Tour Guides of Kilmainham Gaol call the prison “the labour ward of the modern Irish state”. After taking the tour its hard to argue with this statement. This week alone marks the 130th anniversary of the Kilmainham treaty which saw the release of Parnell an event that effectively ended The Land War while 96 years ago the prison witnessed the execution of the leaders of the 1916 rebellion. The prison incarcerated many key figures from the last two hundred years of Irish history and politics. Rebels from the 1798 and 1803 rebellions spent their final hours in Kilmainham awaiting execution while thousands passed through the prison on their way to serve long sentences in Australia. During the Land War many activists were held here while those found guilty of the phoenix park murders were hung in the prison yard. The 20th century saw rebels from the 1916 rebellion and the war of independence held in Kilmainham, while the last executions in the gaol were after independence during the civil war.
Archive for the ‘18th century’ Category
Posted in 1798 rebellion, 1867 rebellion, 18th century, 19th century, Dublin history, fenians, historical tours, IRA, IRB, Irish history, Michael Davitt, transportation, War of Independence, tagged 1916 rebellion, Kilmainham Gaol on May 2, 2012 | 1 Comment »
In 1870 William Kinsella, a man regarded to be one of the last survivors of the 1798 rebellion died. Kinsella lived most of his life in Castlecomer, a mining town in North Kilkenny.
Although difficult to prove at the time he was most likely the last survivor of the rebellion. His life was extraordinary. He not only survived the brutal repression that followed the rebellion but also a recession in the 1820′s and 30′s that saw 1.5 million emigrate and then the famine.
According to local lore Kinsella came to Castlecomer with rebels from Wexford when they pushed North under the leadership of Myles Byrne and Fr John Murphy. Although they took the Castlecomer in June 1798 they were driven out. However the 23 yr old Kinsella stayed behind during the retreat. 72 years later when he died his past was not forgotten and an elaborate tombstone was erected in Castlecomer cemetery.
The inscription reads on the tombstone reads
Those who admired his sterling patriotic qualities
To the memory of William Kinsella
One of the last survivors of those who participated
in the struggle of 98
He died 11 nov 1870
Posted in 18th century, 19th century, 20th Century, Dublin, historical tours, Irish history, tagged Blacqueire Bridge, Broadstone, Canals, Fosters Aqueduct, Midlands and Great Western, Phibsboro on February 17, 2011 | 11 Comments »
In the 19th century Broadstone was one of the most well known areas of Dublin, however very few people even know where it is today. From 1817 this area was home to one of the major transport hubs in 19th century Dublin, containing a major railway station and a canal harbour. This area rose and fell in prominence among Dubliners as new forms of transport came and went.
The aqueduct and canal that once linked the site to the Royal canal are gone almost without a trace and what was a glorious Neo-Egyptian railway station (left) is now a bus depot and garage badly in need of repair. After digging around I found some sketches and photo’s illustrating what the area was like in its heyday over a century ago.
Posted in 18th century, 19th century, 20th Century, Civil war, Dublin, IRA, ireland, Irish history, War of Independence, tagged Arthur Griffith, Lord Nelson, Michael Collins, millenium Clock, Nelsons Pillar, Sean Russell, Time in the Slime, William Of Orange on February 7, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
5.The Time in the Slime (the river Liffey)
Back in the late 1990’s when Ireland’s economy started to grow for the first time in centuries the government, instead of building schools and hospitals, decided Dublin needed a clock in the river Liffey that counted down to the millennium. Officially called “The Millennium Clock”, it was dubbed “The time in the slime”. It took the shape of a massive digital clock counting down to the Jan 1st 2000, in case anyone forgot about the most publicised event in history.
Any clock submerged in a river needs to be waterproof and correctly able to count time. This clock could do neither – it leaked and got the time wrong and was eventually removed to the comforts of a warehouse where it counted down the millennium in peace free from rusty bicycles and traffic cones.
1741, “The Year of Slaughter” (Bliadhain an Air) was one of the most tragic events in post-medieval Irish history. Although this famine has been overshadowed by the famine of 1845-1851 it was equally destructive. In fact it killed a greater percentage of the population in a shorter period of time. Although often attributed to “natural causes” a closer look reveals the suffering could have been alleviated.