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Possible Charlemont Street Historical Society?

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Possible Charlemont Street Historical Society?


I was looking through a blog a friend of mine recently posted online named, the “Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project” and it got me thinking.


Charlemont Street and its surrounding areas are steeped in history.


From the gallant exploits of the Irish Citizen Army, that had taken control of the Portebello pub for a short while in 1916 as they battled it out with the British.


To one of the greatest Marxist revolutionary leaders of all time, and one of the leaders of the ICA and signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, former Charlemont Street resident James Connolly, resided here for a short while.


To the heroic deeds of Irish Citizen Army chief medical officer, Dr Kathleen Lynn and her collouege, republican activist and feminist, French-Mullen, which saw the establishment of a children’s hospital along the canal, named St. Ultan’s.


To the birthplace of the great playwright, Bernard Shaw, is also just around the corner on Synge Street.


Right down to those residents and characters who once lived and continue to live in and around the area, and the list goes on.


The idea behind the society would be to remember, commemorate, and preserve our heritage, history, and culture.


We would aim to hold talks, seminars, publish articles and newsletters, relating to historical events of our area. It would be a great way to preserve the history we have left, and keep the memories of those who have passed on before us, alive!


If you think you may be interested, just drop me a message and we can start to plan and organise, or if you know somebody whom you think may be interested, please pass this massage along.


And might I add, you needn’t worry about being a resident from Charlemont Street either before becoming involved; the only requirements necessary are an interest in the above.






PS: Here’s a link to the blog I mentioned earlier, have a look and see what you think, this is what I envisage we can achieve ourselves.


Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project

Blog: http://dublin7peopleshistory.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StoneybatterSmithfieldPeoplesHistoryProject?directed_target_id=0



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Guest Connolly

Id be interested in that. But maybe expand it further beyond Charlemont street? Perhaps a Dublin "South Central", "South City" or "South Circular" group? Iv been looking a bit into the history of my area and was thinking something similar, - wouldnt it be good to let local people know about this or that piece of history. Tonnes of history around here, like:



Information had been received that the Igde Gang

passed regularly through Dolphin's Barn and arrangements

were made to  the car on the 30th June, 1921. We

planned to attack the car in the Square at Dolphin's Barn

by parties of men placed around the Square: two at the corner

of the Bank; two in the centre of the road under the Cross

and two on the Chapel. We put an extra party of six at

the Laundry in case the car got through the first party,

We had our men so placed that the car would come

under the concentrated fire of three pairs, and if they were

missed, the six men at the Laundry would then take them on.


The car was signalled and at the last moment it was found

that it was not the correct target. The civilians had

become alarmed at the display of arms and the Square was

cleared of civilians, but we decided to remain on. After

a delay of roughly ten minutes the correct car arrived but,

by this time, the civilian population had decided that there

was no danger and had taken to moving about again, with the

result that the Square was crowded with people coming out

of the Chapel and passing about their business. The first

shots wounded the driver of the car which. was a "T" model

Ford. It stopped in the centre of the Square for a few

minutes while the occupants were changing drivers. They

hauled the wounded driver from behind the wheel and put

another man in. They had suffered quite a number of

casualties - about six in the car. The car moved on again.

One officer in the back was returning the fire all the time.

Our party at the Laundry opened fire on the car when it came

abreast of their position, but the driver brought the car to

Wellington Barracks. Most of the occupants of the car were

either killed or wounded. The return fire from the car

wounded one civilian who was passing at the time. Our party

got away safely. It was definitely established that the

party we attacked was part of the Igoe Gang but the much

wanted Sergeant was not amongst them. We were badly

handicapped, as I have already said, due to the many civilians

who were in the Square and we had to be very careful when

diverting our fire on to the car.



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Isn't there a North Inner City Folklore Project too?  Would be good to have something similar running in various locations and coming together to share information/perspective and cross reference things that affected lots of different areas.


Would be a good way to get people active in local areas too, perhaps those who are sick of traditional politics, but who are interested in maintaining a sense of community.  It could eventually lead to people in local areas developing new contacts and building grassroots politics suited to the needs of the community.

