local studies

Suffragist City

SuffragistIn February 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed and women who were over 30 years of age, owned property, or were married to a rate-payer were finally allowed to participate fully in the democratic process. Although women were still not on equal terms with men (who could vote from the age of 21 years), the breakthrough had been made.

Eleven months later, the voters of Dublin elected Constance Markievicz, the first woman to win a seat at Westminster.

View Suffragist City Image Gallery.

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Le FanuThe official name of the Ballyfermot Dublin City Council park, known to the locals as The Lawns,  is Le Fanu Park and a nearby road also carries the same unique name.  

But who was Le Fanu, and why is his unusual name used in Ballyfermot?

Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (24 August, 1814 – 7 February, 1873) was a newspaper publisher and writer who is best remembered for his classic ghost stories.  Born at 45 Lower Dominick Street in Dublin, his family were a mix of Huguenot, English and Irish ancestry.  His great-uncle was the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. 

Women’s Voices 1914-1918

Nora Guilfoyle2018 marks the 100th anniversary of World War 1 Armistice. From working in munitions factories, V.A.D. nursing, supporting the war effort through charitable works, and leading the anti-conscription movement, World War 1 led to a multitude of different experiences for Irish women. Here we read from some archival sources from Dublin City Library and Archive to highlight four Irish women whose lives were impacted by the First World War in very different ways.

The four women featured are Anna Haslam, Nora Guilfoyle (pictured right), Monica Roberts and Maeve Cavanagh.

The Conscription Crisis

Conscription CrisisThe Conscription Crisis – After Russia’s withdrawal from the First World War, Germany started an offensive on the western front in March 1918. The British Government subsequently introduced the Military Services Act in April 1918, extending conscription to every Irish male between the ages of 18 and 50. Most strands of Irish life vigorously opposed conscription, leading to a retreat from the British authorities some months later.

Na Fianna article by Countess Markieviecz – January 1916 Digital.libraries.dublincity.ie

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.

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