Palmerstown: A Day in the Life, 1916


There’s lots going on for Palmerstown’s 1916 Commemorative events which are taking place in Palmerstown Parish Centre on Sunday 6th March.

  • 1916 Exhibition – an exhibition on 1916 memorabilia (documents, medals and many other artefacts) by Dublin Brigade Irish Volunteer History Group (dressed in 1916 uniforms)
  • Stories of 1916 Relatives – Talk to residents of Palmerstown about the participation of their parents, grandparents and other relatives, in the Rising.
  • Local Schools’ 1916 Projects – St. Lorcán’s. St. Brigid’s & Stewart’s.
  • 1:00 pm – Unveiling of 1916 Commemorative Plaque at the Coach House, followed by Flag Raising Ceremony at the Parish Centre, including reading of Foróga na Poblachta (Proclamation of the Republic).
  • 1916 Kitchen – Sample authentic Dublin Coddle and Gur Cake as you wander through time to view the historic exhibits.

Join in and add to the atmosphere by dressing up in 1916 costumes!

Palmerstown Parish Centre, 1:00-6:00 pm, Sunday 6th March 2016.

1916 Rising Talks in South Dublin Libraries

As part of South Dublin County Council’s 1916 Centenary Programme, South Dublin Libraries will host a series of lectures on the subject of the 1916 Rising. All events are free.

Aerial View of the GPO after the Rising

Aerial View of the GPO after the Rising

Tuesday 9th February 2016 at 7:00 p.m. County Library, Tallaght

Roger Casement – a talk on the life of Roger Casement by barrister and historian John McGuiggan. All welcome.

Monday 22nd February 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Ballyroan Library

The Women of the Rising  – a talk by historian and author Liz Gillis. All welcome

Saturday 27th February 2016 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tallaght Stadium

Paths To Freedom – a day long conference aimed at explaining the many “shades of green” that existed in the run-up to the Easter Rising. Speakers include Myles Dungan, Joe Duffy, Elizabeth Gillis, Caitriona Crowe and Turtle Bunbury. Booking essential. For further details and booking see:

Tuesday 8th March 2016 at 7:00 p.m. County Library, Tallaght

Josie: A Brief Flame – To mark International Women’s Day, Micheál Ó Doibilín will give a talk on Josie McGowan, Cumann na mBan, Marrowbone Lane Garrison, 1916. All welcome.

Tuesday 8th March 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Lucan Library

Cumann na mBan and the 1916 Rising – a talk by Ann Matthews to mark International Women’s Day. All welcome.

Tuesday 15th March 2016 at 7:00 p.m. County Library, Tallaght

Thomas McDonagh, Jacobs Factory and the Easter Rising of 1916 – a talk by historian and author Shane Kenna, biographer of Thomas McDonagh as part of the O’Brien Press 16 Lives Series. All welcome.

Tuesday 22nd March 2016 at 7:00 p.m. County Library, Tallaght

The Lives of the 1916 Leaders – a talk by Seán O’Gorman. All welcome.

Monday 4th April 7:00pm Lucan Library, Wednesday 13th April 7:00pm Ballyroan Library & Thursday 21st April 7:00pm Clondalkin Library.

South Dublin and the 1916 Rising in Oral Histories. Since 2012, Maurice O’Keeffe has been recording interviews with the children, grandchildren and relatives of those central to the events of the Rising. In these presentations he will share these recordings, focusing on the South Dublin area, bringing to life the personal stories of why people participated in the Rising, and the historical legacy felt by their families. All welcome.


History Ireland Hedge School Comes to Tallaght

As part of the Red Line Book Festival, History Ireland’s Hedge School is coming to the Civic Theatre, Tallaght on Thursday 15th October at 8:00 pm. The topic up for discussion is

Patrick Pearse: proto-fascist eccentric or visionary?

wm_17PO-1B14-22 Patrick Pearse

Whatever one’s point of view, Patrick Pearse has always engendered strong emotions. Shortly after the Easter Rising, he became widely revered, some even suggesting he should be made a saint. In the decades surrounding the outbreak of the troubles in Northern Ireland, however, he was frequently described as a ‘fascist’. In recent years a more sophisticated view of Pearse has been developed in academic works but in popular perception he is still seen as a proponent of doubtful ideas, while allusions to autism and homosexuality have also hit the headlines. To discuss these and related matters, join History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, for a lively round table discussion with Joost Augusteijn, Roisín Higgins, John Gibney and Ruth Dudley Edwards.

Tickets are available now from the Civic Theatre, priced €8/€6 concessions 


PicMonkey Collage

Tommy Graham is a history graduate of Trinity College and a founder (1993) and editor of History Ireland, the country’s only illustrated history magazine. He currently lectures in Irish history and politics at Griffith College and formerly at Tisch NYU. A presenter of Newstalk’s ‘Talking History’, he’s also a regular contributor to the station’s Moncrieff show. At the 2010 Electric Picnic he kicked off his latest project, History Ireland Hedge Schools, an ongoing series of round table discussions of historical and contemporary interest.

Dr. Roisín Higgins is a Senior Lecturer in history at Teeside University. Her work focuses on social and cultural history with particular interest in the politics of historical memory.  Her research on commemoration examines both the impact of landmark anniversaries and the capacity of acts of remembrance to transform the meaning of historical events. Her book, Transforming 1916: meaning, memory and the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising, won the 2012 ACIS James S. Donnelly Sr Prize for the best book in History and Social Science.

Dr. Joost Augusteijn studied history at the University of Amsterdam where he also obtained his PhD (1994) on the history of the Irish Republican Army. He subsequently worked as Lecturer in Modern Irish History at Trinity College, Dublin (1994-5) and Queen’s University, Belfast (1995-2000). Since 2000 he has been Assistant Professor in European History at Leiden University. He is the author of Patrick Pearse: the making of an Irish Revolutionary (2010).

