2016 Centenary Programme.

Image: BOR F11/10 Poster for 1916 Commemorative Stand at R.D.S. Spring Show, 1966. Birth of the Republic Collection, Dublin City Library & Archive. (click image to enlarge)

Remembering and reinventing the Rising transcript

Elizabeth O’Farrell and the 1916 Proclamation

1916 ProclamationDublin City Council holds an original 1916 Proclamation which belonged to Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell and was kindly donated by her family.  This Proclamation has been conserved and is now on display in The Story of the Capital exhibition at City Hall. To commemorate the family’s generosity, Dublin City Council held a seminar in the Council Chamber at City Hall on Monday 25 April 2016. We've recorded all three talks so you can listen back here if you missed this special event commemorating one of Ireland's most important documents and a truly remarkable woman.

Dublin Burning: the Easter Rising and its consequences

Sackville Street in ruinsAs part of Dublin Remembers 1916, Dr Brian Hanley presented a lecture series which examined in detail the lead up to the Rising, what really happened over those momentous days and its impact on future generations.
Image: Corner of Sackville Street (O'Connell Street) and Eden Quay. Postcard from the Birth of the Republic Collection at Dublin City Library & Archive.

Dr Brian Hanley is a historian and author. His publications include The IRA : a documentary history 1916-2005 (2015), The lost revolution : the story of the official IRA and the workers' party (2009) and A Guide to Irish Military Heritage (2004).

The 19th Annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture

Gathering firewood(Podcast) "The women were worse than the men: crime in Dublin in 1916", the 19th Annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture, was given by Pádraig Yeates at the Dublin City Library and Archive on Thursday, 21 January 2016, at 6:00pm.

Pádraig Yeates is a journalist, trade union activist and distinguished social and labour historian. He is an expert on the history of Dublin in the early decades of the 20th century. He is best known as the author of a series of books on Dublin in the revolutionary period as published between 2000 and 2015: A City in Wartime: Dublin 1914-1918, A City in Turmoil: Dublin, 1919-192 and A City in Civil War : Dublin, 1921-1924. He is the author Lockout, the standard work on the great 1913 labour dispute in Dublin. 

Listen to the lecture

Andrew Carnegie, The Library Man

Andrew CarnegieIn 1902, Rathmines and Rathgar Urban District Council applied for a grant to Andrew Carnegie who was at that time dispensing large sums of money for the building of libraries, the world over. The application was successful and in 1903 a sum of £7,500, later increased to £8,500 was granted. The Library and Technical Institute were opened on October 24th, 1913.

Right: Andrew Carnegie

To celebrate the centenary of Rathmines Library, Brendan Langley gave a talk on the fascinating life of Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist and philanthropist entitled "Andrew Carnegie, The Library Man". Brendan Langley is a local historian with a long association with the Rathmines, Ranelagh and Rathgar Historical Society.

The lecture took place on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 at 6.30pm, at Rathmines Library and was part of the programme celebrating Rathmines Library 1913 - 2013 100 Years at the Heart of the Community.

Irish Carnegie Libraries, An Architectural History

Rathmines LibraryBetween 1897 and 1913, Andrew Carnegie donated over £170,000 to fund the building of eighty libraries in Ireland. Sixty-two of those libraries have survived to the present day including Rathmines Library, which opened on 24 October 1913. To celebrate the centenary of Rathmines Library, Brendan Grimes gave a very interesting talk outlining the history of Irish Carnegie Libraries and detailing the architectural history of Rathmines Library entitled "Irish Carnegie Libraries, an Architectural History".

Brendan Grimes is an architect and former lecturer of the School of Architecture, DIT. His publications include Irish Carnegie libraries, a catalogue and architectural history and Majestic shrines and graceful sanctuaries, the church architecture of Patrick Byrne 1783-1864.

Commemorating Clontarf: The Battle and its Legacy

Battle of Clontart Milennium 1014-20142014 is the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf, which took place on Good Friday 23 April 1014. Commemorating Clontarf: the battle and its legacy was the theme of the City Hall lunchtime lecture series this April. It was standing room only at each of these popular lectures. So in case you missed them we are giving you the chance to listen back to two fascinating lectures. Dr Colm Lennon's lecture explores how the legend of Brian Boru and the battle of Clontarf has been adopted as a means of advancing different ideologies throughout Irish history, and how modern scholarly research using antiquarian sources and textual and scientific research are helping separate fact from myth. Dr Howard Clarke re-examines the reputation of Queen Gormlaith and Brian Boru while looking at the rules of marriage, and the bewilderingly complicated nature of the relationships between some of the key players in the battle of Clontarf.

The City Hall lecture series is organised by Dublin City Archives.

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