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The 1916 insurrection in the Liberties

category dublin | history and heritage | opinion/analysis author Thursday February 23, 2006 15:46author by Andrew - WSM - 1st of Mayauthor email wsm_ireland at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

The area in and around the Liberties and Portobello was the site of several rebel outposts during the 1916 insurrection and saw some of the fiercest fighting. The main rebel force under Ceannt was based in the South Dublin Union (now roughly St James Hospital) but there were also outposts in the Mendicity Institute (Ushers quay), Jamesons distillary (Marrowbone lane), Watkins brewery (Ardee st) and Jacobs biscuit factory.


In the fierce fighting at South Dublin Richard O’Reilly was one of first casualties on rebel side, another brother was also in the SDU but two further brothers were in the British army. His brother later observed, “That day there were two of us fighting for England, two of us against”. Heavy fighting also took place at the Mendicity Institute. On the other hand the rebels in Marrowbone lane were bypassed by the British and it is claimed they were even able to stage a ceile.

A humorous side of the rising is found in the Citizen Army group sent to seize a delaying position at Portobello Bridge to allow fortifications to be constructed in the centre. They were led a James Joyce who worked in Davys’ bar near Portobello bridge, the bar was to be used as the outpost. When his unit burst in the bar owner gave Joyce one weeks notice but Joyce then told Davy he had five minutes to get out.

A discussion on 1916 and republicanism will be taking place at the Anarchist bookfair in St Myras hall on March 4th as part of a series of events the WSM is organising around the 90th anniversary of the rising. Contact us for more details of these.

Related Link: http://struggle.ws/wsm/environment.html
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