Thanks for bearing with us as we work to resolve teething problems with our new online system. Your library service now has its own online catalogue where you can search and reserve items and log in and manage your account. The online catalogue for Dublin City members is https://dublincity.spydus.ie
Jane Flanagan was from Munster Street in Phibsborough. Born in 1878, she remembered as a young girl following the cortege of Charles Stewart Parnell to Glasnevin. Flanagan’s family had moved to Phibsborough from Balbriggan when her father Laurence, a carpenter, had worked on the refurbishment of St. Peter’s Church. While she was working as teacher at St. Francis Xavier’s school near Dorset Street during 1899 Jane joined the Gaelic League. Thereafter she used the first name ‘Sinead.’The Emerald Ring by Sinead de Valera.Flanagan joined Inghínidhe na hÉireann, one of the first nationalist women’s organizations. She also acted in Irish language plays and taught the language to beginners, among them Seán T. O’Kelly, Ernest Blythe and Eamon de Valera. She met de Valera in 1909 and they spent that summer at an Irish college in Co. Mayo. They married in January 1910. By 1916 they had three children and were living in Morehampton Road. Sinead was pregnant when de Valera took over command of the 3rd Battalion area on Easter Sunday. She then moved back to her family home in Phibsborough, where she gave birth to a son, Ruaidhrí in November 1916 while her husband was in prison. It was an extremely tough period for her. Her sister Mary died of cancer in June 1916 and her mother Margaret became seriously ill and died in January 1917. Her father was also in bad health. Sinead’s daughter Mairin de Valera recalled how her mother ‘had no income, and she had to leave our home and return to live with her parents, brother and sisters … my grandparents were very old and both were semi-invalids. My eldest aunt was living with them and was suffering from a very painful form of cancer…. my mother had to undertake all the work of nursing her, as well as the housework, cooking and care of the babies…my elder aunt died in August 1916, by brother Ruairi was born in November that year and my grandmother died in January 1917.’When Eamon de Valera was released from prison in June that year he moved to Sinead’s home for a period, during which he became a national figure. Sinead however, despite her own role in her husband's political development, remained very much in the background looking after their seven children during de Valera’s long periods of absence over the next six years. AboutThis article is one in a series created by Dr Brian Hanley, Historian-in-Residence at Dublin City Library & Archive @DubHistorians
Eamon de Valera was one of the republican prisoners who arrived back in Dublin to a tumultuous welcome on 21 June 1917. Already popularly known as one of the most senior veterans of the Rising, he became a nationwide personality when elected as MP for East Clare on 10 July 1917. At this point de Valera was living in Phibsborough, at the family home of his wife Sinead.Image: "Irish Rebellion, May 1916. Ed. de Valera (Commandant of the Ringsend Area) Sentenced to Death; sentence commuted to Penal Servitude for life." (see larger version)Very soon Dublin Castle was anxious to detain him. Eamon Broy was a detective with ‘G’ Division, but had been undergoing a conversion to republican politics. He recalled how on 14 August, 1917, ‘a warrant arrived the Detective Office, 1 Great Brunswick St … Detective Sergeant Fagan and I were the only officers present … we were ordered to arrest de Valera, who was stated to be residing at 34, Munster St., Phibsborough. We were told not to enquire for him at that house, for fear he might happen to be absent and our calling there might put him on his guard.’ Broy spent the journey to Phibsborough ‘trying to think of some means of warning de Valera of the intended arrest.’ He remembered that ‘an Irish Volunteer named Peadar Healy who participated in the 1916 Rising lived at 86, Phibsborough Road, but all I could do was to note where No. 86 was situated in case I might find myself alone for a couple of minutes in order to go there and warn Healy.’ Instead Broy waited until the detective accompanying him went to Mountjoy police station. He then sprinted down to No. 86 and while ‘Peadar Healy was absent from his house … his brother was in. I told him who and what I was, and that de Valera was about to be arrested. I asked him to warn de Valera in case the latter wished to evade arrest. I sprinted back and, on turning in to the North Circular Road, met Detective Sergeant Revell, who was stationed in the “political” office in the Castle and lived in the Phibsborough area.’ Broy feared that Revell, known for his loyalist politics, would question him about what he was doing but luckily he accepted his explanation. Meanwhile Broy noted that soon ‘de Valera could not be observed anywhere by the detectives, who remarked that it was strange that he could be seen every day before the warrant was issued.’ By the winter de Valera was an even more prominent figure, president of the newly republican Sinn Féin party and of the reorganized Irish Volunteers. Broy, meanwhile was continuing his work as a detective while looking for ways to aid the republican movement. AboutThis article is one in a series created by Dr Brian Hanley, Historian-in-Residence at Dublin City Library & Archive @DubHistorians
Harry Boland, a tailor, originally from Phibsborough, but living in Clontarf was 30 years of age in 1917. He had been prominent in the GAA as a member of the Dublin hurling team and county chairman and was a member of the IRB and the Irish Volunteers. During Easter Week he fought in the GPO and was sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in the Rising.
