Posts from the �s’ category

Civil War Propaganda Photo, 1923

IRA stops soldier in the street

A Free State soldier is overpowered by an Irregular

This photo was taken during the Civil War. It shows an Irregular (a Free State term for Anti-Treaty) soldier in plain clothes capturing a Free State Soldier in uniform . The photo was used by the Anti-Treaty side for propaganda purposes and was probably staged.

Permanent Collection

Watch a clip from an RTE documentary about the Irish Civil War:

War News No. 3, 1922

War News no.3

Newsletter published by the Anti-Treaty forces at the start of the Civil War

The Anti-Treaty War News includes a report dated 29th of June: “The attack on the Four Courts… is a complete failure…Despite continuous heavy gun and rifle fire, the defences of the Four Courts are intact.”

In fact, shelling by the Free State Army, which began on the 28th of June and precipitated outright Civil War, brought about the surrender of the Anti-Treaty’s Dublin headquarters by midday on the 1st of July. Quite apart from the damage to one of Dublin’s finest buildings, the incident also saw the destruction of hundreds of years of Irish historical records.

Permanent Collection

The Tailteann Games by P. J. Lynch, 1920s

Taillteann Games

Depiction of the celebrations during the opening ceremony of the Tailteann Games

Ten of Ireland’s most accomplished artists have each produced a piece that reflects on some aspect of life in Dublin during the 20th Century

The celebrated illustrator P.J. Lynch took on the decade of the twenties, a period of civil war and economic hardship which was illuminated by the Tailteann Games.

These games were one of the attempts by the new government to foster a Celtic spirit in a newly free nation. Ancient imagery informed the event’s style and approach, which included sporting and artistic events across the city. Returning athletes from European-based Olympic games participated, raising the profile of the Tailteann Games which continued throughout the decade. Johnny Weismuller, Tarzan from the movies and an Olympic swimmer, participated in a swim in the Phoenix Park. P.J. depicts the opening ceremony in Croke Park.

With thanks to P. J. Lynch

Watch footage of scenes in Ireland in 1920:

Republic of Ireland Bond, 1920

Republic of Ireland bond

Republic of Ireland bond sold by Eamon de Valera

During the year and a half he spent crisscrossing the United States, Éamon de Valera used ‘republican bonds’ as a method of fundraising. Raising close to $6 million, the bonds were powerful tools, legitimising the Irish Republic in the eyes of people at home and abroad. However, after the Civil War the issue of whom the money belonged to would prove contentious. This $10 bond is dated January 21st 1920 and was issued to a Mrs. Goode.

With thanks to Johnnie Fox’s Pub

Watch an RTÉ  Documentary about the Irish Civil War:

Patrick Munden Election Poster, 1923


Election poster for Patrick Munden, who later represented Rathmines and Pembroke

Born in 1883 in Allahabad, Patrick Munden was the son of an officer in the Indian Army. A successful architect and engineer, Munden left his mark on Dublin, working on Grangegorman Mental Hospital as well as many churches. A member of the Irish Volunteers, he was involved in the Howth gun-running episode of 1914 and was later held in Dublin Castle during Easter 1916.

Munden would go on to represent Rathmines and Pembroke, but on this occasion he failed in a bid for the Dáil, finishing last of 20 candidates in Dublin South, with 0.57% of the vote.

With thanks to Stephen Stokes

Watch a documentary covering the period of 1914-1916 in Ireland:

The Dublin Stock Exchange, 1924

Dublin Stock Exchange

The Dublin Stock Exchange has been on Anglesea Street since the late 19th century

A composite work, this picture of its members was created by the famous Lafayette photography agency, which was given the title of Royal Photographer in Dublin during visits by Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V.

With thanks to the Gillman Collection

Watch a video about Ireland during the period 1921-1923, directly before this photo was taken:

Éamon de Valera in America, 1920

Dev photo

Colour photograph of Eamon de Valera in America, after he escaped from Kilmainham Gaol in the aftermath of the Easter Rising

This colour photograph was taken during Éamon de Valera’s 18-month trip to the United States which began in June 1919. He wanted official recognition of the Republic. He also hoped to dissuade the US Government from supporting British objectives in Ireland, and to raise much needed funds.

Failing on the first two counts, the trip was a success in financial terms, raising close to $6 million for the cause. But de Valera was no schmoozer: during the trip he fell out with prominent Irish-Americans John Devoy and Judge Daniel Cohalan.

With thanks to Will de Burca.

Listen to de Valera speaking at Kilmainham Goal:

Hilton Edwards by Harry Kernoff, 1928

Hilton Edwards by Harry Kernoff

Hilton Edwards, co-founder of the Gate theatre

Contrary to appearances, the Irish are not visually illiterate. This fine portrait of Hilton Edwards is by the Jewish artist Harry Kernoff.

In 1928 Edwards co- founded the Gate Theatre with Micheál MacLiammóir, who like Edwards was actually English. In the Gate they presented European plays in contrast to the Irish peasant fare at the Abbey. (The two theatres were written off as Sodom and Begorrah.) Edwards sat for this portrait in 1928, the year the Gate was founded.

With thanks to Don Buckley

Watch some clips of Micheál MacLiammóir acting:

Letter from the Archbishop of Dublin, 1928

Archbishop letter

Letter from the Archbishop of Dublin outlining the reasons Catholics were not allowed to attend Trinity College Dublin

In his letter to Chief Justice Hugh Kennedy, Archbishop of Dublin Edward Byrne reaffirms the Catholic Church’s prohibition on Catholics entering Trinity College Dublin. The Archbishop explains: “How the authorities of any Catholic school can, in the face of their conscientious obligations, encourage their pupils to risk their soul’s salvation in Trinity College is to me an absolutely insoluble puzzle.”

To which the people of Dublin responded with a limerick:
Young men may loot, perjure and shoot,
And even have carnal knowledge,
But however depraved,
Their souls will be saved,
If they don’t go to Trinity College.

Permanent Collection

Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, 1922


Michael Collins – portrait by John Lavery

These famous portraits of Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith by Sir John Lavery were painted during the Civil War. Collins and Griffith were members of the delegation that signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921.

Arthur Griffith

The Treaty did not provide full independence from Britain, Northern Ireland would remain part of the UK and an oath to the King would have to be sworn by all members of the Dáil.

The Civil War broke out, which the anti-Treaty side eventually lost. Collins and Griffith were both dead by the end of the war – Collins killed in an ambush in Beal na mBlath, Griffith succumbing to heart failure.

With thanks to Michael Maughan

Arthur Griffith – portrait by John Lavery

Watch a video about the Anglo-Irish Peace Treaty: