local studies

Changing workplaces: Broadstone Station, Phibsborough

BroadstoneMany of Dublin’s most striking buildings tell us stories about the past, not least in how travel into and around the city has changed over the years. If you are taking the Luas to the Technical University Dublin (TU Dublin) campus at Grangegorman, you can alight at the Broadstone stop.

Military Rule in Ireland

FourCourtsHotelIn May 1920, Erskine Childers published a booklet entitled Military Rule in Ireland, which was a collected edition of eight articles he contributed to The Daily News paper between March and May of that year. He added some explanatory notes and an additional chapter but essentially the booklet reproduced the articles as they had originally appeared, describing the terrible pressures on the citizens of Dublin as a consequence of the manner in which the British forces were running the country.

General Strike April 1920

General StrikeThe general strike as a political weapon was used very effectively in Ireland on several occasions between 1918 to 1922. It was part of the successful resistance to the imposition of conscription in April 1918. One hundred years ago, on 12 April 1920, worked ceased all over the country, but especially in Dublin, as another general strike was called.

The Influenza Pandemic in Ireland – 1918-19

newspaperIn 1918, news started to filter through of a ‘mystery malady’, a ‘mysterious war disease’. It appeared to originate in Spain as it was first widely reported there, hence the name it has been called ever since, the Spanish Flu. Although, first reported in Spain, the disease probably originated in a different location. Regardless of its origin, the flu wreaked havoc across the globe, claiming the lives of at least 40 million people from 1918 to 1920. The true figure will never be known. It is estimated that one fifth of the world’s population caught the flu.

Tim Healy first Governor General of Ireland

TimHealyOn December 6, 1922, the Irish Free State came formally into existence after the Free State Act gave effect to the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

Weavers and The Liberties

weaverThe Dublin City Library and Archive holds a beautiful image of the old Weaver’s Hall on The Coombe Dublin, a  building still fondly remembered by older citizens in the area. The image shows a dignified guild hall, with a statue of King George II by Van Nost holding shuttles and other implements used in the weaving process set in an alcove above the main entrance. 

Although the Weaver’s Hall is long gone, there is still a lot of evidence of this once major industry that existed in this area over a 1,000 year timespan. The most obvious are various placenames.

Liam Ó Briain’s Insurrection Memories 1916

speaker at podiumLast May, I was delighted to attend the Dublin launch of a book entitled 'Essays by an Irish Rebel: revolution, politics and culture' by Liam Ó Briain.  A very enjoyable read, the book features twenty-five essays by the Dublin academic and revolutionary Liam Ó Briain (1888-1974), all of which were published in Irish from 1934 to 1968, as well as three appreciations of the author.

All have now been edited and translated into English by Eoin Ó Dochartaigh, a retired doctor from Galway who graduated from University College Galway (now NUI Galway) and knew Ó Briain as a family friend.

When Dublin telephonists challenged the government

It is frequently claimed that the EU gave us equality, and certainly it has helped to have Equal Pay and Equal Treatment Directives, but it was frequently women workers who forced the government to implement the improvements in their employment conditions to which new legislation entitled them. If laborious industrial relations procedures did not deliver for them, the women were quite prepared to take to the streets to insist that they be treated fairly.

History Document of the Month: Lepracaun Cartoon Collection

Cover of Lepracaun CartoonBritain faced similar issues ruling Ireland and India: both had to be held to maintain British international credibility and independence movements in both were driven in large part by religion.

Séamus Ennis, Final Years

Larkin statueThis year marks the centenary of the birth of Séamus Ennis, the renowned musician, singer, folklorist and broadcaster who left behind, to quote from one obituary, “a priceless heritage of Irish tradition to the nation”. Inspired by on-going centenary events taking place across Dublin and at the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, this blog briefly examines Ennis’s final years and death.