local studies

The Redmond-O'Brien Press Gang

RedmondJohn Redmond (1 September 1856 - 6 March 1918) was elected as MP in 1881 and became leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) in 1900. Redmond’s public support for the First World War meant the IPP became associated with the high Irish death toll, as depicted above. By 1918 both the party and Redmond himself were in terminal decline. He died of a heart attack on 6 March 1918 and the IPP was decimated in the election the following December.

Drimnagh Castle, Dublin

Drimnagh CastleHidden from view by the more recent school buildings that share the name, Drimnagh Castle is a Norman Castle Keep located on the now named Long Mile Road, Drimnagh, Dublin.  The Castle was once home to the great Anglo-Norman Barnewall – also called deBarnwall or deBerneval -  family all of whom were descended from Hugh de Barnewall, who came to Ireland in 1212.  The influence of this family lasted over 400 years, and by 1395, when Reginald Barnewall held lands in Ballyfermot, Terenure, parts of Finglas as well as Drimnagh.

Drimnagh Castle, 1996. Dublin City Council Photographic Collection.

Sheaves of Revolt: Maeve and Ernest Kavanagh

Sheaves of RevoltDuring the First World War, an estimated 200,000 Irish joined the British forces, a fact that did not sit well with the republican movement. Some dismissed the volunteers as mercenaries or misfits, while others took a more considered view. Maeve Kavanagh, born in South Frederick Street in 1878, was a noted republican poet and she often used her pen to take aim at men who volunteered for the British army. In her 1914 collection of poetry Sheaves of Revolt, she described the brutality and horror of war and its aftermath to dissuade Irishmen from volunteering:

So hurry up and take the ‘bob’
The Butcher cannot wait,
The German guns are talking,
At a most terrific rate.
And if you should crawl back,
Minus arm or minus leg,
You’ll get leave to roam your city
To sell matches – or to beg.

Cabra’s Liam Whelan

Liam WhelanThis month marks the sixtieth anniversary of the death of Cabra’s Liam Whelan, an integral part of Matt Busby’s famous Manchester United side.

Whelan, born in 1934, began his footballing days with Home Farm F.C, a Dublin institution founded in 1928. He was raised in Cabra, then a totally new suburb on the northside of Dublin, as the city began to tackle its housing crisis. He was among the first generation of youngsters to partake in street football in a new suburb so full of hope for Dublin’s working class. In signing for United in 1953, he followed in a long tradition of Dubliners which including the great Johnny Carey, who amassed more than 400 appearances for the club between 1936 and 1953. Irish newspapers closely followed the escapades of Irish players in the English league, both on and off the pitch, and there was delight during the years of ‘The Emergency’ in Ireland when Carey returned to domestic football, playing two matches as a guest for Shamrock Rovers.

Meet the Historians in Residence

HistoriansDublin City Council has a team of part-time Historians in Residence working with communities across the city. This public history project began in Spring 2017 under the auspices of the Decade of Commemorations designation within the Council, and the historians work in the five administrative areas of Dublin City  to make history and historical sources accessible and enjoyable for all.

Pictured l-r: Donal Fallon, Maeve Casserly, Cathy Scuffil, Bernard Kelly, Cormac Mooore (view larger photo)

Dublin City Council Historians in Residence are working on all sorts of history events throughout the city including talks, walks, tours, discussions, history book clubs,  blogs, exhibitions and more. They are:

The 21st John T. Gilbert Commemorative Lecture

Michael Griffin(Podcast) 'Live from the Conniving House: Poetry and Music in Eighteenth-Century Dublin' the 21st Annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture, was given by Dr Michael Griffin, University of Limerick at the Dublin City Library and Archive on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

The Conniving House tavern, long since forgotten, opened in 1725. On the water not far from where Sandymount Green is now, it is the cultural and geographical starting point for this lecture on the lively interaction of poetic and musical cultures in eighteenth-century Dublin. The only verbal account that we have of that venue comes from Life of John Buncle, esq. by Thomas Amory, who heard there the famous Larry Grogan playing the pipes while Jack Lattin, ‘the most agreeable of companions’, played matchlessly on the fiddle. Other writers of the period, such as Laurence Whyte and Charles Coffey, recorded an energetic native musical culture. This lecture explores a fascinating moment in the history of Dublin’s poetical and musical cultures, one which yields several compelling instances of cross-cultural connivance.

John O’Grady (1889 - 1916) & the Jacob’s Garrison

John O'GradyJohn O'Grady was a member of A Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. He was the only volunteer from the Jacob's Factory Garrison killed in action during the 1916 Rising.

Last year we were honoured to welcome Dermot Hogan, a relative of John O'Grady to our Reading Room, and he kindly showed us some of the 1916 memorabilia carefully preserved by the family for over 100 years. Pictured below is the 1916 medal awarded to John by the President of Ireland. The 1916 Medal is awarded to persons with recognised military service during the 1916 Rising. The medal is bronze and it depicts the death scene of Cú Chulainn, surrounded by a circle of flames. The reverse is inscribed "Seachtain na Cásca 1916 John O'Grady".

Marjorie Hasler: A Suffragist Martyr

Marjorie HaslerMarjorie Hasler (c. 1887 -1913) joined the Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL), a militant suffrage group, in 1910. She was at the frontline of the women’s suffrage campaign during its explosive pre-war years. She travelled to London in November 1910 to protest against the Liberal Prime Minister H.H. Asquith’s dismissal of a Conciliation Bill that would extend voting rights to women. The suffragists were attacked by the police in an event that became known as ‘Black Friday’. Marjorie was among those injured when her head struck a wall during the agitation. Undaunted she travelled to London once more in November 1911 where she was imprisoned for breaking government windows (the suffragists’ preferred protest strategy). She spent fourteen days in Holloway prison.

The People, places and historical buildings of Dublin 7

Dublin 7Listen back to local Historian and well-known author Bernard Neary from Cabra West as he brings us on an interesting tour of Dublin 7, including the people, places and buildings of interest. Find out where the writer Iris Murdoch was born, where the poet Austin Clarke grew up and where Matt Kiernan made his Uilleann Pipes.  Discover interesting facts about local landmarks including the Royal Canal, Broadstone Railway Station and The Four Courts. Reminisce about skipping and conkers games played by children and the picturehouses that dotted the area.

Bernard’s new book Dublin 7, published by The Lilliput Press, is available to borrow from your local library and at bookshops.

Walking the Royal Canal

Foster AquaductListen back to a talk by Peter Clarke looking at the 225 year history of the Royal Canal, from its origins in 1789 through all its phases to the present day. The talk traces the planning and construction of the canal and will reference many places, people and events of historical interest along the course of Dublin’s beloved Royal Canal.

Image: Foster Aqueduct and Royal Canal House Phibsboro (see larger image)

Reserve a copy of Walking the Royal Canal by Peter Clarke from the library catalogue.

Recorded at Phibsboro Library on Monday 21 August 2017 as part of Heritage Week 2017.