Fake Banknote Postcard

The postcard was part of a campaign to stop the destruction of the area around Bachelor's Walk.

The postcard was part of a campaign to stop the destruction of the area around Bachelor’s Walk.

In 1988, a group called Students Against the Destruction of Dublin produced these postcards for citizens to send the Taoiseach and Minister of the Environment to oppose the redevelopment of Bachelor’s Walk, which contains some of the most important early 18th Century houses in Dublin. At the time, buildings were being acquired by a development company, and the postcards urge the government to ensure that any development preserved the buildings.

On loan from Ian Lumley

Watch Ian Lumley discuss the significance of the postcard. 

Kennedy In Dublin by Keystone, 1963

JFK addresses The Dail

The visit of US President John F. Kennedy was seismic

It was a historic visit, not least because Kennedy, a young, dynamic Irish-American, had long made much of his Irish roots. Kennedy was mobbed by autograph hunters at a garden party held in his honour at the home of the President. His address to both houses of the Oireachtas on 28 June was a bravura performance; a sort of homecoming, as the Irish Times noted. During his speech, Kennedy described his heritage, made an attack on literary censorship and noted – to the delight of the assembled politicians – that Leinster House “does not inspire the brightest ideas.” Six months later he was killed in Dallas, Texas.

With thanks to Getty Images

Watch a video of President John F.Kennedy arriving at Dublin Airport:

Birth Certificate of Gavin Friday (Fionan Martin Hanvey), 1959

Fionan Martin Hanvey Birth Certificate

Gavin Friday is one of the more interesting artistic forces at work here today

Bono’s ‘Man Friday’ is no mere sycophant. A key influence on U2, his own music reveals a singular talent, and his oral account of growing up here, I Didn’t Come up the Liffey in a Bubble, was the most winning of Dublin memoirs. (This birth certificate was actually printed in 1992.)

With thanks to Gavin Friday

Watch an interview with Gavin Friday:

St. Stephen’s Green Garrison, 1916/1940s

Souvenir Placard

This somewhat gory souvenir placard recalls the aftermath of the Easter Rising

Michael Mallin’s garrison of 200 men was camped across the road in the Green during the Rising. (Countess Markiewicz was his second- in-command). The British forces made use of the high buildings surrounding the square to gain the upper hand on the rebels.

Each morning both sides halted fire in order to let the ducks in the Green be fed.

Eventually the rebels were forced to retreat to the Royal College of Surgeons on the other side of the Green. The casualties are remembered on this gory souvenir placard from the 1940s; as you can see, Mallin was executed for his part in the Rising.

Permanent Collection

Watch a documentary about the Easter Rising:

ESB Showroom 25 St. Stephen’s Green and advertisement, 1930s

Electricity Supply Board

Electricity brought Ireland into the twentieth century during the 1930s

It is arguable that the most positive decision made by the new Free State government was to build the Shannon Scheme. The project cost £5.5 million, which was about 20% of the government day to day expenditure at that time, and it involved the construction of Ardnacrusha Power Station. Critics of the scheme said it would be a White Elephant as the demand for electricity would never be sufficient to justify the project costs.

They were wrong. There was a huge growth in electricity sales from 43kWh hours in 1930 to 218kWh hours in 1937. ESB’s first showroom at 25 St. Stephens Green was part of the success story. Opening in 1929, it sold £315.6sh.8d worth of electrical equipment in its first week of business.

With thanks to the ESB

Watch a video about the history of Ardnacrusha:

The Art of Memory – James Hanley-Rha, 1940s

The Art of Memory

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

James Hanley-Rha deals with a key moment in 1940s Dublin – the bombing by German aircraft of the North Strand area of the city, where he lives and works. Whether accidental or otherwise, the killing of some 23 innocent Dubliners and significant destruction of property brought Nazi aggression to these neutral shores. He describes the event using an invented illustrated broadsheet, referencing how the events were told at the time, which includes his original artwork as well as photographs of the area.

With thanks to James Hanley-Rha

Watch an interview about the North Strand Bombing;

Postcards from the Easter Rising, 1916

Postcards from the Easter Rising, 1916

Dublin suffered a lot of damage during the rising

In ascending order (left): wrecked shops on Sackville Street, smoking ruins on the side of the Liffey, the shelled remnants of Liberty Hall (headquarters of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union). (Right): damaged buildings on Abbey Street, the remains of the Hotel Metropole and the General Post Office, and the scene on a Sackville Street corner.

Permanent Collection

Watch a documentary about the 1916 Easter Rising:

Evening Press, 1991

Evening Press Printing Plate

The Evening Press was a widely-read Dublin newspaper

 The Evening Press was the most popular evening newspaper in Ireland from 1954 to the mid-1990s, with sales at one point of 175,000 copies a day. It published nearly 10,000 cartoons by ‘Till’ (George O’Callaghan), the most prolific cartoonist in the world, and the early work of journalists Con Houlihan and Vincent Browne.

Aer Lingus London to Dublin Ad, 1960s

Aer Lingus viscount

Air Travel only became widespread in the second half of the twentieth century

Strange as it now seems, air travel was once perceived as a glamorous activity. This elegant poster advertises the Aer Lingus service between London and Dublin, costing £12. 18 for a return flight.

With thanks to Aer Lingus

Watch a vintage Aer Lingus advertisement:

HMS Dublin Flag, 1910s

Union Jack from HMS Dublin

This was the flag of the HMS Dublin

The Battle of Jutland was one of the key naval engagements of the First World War. HMS Dublin played a part in the battle, which was fought in 1916. The ship had been adopted by a committee of Dublin citizens and businessmen who raised funds to provide it with a band and other amenities.

When the ship was decommissioned in 1926, Dublin Chamber of Commerce was presented with its battle-scarred ensign – complete with Union Jack – and in turn the Chamber donated it to Christ Church, since when it has languished, unseen, in the cathedral crypt.

With thanks to Christ Church Cathedral

Watch the first part of a Battle of Jutland documentary: