Shadows of the Rising – Writing and Drama Competition

Lord Mayor of Dublin to unveil ‘Easter 1916’ painting in Docklands

“Shadows of the Rising” – a Sean O’Casey Theatre writing & drama competition will also be announced


The East Wall History Group, in conjunction with the Sean O’Casey Theatre will hold a 1916 Rising commemorative event on Wednesday evening.

A new painting by artist Eilish Lynch will be unveiled by Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke.

They Did Us Proud - Painting by Eilish Lynch unveiled by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke

They Did Us Proud – Painting by Eilish Lynch unveiled by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke

The painting is a representation of the 1916 Rising and Independence struggle. The artist’s family were participants – her Father and Mother were members of the Irish Citizen Army, while her Uncle Sean Hunter was in the Irish Republican Army. Her father, Christy Crothers, was 14 years old when he served in the Stephens Green Garrison, but was sent home by Countess Markievicz due to his age. All three were involved in some way with the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’ 1920, and Sean would die tragically as a member of the National Army in 1922. The painting is entitled ““THEY DID US PROUD: OUR HEROES GONE”

“Shadows of the Rising” is a competition which will invite playwrights to submit new, short works based on that theme. Four plays will be selected by an independent panel and each will be awarded a bursary of €400 and will be staged and presented as part of the 1916 celebrations hosted The Sean O Casey Theatre in 2016.


Lockout Tapestry on Display in Ballyfermot Library, Dublin, April-May 2015

The Lockout Tapestry is on display at Ballyfermot Library throughout April and May 2015 with explanatory leaflets – don’t forget to sign visitors book!

Lord Aberdeen opens Horse Show, Labour leader Jim Larkin arrested  and police baton charge crowds in O'Connell Street - three of the 30 Panels on Display

Lord Aberdeen opens Horse Show, Labour leader Jim Larkin arrested and police baton charge crowds in O’Connell Street – three of the 30 Panels on Display

‘The Molly Maguiresd: Myth, History and Myster’

mollies talkA Dublin talk by New York author, playwright and historian John Kearns

John will also debut new work at literary event on Dublin visit

On Tuesday 24th March at 8.15pm John will be delivering a talk entitled “The Molly  Maguires: Myth , History and Mystery “ in The Cobblestone , Smithfield .

The Molly Maguires were a group of Irish immigrant coal miners in Pennsylvania who struggled against unjust mine bosses and were the victims of the largest mass execution in US history. Twenty accused “Molly Maguires” were hanged in upstate Pennsylvania in 1877 and 1878. John Kearns has written a play “Sons of Molly Maguire,” and a talk he delivered at Dublins Sean O’Casey Theatre in 2013 was a huge success.

According to John Kearns:

“I am thrilled to be giving the talk ‘Molly Maguires of Pennsylvania: Myth, History, & Mystery’ at the Cobblestone Pub on 24 March.  I’ve updated the presentation with information and insights from new resources that have become available — particularly about the connection between the Mollies and rural theatrical traditions.” (more…)

Lockout Tapestry on display at Pearse Street Library, Dublin, until March 26th

The 1913 Lockout Tapestry is currently on display at the Dublin City Civic Archive and Public Library in Pearse Street, Dublin. Mary Hunter was one of the core group of stitchers. She is also a leading member of the Medical Laboratory Laboratory Scientists. She recently told the story of her involvement in the making of the Tapestry to her colleagues in the MLSA.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke, SIPTU  General President Jack O'Connor, artist Robert Ballagh and Volunteers who worked on the Tapestry with Mary Hunter on Robert Ballagh's left

Lord Mayor Christy Burke, SIPTU General President Jack O’Connor, artist Robert Ballagh and Volunteers who worked on the Tapestry. with Mary Hunter on Robert Ballagh’s left.  

The 1913 Lockout Tapestry is an ambitious, large-scale collaborative visual arts project to commemorate the Dublin Lockout. When the idea for the Lockout Tapestry was first mooted it was decided it would have to be community based and involve people in reclaiming their own past rather than simply commissioning a work of art. Two of the country’s leading artists, Cathy Henderson, who passed away in October 2014, and Robert Ballagh designed a narrative based on a timeline provided by historian Padraig Yeates. Retired SIPTU activists Brendan Byrne and Michael Halpenny provided much of the organisational expertise, and Angela Keane from the National College of Art and Design provided technical advice to groups working on the panels. However, the crucial element in commemorating this epic story was the involvement of over 200 volunteers who were drawn from schools, trade unions, community activists and above all from the arts and crafts sector.

Left to Right: Mary Enright, Mary Hunter, Tess Flynn and Bernie Murphy at the launch of the Exhibition. The Tapestry will be on display until March 26th. Admission Free.

Left to Right: Mary Enright, Mary Hunter, Tess Flynn and Bernie Murphy at the launch of the Exhibition. The Tapestry will be on display until March 26th. Admission Free.


One of those volunteers was our own Mary Hunter, a Senior Medical Scientists in the Laboratory in Holles Street Hospital and a long time activist in the MLSA. (more…)

Sean O’Casey Remembered in his own Community on Friday, March 6th

A special premier showing of the 30 minute documentary “Sean O’Casey lived here – A community remembers”, produced by Near TV and directed by Eoin McDonnell.

