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ICA Plaque at Emmet Hall

On Saturday October 8th, 2016, SIPTU, with support from Dublin City Council, erected a plaque on Emmet Hall, Emmet Road, Inchicore, before a large crowd in memory of those from the area who were members if the Irish Citizen Army 1916-23..

Two groups of reenactors participated – Citizen Army and Ladies in period dress – to add to the colour and festivities. These paraded from Kilmainham Gaol at 2.00 pm to Emmet Hall, where they provided a guard of honour. There was a piper in attendance also, who played a lament for those brave souls who fought on our behalf, and the national Anthem at the end of the ceremonies.

A list of all local members of the Irish Citizen Army who participated in the Rising was read, and Michael O’ Flanagan spoke on behalf of the local community to give the historical background of the area.

Michael Mallin’s grand-daughter, Úna Ní Mhaoileán, spoke at length of Michael’s involvement and execution, before unveiling the plaque.

After the ceremony refreshments were provided in the nearby Glen of Aherlow.

The plaque is one of a series SIPTU is erecting around Dublin.

Ar Satharn 8ú lá de Deireadh Fomhair, 2016, noctaíodh plaic in onóir iad siúd ón dúiche magúird a bhí mar baill den Arm Cathartha I rith an tréimhse 1916-23. SIPTU, le cuidiú on gComhairle Cathrach, a rinne.

Ghlach dhá ghrúpa ath-aisteoirí pair – Arm Cathartha agus mná feistithe in éidigh an am. Rinneadar mórshiúil ó Príosúin Chill Mhaighneáin go suíomh an nochtaithe, áit a sheasadar mar gárda onóra. Bhí píobaire ann freisin.

Léadh liosta díobh síud a bhí páirteah san Arm Cathartha ón limist€ar, agus thug Michael O’Flanagan cur síos ar stair na háite.

Rinne Úna Ní Mhaoileán cursíos ar a shean-athar Michael Mallin agus ar a rinne sé, sular nocht sí an plaic.

Seinneadh amhrán na bhFiann ansin, agus d’imigh an slua go dtí an Glen of Aherlow áit a raibh biah agus deoch soláthraithe dóibh.

Is cuid de sraith plaiceanna a bhfuil SIPTU ag cur suas ar fud na cathrach and ceann seo.

The 15th annual prize giving of the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award for 2013 took place in the Glen of Aherlow in Kilmainham on Tuesday 10th December last.

The 1st prize winner was Mairead Donnellan from Bailieborough Co. Cavan for her poem Castlewellan Postbox.

2nd prize when to Catherine Anne Cullen for her poem Shoe-box Coffin and 3rd prize to Mary Guckian for her poem Corsets.

The lounge at Donoghues was packed for the reading of the poems and for the music and songs which followed. Liam O'Meara, Chairman of the Inchicore Ledwidge Society presented the prizes and Michael O'Flanagan (secterary) performed his Exorcism for a Province” accompanying himself on the keyboard.

The evening was complete when Peter Byrne, a local singer, sang “The Charladies Ball.”

The closing date for entries to next year's competition will be 5th November 2014

Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award 2013

Plaque unveiled to mark
W.T. Cosgrave's birthplace

On Friday October 25, 2013 a plaque commemorating W.T. Cosgrave was unveiled on Kenny’s Public House in James’ Street by Liam Cosgrave, son of W.T. Cosgrave.

A large crowd attended the unveiling, including Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The event was organised by Muintir Maighnean (NOT by Fine Gael as the Evening Herald implied) to mark the birthplace of a famous local person.

Michael O’Flanagan, as Chairman of Muintir Maighnean, officiated on the day. He welcomed Liam Cosgrave to the area, and watched proudly as he officially unveiled the plaque.

Following the unveiling all repaired to the gigantic back lounge of Kenny’s where light refreshments were laid on by Kenny’s for the attendees.

Michael first gave the background to the plaque – not the first to be erected on the site, apparently. However, the other is now gone. Then he introduced the man of the moment, former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.

Liam spoke for about half an hour, outlining his father’s career, while reminding the audience of the love he had for the Inchicore/Kilmainham area.

His reminiscences of his father were, naturally, colour by family ties but were, nonetheless, warts and all. He did not shirk from mentioning some of his father’s more controversial actions but, despite what other commentators have said, did not glorify them. He detailed his father’s actions during the Easter Rising and the Civil War (especially his role after the death of Michael Collins), and his many achievements –including the building of the Shannon Hydro-Electric scheme in the 1950s.

One of the founders of Fine Gael, W.T. was President of the Executive Council (prime minister) of the Irish Free State from 1922 to 1932.