Dr. Ruth Dudley Edwards was born and brought up in Dublin, and was educated at University College Dublin and Cambridge University. She is a historian, prize-winning biographer, journalist, and crime fiction writer. In the 1970s Ruth wrote her first book, An Atlas of Irish History, the third edition of which was published in 2005. Her biography of Pearse, Patrick Pearse: the triumph of failure, which won the National University of Ireland Prize for Historical Research in 1978, was reissued in 2006 with a new foreword. Since 1993 Ruth has written for almost every national newspaper in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom and appears frequently on radio and television in Ireland, the UK and on the BBC World Service.

Dr. John Gibney is from Dublin and got his doctorate in history from Trinity College Dublin. He has taught Irish history at Trinity College and UCD, and has been a research fellow at the University of Notre Dame, the Huntington Library in California and NUI Galway. He was a contributor to the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography and is a regular contributor to History Ireland magazine. He has written three books – Ireland and the Popish Plot (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), The shadow of a year: the 1641 rebellion in Irish history and memory (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), and 16 Lives: Seán Heuston (O’Brien Press, 2013).

Road to the Revolution Talks at Ballyroan Library


Ballyroan Library presents a series of three talks by historian Ann Matthews, dealing with the prelude to the 1916 Rising.

Cumann na mBan and its Role in 1916 Tuesday 21st July at 7:00pm

An Examination of the Buildings in Moore Street from where the 1916 Leadership Surrendered Tuesday 18th August at 7:00pm

The Irish Citizen Army: Summer 1915 to Easter 1916 Date TBC

All talks are free of charge but booking is essential. To book, please phone Ballyroan Library on 01 4941900 or email

A Matter of Life and Death: Kilmainham Gaol and the 1916 Rising Executions



As part of the ‘Matter of Life and Death’ programme of events in South Dublin County this April, the County Library, Tallaght presents a talk by Liz Gillis

‘Kilmainham Gaol and the Execution of the 1916 Rising Leaders’

on Wednesday 8th April at 7:00 pm.

All welcome but please book on 01 4620073 or

Kilmainham gaol


Liz Gillis is the author of several books on the revolutionary period, including ‘Women of the Irish Revolution’, recently published by Mercier Press. She also works as a tour guide at Kilmainham Gaol.

Culture Night 2013 at Tallaght Library

Culture Night 2013

The County Library, Tallaght will open late until 8:00 pm this Friday for Culture Night 2013. Come along and see literary and historical figures come to life!

The Irish History Live sessions for children aged 8+ will take place at 3:30 and 5:30. See Dublin’s tenements and the 1916 Rising brought to life!

All welcome!

Refreshments will be served.

The Lucan Tram

In 1887 the Light Railways (Ireland) Bill was passed which allowed for Light Railways to be subsidised out of local area (baronial) rates. One such area was Lucan. Situated nine miles West of Dublin it seems to have been well served by public transport. Lucan had two railway stations, Coldblow or Lucan North on the Midland and Great Western Line and Lucan South on the Great Southern and Western Line. However both of these stations were some distance from the village and were mainly used by the residents of the big houses in the area who could travel to and from the stations in their carriages.

The tram terminus in Lucan Village

The tram terminus in Lucan Village

Lucan was developing, the mills of Shackleton and Hill had opened and the Spa Hotel, with its sulphur springs, was much frequented by the citizens of Dublin seeking cures for rheumatic ailments. It was therefore obvious that there was a need for a more direct link with the city, which would also service the intervening villages of Palmerstown and Chapelizod. Approval was given and The Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway Company was established. In December 1880 the first rails were laid. The line started 12 yards from the end of the Dublin Tramways line at Parkgate Street, continued along the north side of the road to Chapelizod, crossing the Liffey on the east side of the bridge. From there to Lucan it ran on the south side of the road. The line to Chapelizod opened in June 1881 and the full line to Lucan was completed by February 1883.

By August 1883, 82,968 passengers had been carried, showing the popularity of the line. By February 1887 passenger traffic had risen to 135,177 and goods traffic had risen to 150 to 200 tons per week. The tram line was later electrified in 1900, making it more reliable.

1916 Rising

The Lucan tram was the only service in Dublin to keep running during the Easter Rising of 1916, a fact that was referred to in an advertising post card issued by the Spa Hotel, which read:

“This district has been favoured with a unique experience during the rising. It remained absolutely free from local disturbance, and owing to the energy and resource of Mr. Grosart, the manager, the Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway continued its service without interruption. The village and the Spa Hotel were crowded with visitors from all parts of Ireland […] ‘peace and plenty’ reigned in Lucan, disturbed only by the boom of the distant guns in the city and the glare at night of the conflagrations.” Freeman’s Journal 9th May 1916.

The end of the line

The Civil War with its disruption of traffic, competition from motor bus services, and declining passenger numbers saw the closure of the Dublin and Lucan Electric Tramway in January 1925.  The last service left each terminus at 10.15 pm on 29th January 1925. After a period of forty-one years this tramway, which had serviced the outlying areas of South County Dublin, had come to the end of the line.

The Lucan tram was to be commemorated in a unique fashion when in 1923, Jack B. Yeats painted In the Tram, which shows two young women gossiping with an older woman in the corner of the Lucan Tram. Yeats chose the subject of trams as he saw them as an illustration of modern urban living. When first exhibited Yeats titled this picture In the Lucan Tram, or the Merry Wives of Lucan. The painting can now be seen in the National Gallery.

Joe Williams, Clondalkin Historical Society.