Dublin still bears the scars of the 1916 Easter Rising battle almost 100 years later
The GPO, The Shelbourne Hotel and other spots were battlegrounds in 1916
Nearly a century has passed since Ireland’s monumental 1916 Easter Uprising took place on the streets of Dublin. Today, the city still bears many of the scars as a result of the fighting between the Irish and British.
TheJournal.ie shared the expertise from author and Irish military historian Paul O’Brien, and senior lecturer at UCD’s School of Archaeology, Dr Joanna Brück, about the physical scars left by the 1916 Rising in Dublin.
The uprising began on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916. It was on that day that seven Irishmen proclaimed the establishment of the Irish Republic, with themselves as its government, attempting to break away from British rule.
Involved were the Irish Volunteers, led by Pádraig Pearse, the much smaller Irish Citizen Army, led by James Connolly, and members of Cumann na mBan.
The Irish force numbered around 1,600 people and occupied buildings around Dublin’s city centre, buildings that still hold the physical proof of the fighting that is nearly a century passed.
The week-long uprising cost about 1,500 - mostly civilian - lives, and left another 2,000 wounded. It also left its mark upon many spots around Dublin which are still palpable today.
Mount Street bridge and Northumberland Road
O’Brien says that, “One of the biggest battles of the rising happened on that road.
“25 Northumberland Road was occupied by Lt Michael Malone of the Irish Volunteers. The schoolhouse was occupied by another group of volunteers as well.”
The old schoolhouse is still standing today, but has since been converted into The Schoolhouse hotel and restaurant.
The battle there occurred when members of the British 59th North Midlands Division ran into 17 volunteers who were positioned on that street. 214 British soldiers met their deaths.
“They had them in cross fire – the British didn’t know what direction they were coming from or what position the Irish had,” explained O’Brien. “That battlefield is still there bar one building that was burnt down and is now an office block.”
St. James Hospital
While most of the hospital in Dublin 8 is new today, the area around it was the site of “fierce battles,” according to O’Brien.
“It was known as the South Dublin Union. It was a workhouse for the impoverished people. A man called Eamonn Ceannt was one of the Irish Volunteers and occupied the workhouse.
“The battlefield and the majority of the buildings are still there within the modern complex. You can see the nurse’s home; the convent is still there,” said O’Brien.
The Four Courts Area
“A lot of it was damaged or destroyed in the civil war – in relation to 1916, many battles took place in streets and alleyways behind the Four Courts,” said O’Brien. The area now is mostly new and rebuilt.