Liam himself is no longer young at 93 years of age, but he would put many a younger speaker to shame. His voice was clear and strong, he read his notes without glasses, and he maintained a fine line between humour and dignity which others would do well to emulate.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke briefly, outlining his delight at being able to attend the function. He said he had been unaware of the event until a couple of days before. He referred to Liam’s own contribution to the Ireland we have today, and thanked all who had organised the event.

Michael Flanagan again took the floor and presented a framed picture of the area to David Kenny (owner of the pub and no relation to Enda!). A copy of ‘Inchicore, Kilmainham and District’ by local author Seosamh O Broin was presented to Liam Cosgrave.

David Kenny then welcomed everyone to his premises, especially his distinguished guests, and spoke of the history of the building itself. He was proud, he said, for the pub to be part of the community and to have the plaque to commemorate such a significant ‘former local boy made good’!

Formalities over, a party atmosphere now took hold and the festivities were in full swing as we left.

All photos by Mícheál Ó Doibhilín and (c) Kilmainham Tales Teo.

Liam Cosgrave arrives and mingles with the crowd

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives and the plaque is unveiled


Gerry, Happy 65th from Inchicore

On Wednesday 2 October,  2013, at the invitation of Michael O'Flanagan, Kilmainham Tales attended a special presentation to Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin, in Dáil Éireann.

Our purpose was to photograph the presentation of a painting by Michael to Gerry to mark his 65th birthday.

On the night eight of us, including our own Mícheál Ó Doibhilín and Liz Gillis, with Michael O'Flanagan and Liam O'Leary, went to the Dáil where we were met by Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh and brought to the Coffee Dock in Leinster House.

There we met Gerry Adams, TD. 

After introductions, Michael presented his painting of Henry |Joy McCracken  to Gerry, and told him the interesting story behind it.

"I painted the picture for the cover of 'When They Followed HenryJoy' which I published in 1997.

I then sold the painting to Charles Haughey in 1998 and it hung on the walls of Kinsealy until it he died when it went for auction in Adams auction rooms.

I went to the auction and bought it back in 2009.

Having being previously owned by a former Taoiseach it will now be owned now by possibly a future Taoiseach" he said with a twinkle in his eye!

(The painting depicts Henry Joy McCracken with pikemen behind him, the sunrise of Irish expectations about his head, and Kilmainham Gaol in the background, where he was incarcerated from 1796 to December 1797 ..... he was hanged in Belfast in July 1798 after the failure of the United Irish rebellion.

Michael then read a poem he had written, to which Gerry listened intently while looking at several books given to him.

Liz gave him a copy of her latest work 'Revolution in Dublin' and Mícheál gave him a boxed set of Kilmainham Tales.

Liam gave him a copy of his recently published history of Emmet Hall (see above).

As Gerry had to return to a Parliamentary Party meeting, we were invited to come to observe the meeting for a while, which we did before repairing to the Visitors' Lounge for some well-earned refreshment.

Free Film Show

 If you missed the recent performance of Liam O'Meara's play about Francis Ledwidge, or wanted to see it again, your chance was on Monday October 28th, 2013. That was when the play, which had been filmed, was shown in the Patriot's Inn, Kilmainham, at 8 pm.

The showing film was free and open to all, and was very well attended.

The Patriots Inn


22 October 2013

"Bluebells swinging, shadows wildly blown" 


Ledwidge Portrait(above) Artist Robert Ballagh speaking before the unveiling of his new portrait of poet Francis Ledwidge which took place in Kilmainham Gaol on Wednesday, August 28th.

Robert Ballagh is one of Ireland's foremost artists, admired and collected by art aficionados everywhere.

He is exhibited in major galleries all over the world but new works, are, unfortunately, all too rare.

A member of the Ireland Institute, Robert represented Ireland in the Paris Biennale as far back as 1969.

In addition, he has designed many Irish stamps, as well as stage sets for such productions as Riverdance, etc.

This was a great opportunity to see this work and meet the artist in person.  

On Wednesday 28 August, in the wonderful surroundings of Kilmainham Gaol, a new portrait of poet Francis Ledwidge was unveiled.

This magnificent portrait - a triptych by renowned artist Robert Ballagh - incorporates elements of this tragic poet's all-too-short life in a striking and magnificent composition.

The evening was chaired by Senior Information Officer in the Gaol, Micheal O Doibhilín, who welcomed everyone on behalf of the OPW and Kilmainham Gaol in Irish and in English before speaking of Robert Ballagh's many artistic, creative and political achievements.

The artist then spoke of his inspiration for the painting, the elements within it, and the subject himself before handing the floor to Ledwidge's biographer Liam O'Meara who, as chairman of the Inchicore Ledwidge Society, had commissioned this portrait.

