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Road, Rail and Rebellion August 19, 2016

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ROAD

For Heritage Week 2016, TII is organising a series of events nationally. At its Dublin seminar Road, Rail and Rebellion, attendees will hear papers on a turbulent period in Irish history, from the streets of Dublin during the 1830’s cholera epidemic to the hills of Cork during the War of Independence.

This seminar is taking place on Thursday 25th August in the City Wall Space, Wood Quay Venue, in the Dublin Civic Offices.

‘Bring out your Dead’: The Dublin Cholera Hospital and the Midland Great Western Railway’
Emer Dennehy

Victims of the cholera epidemic of 1832 received treatment in the ‘Dublin Cholera Hospital’, otherwise known as the Richmond Penitentiary, from April to December of that year. The deceased were buried within the grounds of the penitentiary and remained undisturbed until the 1870’s when the site was sold to the Midland Great Western Railway (MGWR) to facilitate expansion of their railway line. During their redevelopment of the site the MGWR exposed the remains of over 1,700 individuals, which they reinterred beneath a narrow laneway used at the time to provide access from Grangegorman Lower to the MGWR facility. The redevelopment of the laneway during Luas Cross City works led to the excavation of the disarticulated remains of these individuals.

This paper will discuss the background to the Cholera epidemic, and will provide an insight into the city’s institutional response, with over 11,000 infected and more than 6,000 deaths in Dublin alone. It will discuss the results of the archaeological excavation of the cholera cemetery and our proposals for future analysis.

Emer Dennehy is an experienced excavation director and has worked as an Archaeologist with TII (formerly RPA) since 2008. Emer is the Project Archaeologist for Luas Cross City and is responsible for overseeing the comprehensive programme of archaeological mitigation, including the current phase of archaeological monitoring that is being carried out by Rubicon Heritage on behalf of SSJV.

From Blessings to aftermath – The role of the Dublin tram system in 1916
Padraig Clancy

Dublin of 1916 had an extensive tram system which traversed the city centre. The network served to link the main train stations and suburbs with the business and administrative centres of city. As such the trams were one of the key modes of transport for the Dublin population. This presentation will explore the accounts of those active in the events of 1916 and their usage of the tram network as a means of transportation and distribution during the Rising.

Bio
Padraig Clancy was curatorial assistant with the National Musuem of Ireland’s Proclaiming a Republic curatorial team in the Military History and Decorative Arts Division. He is a freelance interpretive planner and collects care specialist. Padraig was previously an Assistant Keeper with the Irish Antiquities Division of the National Musuem of Ireland.

Monumental Change
Donncha Ó Dúlaing

In 1916 between St. Stephen’s Green and the top of Sackville Street (O’Connell Street) alone there were up to eight monuments celebrating and commemorating the great deeds of Kings, Queens and soldiers of the Empire. Fighting for position amongst these great and powerful figures of the establishment along the main thoroughfares of the city were fine monuments and statues to Irish patriots, visionaries and political titans. Quietly holding their ground were other statues and monuments highlighting the great achievements of our poets, writers and social crusaders.

This busy and competitive streetscape was to utterly change following the seismic events of 1916 and all that followed. Over the following 50 years all (with one or two exception) of the Kings, Queens and soldiers of the Empire had either been removed or destroyed. In their place the new fledgling Republic installed a whole range of new symbols to celebrate the new states vision of political and cultural independence. The presentation will explore the destruction of King George II and King William III, the removal of Queen Victoria and King George I, as well as the most infamous of all the destruction of Nelson’s Pillar.

Donncha Ó Dúlaing is Contracts Manager on the Luas Cross City Scheme whose role includes managing the protection, removal and reinstatement of heritage items impacted by the works in the city centre. A number of statues and sculptures have been carefully removed to storage, where conservation and repair works are currently being completed. These heritage items will be reinstated over the coming year as works for the new Luas near completion. Prior to working on Luas Cross City Donncha was Dublin City Heritage Officer where he managed and implemented a range of projects from works in the Medieval City to historic buildings, churches, statues etc. Donncha also established the GAA Museum in Croke Park and worked on a range of projects with OPW including the construction of the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre at Newgrange.


The Coolnacaheragh ambush
Faith Bailey

During the early 1920s, the stunning landscape of rural West Cork was alive with bitter unrest and flash points of armed conflict, fuelled by military occupation and intense counter resistance. Rarely glimpsed by today’s tourists that pass through the gorse-covered rocky outcrops, traversed by winding roads, the memory of the conflict lives deep within the bones of the landscape and within the memories of local people. Set against a backdrop of two roads—one old, one new— Faith Bailey’s talk at Road, Rail and Rebellion will focus on the War of Independence ambush site at Coolnacaheragh, approximately 4 km south-east of the village of Baile Bhuirne. Recent TII-funded research, undertaken in advance of the proposed new N22 Baile Bhuirne–Macroom road scheme, focused on the analysis of various historical records and witness accounts in an attempt to map how the ambush unfolded during what was, in the ‘fog of war’, a desperate human struggle of life and death on the bend of an old country road.

Faith is a Senior Archaeologist and Cultural Heritage Consultant with Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd. She holds an MA in Cultural Landscape Management and a BA in single honours archaeology from the University of Wales, Lampeter. She is a licence eligible archaeologist, a member of the Chartered Institute of Field Archaeologists and has over 14 years’ experience working in commercial archaeology in Ireland. Faith worked on the archaeological and cultural heritage assessment for the new N22 Baile Bhuirne–Macroom road scheme for five years and carried out extensive research on the landscape of West Cork during this time, including the Coolnacaheragh Ambush site.

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