Citizens in Conflict #8. In 1916 the Dublin Harbour constituency was represented at Westminster by Alfred (Alfie) Byrne MP. Dublin Harbour contained Mountjoy Ward, North Dock Ward, Rotunda Ward, (except a portion in the College Green constituency) and the portion of South Dock ward north of a line drawn along the centre of Great Brunswick Street. It also included the portion of Trinity Ward lying north of a line drawn along the centre of Great Brunswick street and the towns of Ringsend and Irishtown as well as sections of Beggar’s Bush. About 8,000 men had the vote in the constituency.Until his death in 1915 the local MP was William Abraham, aged 73, who lived in London, though originally from Limerick. Abraham’s background was in the Land League and he had been associated with craft unions in the 1880s, but those days were long behind him. Harbour contained a very large working-class population and trade unionist William O’Brien suggested that it was the ‘best Labour seat in Dublin and win it we must.’ James Connolly was suggested as a candidate. However Connolly declined to run and instead three nationalists contested the seat. Pierce O’Mahony, an old Parnellite, was one of the very few Home Rule MPs to have associated with the workers in 1913. Alfie Byrne, on the other hand, was the owner of the Verdon Bar, at 37 Talbot Street and a city councillor. He lived on the North Strand. and had been caricatured by Jim Larkin in the Irish Worker as ‘Alf Bung’ a man who entertained ‘slum landlords, scabs, prostitutes’ bullies … Hibs, Orangemen…the brothel-keeper (and) the white slaver’ in his pub. But Byrne won the election by 2,200 votes to O’Mahony’s 917. O’Mahony had strongly supported John Redmond and recruitment, while Byrne had opposed conscription, war-taxes and the war effort in general. He had shared anti-conscription platforms with James Connolly among others. The result is an indication that anti-war feeling was growing in Dublin.Image above: "Councillor Thos. Lawler and Alderman A. Byrne, who were before the firing line on Sunday and helped the wounded." Irish Independent, 29 July 1914 reporting on the shooting of three civilians at Bachelor's Walk on 26 July 2014, in the wake of the Howth gun-running (click to view larger image)The make up of a protest meeting in September 1915 at the Phoenix Park, shows the extent of cooperation between the various elements. Among those in attendance were Byrne, Thomas Farren president of the Trades Council, veteran separatist Henry Dixon, Sinn Féin’s Tom Kelly, The O’Rahilly, Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, James Connolly, feminist Hannah Sheehy-Skefffington, Piaras Beasley of the Volunteers and Larry Ginnell MP, nationalist MP for Meath.After the Rising Byrne involved himself in campaigning for prisoners, visiting internees in Britain as Cumann na mBan activist Brigid Foley remembered ‘we were entertained to lunch by Alfie Byrne in the House of Commons and to tea-with strawberries and cream- at Lyons’ Corner House. He came to the station with us and loaded us down with boxes of chocolates.’Nevertheless in 1918 Byrne lost his seat to Sinn Féin’s Phil Shanahan. However after independence he would have a long career in both local and national politics.AboutThis article is one in a series created by Dr Brian Hanley, historian-in-residence at Dublin City Library & Archive, to coincide with the exhibition 'Citizens in Conflict: Dublin 1916 / Éirí Amach sa Chathair: Baile Átha Cliath 1916', running at Dublin City Library & Archive from January to June 2016.Dublin Remembers 1916 Programme of Events | Hashtag: #Dublin1916
Citizens in Conflict #7. On paper there were nearly 3,000 British troops in Dublin on Easter Monday. But in reality the authorities were not prepared for immediate action. On Easter Sunday, only 400 British troops in Dublin were in ‘immediate readiness’ for action; 100 at each main barracks and a guard of six at Dublin Castle. Many officers were at the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, while the commander of forces in Ireland, Major-General Friend, in London. His deputy Colonel H.V. Cowan, had a total of 2,385 men available, including those at races or on a day’s leave.Apart from 6th Cavalry Reserve regiment at Marlborough Barracks, every unit in the city was part of an Irish regiment. The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment was at Richmond Barracks, the 10th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers at the Royal Barracks, 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles at Portobello Barracks. It was the 5th Royal Irish Lancers from Marlborough Barracks shot at in O’Connell Street.Image right: Postcard. "Irish Rebellion, May, 1916. Searching a hay-cart for rebels or ammunition." From Dublin City Library & Archive, Birth of the Republic Collection (click to view larger image)But once it became clear that serious trouble was in the offing, the military authorities suspended all civilian traffic on the Great Southern and Western Line. Between 1.17 and 5.30pm special trains brought 3,000 men from the Curragh to Dublin - all from Irish regiments. The Royal Irish Regiment were in action around the South Dublin Union, as were the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.However in the 3rd Battalion area on the southside most of the fighting was with regiments landed from Dún Laoghaire, particularly the Sherwood Foresters. The exception was units from the territorial ‘G.R.s’ who were confronted near Beggar’s Bush on Easter Monday.During the Rising Irish units of British Army suffered approximately 29 fatalities and 93 wounded, out of a total of 103 British Army fatalities and 93 wounded. Image above: Postcard. "Sinn Fein Rebellion, 1916. Sackville Street, Dublin." From Dublin City Library & Archive, Birth of the Republic Collection (click to view larger image)Browse and search the Birth of the Republic Collection online.AboutThis article is one in a series created by Dr Brian Hanley, historian-in-residence at Dublin City Library & Archive, to coincide with the exhibition 'Citizens in Conflict: Dublin 1916 / Éirí Amach sa Chathair: Baile Átha Cliath 1916', running at Dublin City Library & Archive from January to June 2016.Dublin Remembers 1916 Programme of Events | Hashtag: #Dublin1916