Liam gave a brief outline of the poet's short life, his involvement with the Inchicore area (he was stationed in the Richmond Barracks) and is tragic death

The painting was then unveiled by Michael O'Flanagan, Secretary of the ILS, and Micheal O Doibhilín to a round of appreciative applause by the large audience. Michael expressed his gratitude on behalf of the ILS for the facilities provided by Kilmainham Gaol and especially for the staff who facilitated on the night.

Photos on the night were taken by Liz Gillis, author of  Revolution in Dublin - a photographic history, and assistance was given by fellow guide Patrick Mannix, author of "The Belligerent Prelate" - a life of Archbishop Mannix and organiser of the Archbishop Mannix Weekend and Conference in Charleville, Co. Cork.. 

20 August 2013

Kilmainham Tales attended the launch of  “From the Lockout to the Rising in Inchicore” on 29 August. 2013 at the invitation of Ceantar Mhaighneann the Kilmainham and Inchicore Heritage Group.

The exhibition contained photos, graphics and videos relating to the Lockout of 1913 and the part played by Emmet Hall in that pivotal event and also the 1916 Easter Rising.

The exhibition was formally opened by Philip Emmet, who is, of course, directly related the Robert Emmet after whom the hall is named, and Philip expressed his pride in this connection in his speech. He also paid tribute to author Liam O'Meara and his new book "Emmet Hall - from the lockout to the rising in Inchicore", which was available for the first time at the exhibition. 

Liam himself spoke also, and read from his new book an incident involving Michael Mallin and the then nearby Richmond Barracks (buy the book to find out this story, if you weren't there!).

Michael O'Flanagan, secretary of the Kilmainham and Inchicore Heritage Group, also spoke and thanked all those who contributed to the success of the exhibition, and who attended. He particularly thanked our own Micheal O Doibhilín for the support of Kilmainham Tales in publishing and reporting on events in the neighbourhood, and Liz Gillis from Kilmainham Gaol for also supporting and attending these.

Local historian and Gaeilgeor Seosamh O'Broin (author of the definitive history of the area) spoke about the important history of Inchicore/Kilmainham and the need to remember all who contributed to it over the years. He reminisced about a small selection of individuals now nearly forgotten in a fascinating talk. Maith thú, a Sheosaimh, ta dea-obair deanta agus a dheanamh agat ag cur stair na h-aite os comhair an phobal. 

From the Lockout to the Rising in Inchicore

Emmet Hall, Inchicore, was at one time the home of Michael Mallin, who was to be executed in nearby Kilmainham Gaol for his part in the Easter Rising. The Hall is at 122 Emmet Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8, and all are welcome to the exhibition at all times.

Further details of the either the exhibition or the work of Ceantar Mhaighneann the Kilmainham and Inchicore Heritage Group may be obtained by phoning 086 4099148 or here

The opening night can best be described in one word - "Crowded". It seemed as if all of Inchicore and Kilmainham district attended the launch. There was hardly room to move, and we will have to return to view the exhibits when the crowd has died down. Below is a tiny selection of photographs from the night - no doubt others have many more but the venue was so popular that it was virtually impossible to photograph! It was obvious that all there were enjoying themselves, and we met many who regaled us with their own special memories.

Each of the speakers added his own contribution to the store of memories, and the audience listened enthralled as they heard tales of the 1913 Lockout, Inchicore Railway Works, Michael Mallin, Kilmainham Gaol etc. This was truly a night to remember in Inchicore.

This exhibition was open from 2.00 pm to 8.00 pm each day and closed on the Saturday with a candle-light vigil and concert outside the hall commencing at 8.00 pm. The concert featured singer Eileesh Moore, Eamon Keany and Band and other invited guests.

P.S. Liam O'Meara's excellent book, which contains many of the photos in the exhibition, is available direct from the publishers, Riposte Books, 28 Emmet Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. 

Ask for it in the local shops too. If they don't have it maybe they'll stock it.

The publishers have a limited stock of Liam's other books, including the marvellous 'The Bayno', and his poetry.

 22 November 2013
Painting of Kilmainham in 700 AD unveiled in Inchicore Library

On Friday, 22 November 2013, Inchicore artist Michael O'Flanagan's painting of Kilmainham c. 700 AD was unveiled in Inchicore Library on Emmet Road.

Present at the unveiling, which was attended by many local people, were (l. to r.) Artist Historian Michael O Flanagan, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, TD, Councillor Ruairí McGinley and Chief OPW Architect Angela Rolfe, who lives in the area and has a particular interest in the conservation of the historical buildings of Inchicore.

The painting can be seen on the wall behind them, but a larger version may be viewed here, as we have been given permission to use it with the article on the same page. 

The painting may be viewed in the library itself any day during normal opening hours as it is generously on indefinite loan to the Library from Michael.

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