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 ‘War of Independence’ 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 »
Imagine how our understanding of the Norman invasion of Ireland might change if we had footage of Strongbow entering Dublin in 1170 or what we might think of Brian Boru if we had footage of his burial at Armagh in 1014. These comparisons highlight the role that film footage will play as we construct the history of the late 19th and 20th centuries. While film is as biased as any other source it gives an unique insight into past societies. There are numerous free film clips online about Irish history but here’s five clips i think are really fascinating and informative….. (more…)
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.
“for dusting the flies off the peelers on hot summer days” was The Irish Republican Sean Treacy’s, reply to a question, asking him why he had a machine gun, as recalled in the Irish Press in 1939. Treacy was killed in Dublin in 1920. I found this article filed away in an old copy of hamlet that was untouched for years. It is a fascinating social and political window into Ireland in 1939.
I don’t have time myself (podcast number three is on the way) to write a full article on it so I decided I would put it up and see what everyone else thinks. I’m really interested in other people’s opinions on it. Below is my initial opinion followed by the transcript of the entire article