Occupation of City Hall by the Irish Citizens’ Army commemorated

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City Hall, Dublin, 1916

A ceremony took place yesterday at City Hall commemorating the day a garrison of the Irish Citizens’ Army (ICA), led by Captain Sean Connolly, took possession of the building on 24th April, 1916.

Following the occupation City Hall, and the other occupied buildings, came under intense gun fire and in the afternoon of the 24th Connolly was shot and killed by a sniper on the Bedford Tower in Dublin Castle.

A group of descendants of the original garrison of 44 men and women assembled in the Upper Castle Yard of Dublin Castle before proceeding to City Hall.

The group was led by a piper and an ICA colour party. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr and Eanna Connolly (grandson of Sean Connolly) formed part of this group.

Speaking about the event the Lord Mayor said:

“It is fitting that we commemorate this group of Irish Citizen Army members who took part in the Rising of 1916 here in City Hall.

“I want to welcome all the descendants of the original garrison who are here with us today to mark this special occasion.

“I especially want to welcome the descendents of Captain Sean Connolly who was in command of the garrison at the time and who gave his life for the cause.”

Brian McGann, Head of Organisational Development, SIPTU, said:

“Given that the ITGWU founded the Irish Citizen Army and in view of its pivotal role in the 1916 Rising, SIPTU is delighted to be a part of this commemorative ceremony.

“The City Hall garrison notably contained a high proportion of women, including Helena Molony, general secretary of the Irish Women Workers Union and Dr Kathleen Lynn, who took over command when Sean Connolly was killed.

“The participation of women in the ICA was a commitment to an Irish Republic that would cherish all forms of equality as one of its central values.

“Larkin and Connolly were committed to the principles of social solidarity and the right of working people to organise in order to advance the cause of labour and oppose exploitation. Those values remain the values of SIPTU today.”

Eanna Connolly said

“As descendants of those who fought in the City Hall garrison, it is with great pride that we commemorate the events that took place here in 1916.

“The men and women of the Irish Citizen Army fought for a vision of a better Ireland that was born out of a shared experience.

It is important that we continue to honour their memory“.

Yesterday’s event was organised by the ICA City Hall Garrison Relatives Group, which was formed in December 2015 by descendants of the men and women who comprised the garrison.