history (podcasts)

Messines Peace Park: Its contribution to Irish-British reconciliation

speakers & organisersDublin City Library and Archive and The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association presented a seminar titled 'Messines Peace Park: Its contribution to Irish-British reconciliation' on Friday 19 May at The Council Chamber, City Hall, Dame Street. Many thanks to all speakers, Bertie Ahern, Barabara Walshe, Dr Chris McGimpsey, Dr Alasdair McDonnell and Tom Burke and to the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr, who formally opened the seminar. Thank-you to Paddy Harte Junior who read Peace Pledge to formally close the seminar.

About The Messines Peace Park

Messines Peace ParkThe Island of Ireland Peace Park, more usually known as the Messines Peace Park, is a memorial to the soldiers on the island of Ireland who died, were wounded or went missing during World War I. It is located close to site of the June 1917 battle for The Wijtschate -Messines Ridge. The project was initiated by A Journey of Reconciliation Trust, a broadbased cross-border Irish organization which hopes to bring together people of diverse beliefs. The Trust comprised representatives of the main churches in Ireland, with professional and political representatives together with community leaders from both parts of Ireland under the leadership of Paddy Harte and Glenn Barr.

The 20th John T. Gilbert Commemorative Lecture

Rocque King St(Podcast) 'Gentlemen’s Daughters in Dublin Cloisters: The social world of nuns in early 18th century Dublin', the 20th Annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture, was given by Dr Bernadette Cunningham, Royal Irish Academy at the Dublin City Library and Archive on Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

The lecture looks at the social world of the communities of Poor Clare and Dominican nuns who established themselves in the Oxmantown/Grangegorman area of Dublin in the early eighteenth century.

Conserving Wide Street Commission Maps 1757-1849

WSC MapListen to Liz D’Arcy talk about conserving the Wide Street Commission Maps. Hear how she painstakingly removed sellotape, cleaned, repaired and strengthened these important maps.   Liz D'Arcy, Paperworks, Studio for Paper Conservation is qualified with an MA in Conservation of Fine Art on Paper. Liz is an accredited member of the 'Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic works in Ireland' (I.C.H.A.W.I) and a member of the 'Irish Professional Conservators and Restorers Association' (I.P.C.R.A).

Between 1757- 1851, the Wide Street Commission had a major impact on the development of the city, transforming it from a medieval city to the Dublin we know today.  Its function was to provide “Wide and Convenient Streets” for Dublin and it had extensive powers to acquire property by compulsory purchase, develop new streets, demolish buildings and impose design standards on building lots which were sold to developers. Dublin City Archives hold the Wide Street Commission Archives, which comprises maps, minute books and drawings. www.dublincityarchives.ie

Restoring a Georgian Dublin Residence

No. 19 North Great George's StreetListen to Harold Clarke's charming account of restoring the beautiful Georgian building, no. 19 North Great George's Street.  When Harold first viewed the house it was suffering from 180 years of dereliction but he recognised its beauty and bought it just three days later.

In this illustrated talk, Harold outlines the challenges he faced during his faithful restoration of the house, its long history,  and the delightful features he uncovered, most particularly its beautiful decorative plasterwork. The before and after photographs offer a fascinating insight into this most successful restoration process. I'm sure you will agree the results are splendid, from the beauty of the friezes and plasterwork in the drawing room and dining room, to the library room with its ceiling painted in the Dublin colours, the 100 stepped staircase, the entrance hall and the garden room.

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).

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