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Guest Connolly


A.S.U. attack on General Tudor's Car:

One of my first engagements with the Active Service Unit
was an attack on the car of General Tudor at Charlemont
Street Bridge, early in January, 1921. Frank Flood knew
beforehand that the car was expected at Charlemont Bridge at
a certain time in or around 10 a.m. Four of us took up
positions at McQuilian's public house at the junction of the
canal and Charlemont Street. Frank Flood was on Charlemont
Bridge, opposite me. Christy Fitzsimons was in a shop on the
corner of Charlemont Mall and Siney was positioned near a
G.H.Q. Intelligence Officer that accompanied us on the crown
of the bridge. After about 10 minutes delay I heard a. shot
fired at touring car by the late Frank Flood. The car
headed towards me, turning towards the canal and I opened fire
on it. Simultaneously the other two men opened fire on it.
The driver swung his car left, and right away from me, upsetting
a milk van. I fired again into the car and kept on firing
as I followed it. I cannot say who was in the car. I saw
two passengers in the back; one was a tall gentleman and
the other was a tall lady. Neither can I say if we caused
any casualties.





There was an attack on Major Fitzjohn, an officer on
General Tudor's staff, at Charlemont St. Bridge, as he was
proceeding from Clonskea Castle to Dublin Castle. We were
placed in position by Captain Flanagan about 9.45 a.m.
Hughes of the Intelligence Department changed our positions,
with the result that when the car came up Flood and Doyle
opened fire. They missed the d river and the car swerved coming
to the top of the bridge. Mick and I threw two bombs at the
car and these rebounded back on the street. Carroll and
McPhilips were on the city side of the bridge and they fired
at the car as it proceeded at a terrific pace down Charlemont
St. It struck a milkcart on its way. The Major's wife was
with him at the time and the Irish Times made much of this
incident, accusing us of attacking women, Of course, we did
not know that he would be a ccompanied by his wife. It was
believed that the Major was wounded in the attack.







I was deputed also to watch Auxiliaries who called each
morning to the Post Office at Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, at
9 a.m. where they collected mail. I did this observation
work for a considerable time and subsequently the Auxiliaries
there were attacked on a Monday morning some time in December,
1920. I don't think the mails were captured that morning, as
the grenade that was thrown rebounded without exploding and
the car got safely away. At this time I was staying at
Clonskeagh, and it came to my notice that a Major Fitzjohn
was living in Clonskeagh Castle and left there about 10 o'clock
each morning in a car. On reporting this to Liam Tobin
he was immediately identified as Major Fitzjohn of General
Tudor's staff, whose whereabouts were anxiously sought, and
it was decided to attack him. Knowing the vicinity of
Clonskeagh, I was anxious that the ambush should take place
from the wall of the Masonic School on Roebuck Road, facing
Roebuck Castle gate, as there was a good line of retreat
through the fields on to the Stillorgan Road. It was decided,
however, that the ambush would take place at charlemont Street
Bridge. On the morning the operation was to take place the
Squad were engaged on another job at Exchequer Street at St.
Andrew's Hotel; consequently, the A.S.U., under Paddy Flanagan,
were deputed for the ambush of Major Fitz3on. It was a wet
morning, and for this reason I found difficulty in identifying
with accuracy the car as it approached. I did, however,
identify it before it crossed Charlemont Street Bridge and
fired the first shot, as a signal, which immediately started
off the ambush. The car went so fast, however, that it was not
known at the time if Major FiLtzjohn was wounded or not,
and I never learned the facts. Judging from the intensity of
the attack, he should have been wounded.
Frank flood, who was arrested a short time later and
executed, was on that operation. On that morning I had to come
from Clonskeagh, go to the office in Crow Street, get the gun
from the press there, bring it to the scene of the ambush and
return it to Crow Street. This, notwithstanding the unexpected
activity in Exchequer Street, caused a certain amount of
tension, as we expected much activity and holds-up from Grown



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Guest Connolly

Na Fianna receiving depot


For a time the Fianna organised a city postal round and
undertook, safe delivery of letters for which receiving depots were
established in each district and usual rates paid with each letter
handed in for delivery. The main point in this was to deprive
the British Post Office of revenue. The receiving depot in my
area was Doyle's, Newsagents, Charlemont St.



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Guest Connolly

British spy escape A.S.U. net:

On the morning of the burning of the Custom House,
three of us were told off to watch out for and eliminate a
Castle spy who was residing in Charlemont Street. At 10a.m.
we were in position at the tram-stop where he usually
boarded the tram. We timed it that we would arrive at this
tram-stop simultaneously with Hegarty, the man we were after.
For some reason or other, he did not come to the tram-stop.
He allowed the tram to pass him and, just as it had passed
him, he raced after it and boarded it. This precluded any
further action on our part. We were told that he knew
quite well that we were watching him for some time.


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