Sean O'Casey, playwright, communist, republican, Larkinite and thorn in the side of the hypocracy

Sean O’Casey, playwright, communist, republican, Larkinite and thorn in the side of the hypocracy

Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the death of playwright Sean O’Casey . This was commemorated by the local community of East Wall and the North Dock through performances and readings of his work both in the theatre named after him and on the streets he once walked. Plaques were unveiled at his childhood home and on the site of the former St. Barnabas Church.

These events were captured by Eoin McDonnell , and show the community celebration and events , and also interviews residents about the importance of O’Casey and his years living in the area .

Featuring performances in the Sean O’Casey theatre and from the PEG Drama & Variety Group , actors Vinnie McCabe and Neilí Conroy . Also includes broadcaster and life-long fan Joe Duffy and professor Christopher Murray (author of the definitive O’Casey biography ), and Ann Matthews (historian and author).

Evening will include refreshments at 7.30pm , screening at 8pm and Q+A (ie. chat) afterwards . All welcome to this free event .

Jim Larkin Commemoration Saturday, January 31st

Jim Larkin addressing a meeting in 1924 after his return to Ireland after his release from Sing Sing Prison in the United States for 'sedition'

Jim Larkin addressing a meeting in 1924 after his return to Ireland after his release from Sing Sing Prison in the United States for ‘sedition’

You are invited to attend SIPTU’s annual Jim Larkin commemoration in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, at 11 am on Saturday 31st January, to mark the sixty-eighth anniversary of his death. Larkin brought the ‘new unionism’ to Ireland, successfully organising and mobilising unskilled and semi-skilled workers for the first time in the country’s history. In doing so he transformed the nature of the Irish trade union movement and ultimately the shape of modern Irish society.

Larkin’s ideas are as relevant today as when he first arrived on our shores in 1908. Irish unions are once more reaching back to relearn the lessons of the organising model he created.

This is the third in a new generation of Larkin commemorations, the first of which was in January 2013. We see these commemorations as part of a process to re-examine, evaluate and learn the lessons of Larkinism, which not alone gave Irishmen and women the confidence and capacity to stand up for their rights at work, but the aspiration to transform Ireland into a just society which cherished all of its people equally.

We hope you will attend and we look forward to engaging with you in this vital debate over the coming months and years at this critical period in our country’s history.

The First World War first hand at Collins Barracks – ANU Productions, who gave us Living the Lockout in 2013 give us Gallipoli in 2015

PALS: Untold Stories of the 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, at Gallipoli during the First World War.

NCOs in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers discover the delights of Fray Bentos tinned corned beef

NCOs of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers discover the delights of Fray Bentos tinned corned beef

“Historical insight; exciting artistry; and an intimate theatrical encounter with something previously hidden” – Colin Murphy, Irish Independent (on PALS).

Presented by ANU Productions, the National Museum of Ireland and the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht and in association with the National Archives of Ireland and ICTU.

Where are the faces laughing in the glow
Of morning years,
the lost ones scattered wide?
Give me your hand,
Oh brother, let us go…

1915, Gallipoli. Amidst the heat and smell of the trenches, with No Mans Land on the horizon, the men of the newly formed 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers stand shoulder to shoulder.

These are a team of rugby legends built from the strongest and bravest athletes in Ireland.

And they are about to play a deadly end-game.Award-winning innovators ANU Productions present a profound immersive adventure, based on the events surrounding WWI in Ireland.Inspired by the previously untold stories of the 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who swapped the rugby field for the battlefield – PALS will give audiences a vivid glimpse into the life and death of a brotherhood of players who were wiped out in the devastating trenches and the reality of those left behind.

Tickets and Performance Information

Performances: 2 February – 30 April / Wednesday – Sunday

Times: Wednesday – Saturday: 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm / Sunday: 2pm, 3pm & 4pm
Cost: €5
Location: National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7.

ANU Enrichment Programme

ANU is devoted to an interdisciplinary approach to performance and installation resulting in exceptional works that push the boundaries and conventions of performance to generate new experiences for audiences.

ANU’s Enrichment sits central to the companies priorities, development and way of working by inviting participants to come into direct proximity with the work of the company in meaningful, substantial and rewarding ways. ANU’s Enrichment generates immersive experiences that permeate the subject, context and relevance of ANU’s work.

Every Tuesday throughout the run – contact for more information.

Access Performances

Saturday 18 April – touch tour and audio described performances
Saturday 25 April – ISL signed performances
For more information, or to book tickets for any of the Access Performances, contact

Fianna Boy who participated in 1913 Lockout is remembered

Patsy O’Connor:

The lonely grave of a Fianna scout .

By Jason Walsh-McLean©

It was during the Lockout centenary year of 2013 that I finally got around to reading Pádraig Yeates’ seminal work on the subject Lockout – Dublin 1913. It had been purchased as a birthday present for me some years previously by my Mother.

