Launch of ‘The Mansion House and the Irish Revolution/Teach an Ardmhéara agus Réabhlóid na hÉireann’

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, will launch an important book about the Mansion House in the Oak Room on Thursday 11 April at 6.00 p.m.  ‘The Mansion House and the Irish Revolution/Teach an Ardmhéara agus Réabhlóid na hÉireann’ is a bi-lingual history by Mícheál Mac Donncha and reveals the important place that the mayoral residence had during this transformative period between 1912 and 1923.

The author notes: ‘Having researched this book I realised that the Mansion House was even more central to the events of 1912 to 1923 than I had suspected. And it was seen as such at the time. People looked to it as a place where debate took place and ideas and leadership emerged. For example, I had not been aware that, in common with many ordinary homes throughout Ireland, the Mansion House was raided and damaged on several occasions by British crown forces during the War of Independence.’

That the First Dáil held its inaugural meeting in the Round Room on 21 January 1919 is well-known but so many more significant events also took place in the Mansion House.  When the Irish political prisoners were released in 1917 it was to the Mansion House that they marched; in 1918 the Mansion House was the centre of resistance to the British Government’s attempt to force conscription on Ireland; and the Truce between the IRA and the British forces, which ended the War of Independence in July 1921, was signed in the Mansion House.  And supporting this was the low-key figure of Laurence O’Neill, an independent nationalist and Lord Mayor of Dublin from 1917 to 1924, whose strategy of supporting the cause of Irish freedom, while still keeping an eye on Dublin Castle, enabled the mayoral residence to house so many republican events.

The Lord Mayor is impressed by a quotation from Laurence O’Neill, who was speaking in the Mansion House in 1918:

‘We are in the freest spot upon earth and from time to time there met within the portals of the Mansion House people of different degrees – socially, politically and perhaps morally. Indeed, on the flag outside might be inscribed the legend that the Mansion House is ‘the Home of Civil and Religious Liberty.’