Went into Dublin City today for a preliminary look around. Got tickets for the tourist bus to get a feel for where everything is and a good route to plan for a full sightseeing day. We’d set off quite late, so didn’t want to commit to too much. We had a very knowledgeable guide on the bus who gave us lots of information about the various buildings and the history of what we were looking at and this gave us some tips for things to see that we hadn’t thought about.
We got off the bus to have a look at St Stephens Green as that seemed a nice one to do for an afternoon. After all the Maeve Binchy I’ve read, I couldn’t miss a good look around St. Stephen’s Green, could I? It turned out to be an interesting and very informative visit as there are boards all around the Green telling the story of the 1916 Easter Uprising and what went on in the places we were standing. Fascinating. The photos relate largely to what we learnt about it all. We’ve not long watched the tv series Rebellion on Netflix, but now I’ve been and stood in all those places, I think I’d like to watch it again.
A bit of history first to put it all into context. From Wikipedia: The Easter Rising also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter week of April 1916. The Rising was launched by Irish Republicans to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic while the United Kingdom was heavily engaged in the First World War. It was the most significant uprising in Ireland since the rebellion of 1798 and the first armed action of the Irish revolutionary period.
That’s the Wikipedia bit finished – Me speaking now: from what we saw and read it comes across as a brave but foolhardy attempt by a group of largely unskilled, poorly armed volunteers – led by a schoolmaster and including 200 women ‘having a go’. 485 people were killed, 54% being civilians, 30% were British military and police and 16% were Irish rebels. More than 2,600 were injured and large parts of the city were left in ruins. They did their damnedest, but the ringleaders ended up getting shot for their pains.
The Summer House. This was used as a field kitchen in the days of the Rising:
The bandstand was used as a field hospital:
Some of the prominent women involved in the Rising:
Not a one of them looks remotely militant – or the fighting type, do they?
Margaret Skinnider was a 23 year old teacher, actually a Scot and involved in the women’s suffrage movement. She was the only female wounded in the action. The New York Times referred to her as ‘the schoolteacher turned sniper’. She was seriously injured and imprisoned but managed to escape while still undergoing medical treatment. She returned to her native Scotland. After further activism and a period of imprisonment, she returned to teaching until her retirement in 1961. She lived until 1971 and was buried next to Countess Markievicz.
Dr Kathleen Lynn was 42. She lived until 1955 and was buried with full military honours in recognition of her role in the Rising. Her personal diaries for the period are held by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland archive.
Madeleine ffrench Mullen was 36. Born in Malta in 1880, she was the daughter of a Royal Navy surgeon. She was interested in politics from a young age and was a close friend of Dr Kathleen Lynn. They were 2 of the 77 women who were imprisoned after the Rising. Between them, these 2 friends went on to establish the Saint Ultan’s Childrens’ hospital in Dublin which was a female-run hospital for infants. She died in a Dublin nursing home in 1944 aged 63 and is interred with her parents and younger brothers (whom she outlived) in Glasnevin cemetery.
Countess Markievicz, was 48. She was born Constance Georgine Gore-Booth at Buckingham Gate in London, the elder daughter of the Arctic explorer and adventurer Sir Henry Gore-Booth, 5th Baronet, an Anglo-Irish landlord who administered a 100 km2 (39 sq mi) estate, and Georgina, Lady Gore-Booth née Hill. A lifelong activist, she became the first woman elected to the British House of Commons in 1918, although she did not take her seat. She died at the age of 59 on 15th July 1927 from a complication of appendicitis. She had given away the last of her wealth and died in a public ward amongst the poor – where she wanted to be. Refused a state funeral by the Free State government, she was buried at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, and de Valera gave the funeral oration.
Sean O’Casey said of her: “One thing she had in abundance—physical courage; with that she was clothed as with a garment.”
The Gardener’s Lodge:
Today, the Green certainly looks to be well-used by the people of the city. Although it was quite a chilly day there were lots of people sitting and laying about on the grass, Mums and Dads with babies and young children, groups of friends, cyclists, shop and office workers eating their lunch on benches etc.
A couple more photos of the day:
The Duck Pond
Bust of James Joyce
Monument to the Fallen
Famine by Edward Delaney R.H.A.
And the amusing bits:
Looks like ‘the only way to go is straight ahead’!
And we found the smallest pub in the world and were even congratulated on having found it:
But, guess what? We found it closed!!