Being a bit of a “trivia buff” when it comes to these things, I noticed upon completing the book that there was no mention of Patsy O’Connor of Na Fianna Éireann, whose name I had first come across many years previously in The National Graves Association 1985 publication The Last Post were it stated on page 39 “Patsy O’Connor of Na Fianna Éireann, died in 1915 as a result of wounds received during the strike”

I was also intrigued by the fact that his name does not appear on the plaque in the foyer of Liberty Hall which commemorates and names the Lockout Martyrs. – I decided to research this young man and try to find out as much as I could about him.

My first port of call was Pádraig himself, he told me the reason Patsy is not mentioned in the book was because he had simply came across nothing on          him during his research on the events of The Lockout which lasted from 26th August 1913  to 18th January 1914. Pádraig encouraged me to research him further.

I decided to try and ascertain his exact date of death and where he was buried. Knowing that The Irish Volunteer weekly newspaper was available online, and that it gave its back page to a regular column entitled “Na Fianna Éireann – National Boy Scouts” which reported on the activities of the Fianna. I began to study each edition from its inception on 7th Feb 1914 up to its last issue on the 22nd April 1916.

I located a full page obituary for Patsy in the edition for June 26th 1915 entitled Lieutenant Patsey O’Connor (Patsy was spelt Patsey throughout the article) which announced his death, though not its date and also stated he came from Harold’s Cross and that he had joined the Fianna in Camden Street “nearly six years ago” and was “then about twelve years of age” and that by the time of his death he was he was the Lieutenant in command of the Fianna Inchicore Sluagh.The unnamed author of the obituary who was in fact Pádraig Ó’Riain, informed the reader that both he and Patsy were involved in the Howth gun-running in July 1914 stating “Right well do I remember his gallant stand last July when we came into conflict with the police and military on the road from Howth. He was by my side when the police swooped down upon our ammunition cart that on that day.”



A photo of the Fianna with that very ammunition cart appeared a month later in the July 24th 1915 edition of The Irish Volunteer.


Dockers Preservation Society Calendar launched at Mansion House, Dublin, Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Dockers Preservation Society Calendar for 2015 being launched Mansion House on Thursday November 20th at 7.30pm. It costs €5 and funds will be used to promote work of the Society. Speakers include Eamon O’Reilly CEO of the Dublin Port Company, Jack O’Connor, General President of SIPTU and Ann Matthews, historian and author of The Irish Citizen Army, just Calendar 2015published

The Lepracaun Cartoons for 1913-14 now on view at Dublin City Libraries site

 The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly and the 1913-1914 lockout Image Gallery

‘Capital is the child of Labour. Therefore the nipper’s present paroxysm of filial piety in Dublin is not so astonishing.’
Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly, November 1913.

‘Sometimes all we need to brighten our day is to rise a little higher. In wages.’
Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly, January 1914.

The Dublin-based Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly was launched in May 1905 by Thomas Fitzpatrick, one of Ireland’s foremost cartoonists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Eclipsing in its lifespan all previous Irish comic periodicals, the Lepracaun would run for almost a decade. This meant that the publication was in a position to offer a vivid cartoon chronology of the great 1913-14 Dublin strike and lockout, although there would be no contribution from the Lepracaun’s founder and most prolific cartoonist, with the Cork-born Thomas Fitzpatrick having passed away in July 1912 at the age of 52.lockout 11

The two figures most associated with the lockout, however, did attract Fitzpatrick’s notice in the Lepracaun some years earlier. In December 1908 William Martin Murphy’s career was covered by the Lepracaun in an instalment of its full-page “City Celebrities” series, with the profile marvelling at Murphy’s vast range of business concerns. Fitzpatrick’s accompanying cartoon depicted his fellow Cork-man as a great conjurer plucking newspapers, railways, trams and a hotel out of an ‘inexhaustible’ finance hat. After speculating that there might actually be ‘a few limited companies in Dublin’ of which he was not a director, the satirical profile concluded by voicing a suspicion that Murphy’s sole regret in life was the ‘melancholy reflection’ that when he eventually passed away, ‘the Chancellor of the Exchequer will congratulate himself on the acquisition of the death duties of an Irish millionaire.

As chance would have it, Murphy’s great antagonist in 1913 was referenced by Fitzpatrick in the same issue of the Lepracaun. A half-page cartoon saw him earnestly hope that ‘Mr. Jim Larkin (a good name for a labour leader)’ would use his growing influence to ensure that Dublin hearse drivers did not become caught up in a carters strike. This would help avoid the potentially ‘appalling calamity’ of their jobs being carried out under police escort by strike-breaking replacements. This was no evidence of an innate aversion to strikes, for in the Lepracaun’s next issue Fitzpatrick unequivocally declared his support for the carters, wishing them ‘every success against the money-grabbers’, whom he portrayed in a cartoon as caring more about the welfare of their horses than the starving men they paid a pittance to drive them. In a separate cartoon from the same issue Fitzpatrick also found humour in the fact that clerks ordinarily employed in the ‘Sweatem’ company’s offices were being forced to endure the humiliating ordeal of becoming temporary dray drivers under police protection. Throughout his life Fitzpatrick was noted for the social conscience which he frequently exhibited in his work, with one obituary ending with the words, ‘He took down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly’.


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