Brought to you by Dublin City Libraries and axis Ballymun, this multi-platform project is a celebration and a recognition of the city libraries and throughout the pandemic, we re-discovered the power of literature, music, art and culture as sources of entertainment and wellbeing.
21st November 2020 is the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a day of extreme violence when thirty-two people were killed in single day in Dublin city. To mark the centenary of this important day in our history, Dublin City Libraries has created a commemorative programme.
Last 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.Above: Eoin Ó Dochartaigh speaking at the launch of his edited book 'Essays by an Irish Rebel: revolution, politics and culture', at the Mansion House in May 2019.The launch inspired me to read 'Insurrection Memories 1916', a complimentary volume described by historian Owen Dudley-Edwards as ‘a rich memory of a great man’. This personal account of the Easter Rising was first published in Irish in 1951 as 'Cuimhní Cinn'. In 2014 Fran O’Brien, the author’s grand-niece, translated the work into English and published it as a bilingual volume. Two years later, to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, Ó Dochartaigh then brought out a new translation. Like 'Essays by an Irish Rebel', this was published by Ardcrú Books in Galway.Above: Undated postcard showing the entrance to St. Stephen's Green Park. Courtesy of Dublin City Library & Archive. [PCV04-90] Access over 40,000 images and postcards in the Dublin City Libraries and Archive Digital Repositary .'Insurrection Memories 1916' is an intimate account of what Liam Ó Briain observed while participating in the Easter Rising. The book begins in 1914, with Ó Briain returning to Ireland after spending three years studying on the continent (mostly Germany). Joining the Irish Volunteers, Ó Briain also became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood the following year and went on to take part in the Easter Rising. As a member of F. Company of the First Battalion of the Volunteers, Ó Briain had been scheduled to join the Four Courts garrison under the command of Ned Daly. However, after getting waylaid carrying out messages for Eoin MacNeill on the morning of Easter Monday, he found himself instead spontaneously joining the Stephen’s Green garrison with his friend Harry Nicholls.During the Rising Ó Briain impressed Captain Bob de Couer of the Irish Citizen Army enough to be promoted to the rank of Corporal. Afterwards he was among those imprisoned in Wandsworth Common prison in London until late June, and Frongoch Camp in North Wales until Christmas 1916 (which he later described as ‘the best university’ he ever attended). Ó Briain stood as a Sinn Fein candidate in Armagh during the 1918 General Election and was imprisoned in Galway during the War of Independence. A native of Dublin, he would go on to serve as Professor of Romance Languages at University College Galway from 1918 to 1959.Above: Photograph of the College of Surgeons taken after the Easter Rising to show 'where Countess Markievicz surrendered'. Courtesy of Dublin City Library & Archive. [BOR F34-18]Blog Post by: Dr. James Curry, Historian in Residence, North West Area.
This week I have had the great pleasure of visiting Massachusetts and presenting a paper at the annual national meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies held in Boston. It was my second time attending such a gathering, having also presented a paper on Dublin poet Maeve Cavanagh MacDowell two years ago, when ACIS met in Kansas City, Missouri. This time around I spoke about the life of Dora Maguire, another woman who happened to be profiled in R. M. Fox’s 1935 book of essays Rebel Irishwomen.Whereas the likes of Maud Gonne and Countess Markievicz became legends in their own lifetimes, Dora Maguire (1889-1931) was perhaps the most obscure of Fox’s dozen ‘Rebel Irishwomen’. A friend of the author, she died aged forty-one in February 1931 after years of ill-health. During my paper I spoke about Maguire’s upbringing in England and the north of Ireland, time spent in Blackburn and London during the First World War (when she worked as a nurse and developed suppressed diphtheria and tuberculosis), decision to move to Ireland around the time of the War of Independence, and employment at St. Ultan’s Children’s Hospital in Ranelagh during the 1920s.I then focused at length on her arrest in 1925 over an incident at the Princess Cinema in Rathmines. Evolving into an ardent republican during her adulthood, Maguire was indignant at the time about the screening across Dublin of short films concerning the Prince of Wales’ recent dominion tour of South Africa. Entering the “Prinner” – as the Princess Cinema was known to locals – on 6th August 1925 with an inkpot hidden on her person, Maguire stood up and hurled her makeshift missile over the heads of the theatre orchestra as soon as the offending picture was shown, causing considerable damage to the screen and generating newspaper headlines.Surviving foyer plaque from the Princess Cinema, the scene of Dora Maguire's arrest in August 1925. Known locally as "The Prinner", the cinema closed its doors in 1960 and was demolished in 1982 (Photograph courtesy of Carol Dunne, Dublin City Libraries).This incident is the focus of The Spirit of Dora Maguire, an historical comic strip by Dublin artist Aidan J Collins. Some artwork from this creation, which came about in 2018 following a talk I gave in Dublin on Maguire’s life the previous year, can be seen below:Blueprint still from an animated video by Aidan J Collins. This is based on one of the panels from his 2018 historical comic strip The Spirit of Dora Maguire (Courtesy of Aidan J Collins).On Monday 20th May 2019 I will be teaming up with Maeve Casserly (Historian in Residence, South East Area) for a joint talk about Dora Maguire and St. Ultan’s Children’s Hospital at Rathmines Public Library. The event starts at 6:30pm and all are welcome to attend.Dr. James Curry, Historian in Residence, North West Area.Dublin City Council Historians in Residence are available to meet groups and schools, give talks, walks etc, run history book clubs and advise on historical research.
In April and May of 2017 Dolphin's Barn Library hosted a series of workshops where young historians learned how to combine research, storytelling, drawing and digital animation to tell a tale from Irish history.Expert facilitators included historian Conor Kostick and author and illustrator Alan Nolan. The result is this exciting video set in Dublin 1920.
John 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". John's brother Charles was also a Volunteer and was involved in fighting in the South Dublin Union. Returning to the family residence on Nicholas Place following the Rising Charles met with a neighbour who sympathised with him on the death of his brother. Until that moment Charles had not been aware of his brother's fate.Here Dermot tells the story of the night of 29 April 1916 when John O’Grady died.There is a memorial to John O'Grady in St James Graveyard where he is buried. The old St James' Church is now the Pearse Lyons Distillery.Image: John O'Grady's wife Josephine O'Grady (née Gray) and mother Ellen O'Grady at his grave at St James' Church, Thomas Street. Photo: Dermot Hogan. Further readingMurphy, Sean J. 1916 Rebel John J O'Grady Buried in St James's Graveyard, Dublin. https://ucd.academia.edu/SeanMurphy.Jacob's Biscuit Factory and the 1916 Rising. Lisa McCarthy, Eneclann, Project Contract Archivist.
What a memorable year it has been! It being the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Dublin City Council has been proud to support and enable the Ireland 2016 state programme of formal commemorative events that took place in Dublin during this past year. The "Dublin Remembers 1916-2016: Is Cuimhin Linn programme" programme presented a series of lectures, talks by expert historians, exhibitions and conferences in Dublin libraries, City Hall, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and other venues in the city throughout the year.Within Dublin City Council the Commemorations Committee, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Dublin City Public Libraries & Archive, the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Office, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, the Arts Office, Richmond Barracks, Events, Planning, the Heritage Office, City Hall, Community and Social Development, Environment and Transport, Parks, Dublin Fire Brigade, all contributed to this extraordinary project. The programme received the highest accolade on the 24th November at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards when the City Council won the “Commemorations and Centenaries 2016” award (image on left).View the video shorts below of some of the highlight events of the year. From Dublin City Public Libraries on Vimeo.Below are just a few images of events throughout the year, click each to view larger versions. Be sure to visit the Decade of Commemorations page during 2017 to be kept informed of events to come.
At the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards last night Dublin City Council won the “Commemorations and Centenaries 2016” award for its Dublin Remembers 1916-2016: Is Cuimhin Linn programme. Dublin City Public Libraries staff were delighted to accept the reward on behalf of all sections and colleagues in Dublin City Council who made the centenary year of the 1916 Rising in the capital such a memorable one. Within Dublin City Council the Commemorations Committee, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, the Arts Office, Richmond Barracks, Events, Planning, the Heritage Office, City Hall, Community and Social Development, Environment and Transport, Parks, Dublin Fire Brigade all contributed to this extraordinary and award-winning project.It was a privilege to work on this project - we unveiled plaques, curated exhibitions, hosted drama and music sessions, held talks, walks and films, funded community groups to celebrate history, facilitated the national Ireland 2016 initiatives, dressed the city for the ceremonial parade at Easter, dressed in costume for Reflecting the Rising on Easter Monday, published books, refurbished buildings and so much more this year in libraries, community spaces and on the streets of the capital. And at the end of it all, we have gathered documentation and photos to ensure that the city’s archives have a record for posterity of this momentous year in our history. Tara Doyle, Senior Librarian, Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive
"Dublin Remembers 1916" has been an extensive series of lectures, talks by expert historians, exhibitions and conferences in Dublin libraries, City Hall, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and other venues in the city throughout 2016.
On 1 October 1916, just five months after the Rising, Ireland relinquished its individual time zone and adopted Greenwich Mean Time. With the introduction of daylight saving and the end of summertime that year Dublin’s time was aligned to that of London.Right: Time (Ireland) Act 1916 (click to view larger image)For 36 years Ireland’s time was set on the longitude of Dunsink Observatory, and was 25 minutes 21 seconds later than Greenwich. This had implications for trade and commerce, as well as communications and travel. Up to the late 19th century time was not standardised and each area set its own clocks. The Time Act of 1880 established Greenwich Mean Time for Great Britain and Dublin Mean Time for Ireland.The Time (Ireland) Act 1916, which came into effect on the night of 30 September 1 October as all clocks were put back 35 minutes, streamlined the time zones, and Ireland adopted Western European Time, set on the Greenwich meridian. Many in the nationalist movement saw this as a further erosion of Ireland’s ability to make decisions for itself. However, after Independence, the question of the time zone was not revisited. With this act Ireland was brought into the standardised time zones which were effective across Europe.About The Reading RoomThe Reading Room is located on the first floor, Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. It is open from 10am to 8pm Monday to Thursday and from 10am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday, and does not close for lunch. A Research Card is available, please enquire at the Issue Desk.
Thousands took to the streets on a glorious Easter Monday in March to remember the 1916 Rising. Dublin City Council was in Smithfield Square with library staff and the Dublin Fire Brigade. We unveiled the Learning Bus with its retro-fit Edwardian parlour, author Lia Mills was on hand to promote “Fallen” the One City One Book choice for 2016 and we were serenaded by the Drum and Pipe band from the Dublin Fire Brigade. Re-enactors from both sides, 1916 Rising rebels and First World War troops, joined us to talk to people about their uniforms and kit.Watch the wonderful video below. And look out for one of the library staff acting the part of a newsboy!Reflecting the Rising, Smithfield, Easter Monday 2016 from Dublin City Public Libraries on Vimeo.This look back over some of the events commemorating the 1916 Rising is also a reminder that there are events still to come, most notably the Dublin Festival of History (23 September to the 8 October 2016) and the many 1916-related events included in its extensive programme.