St Stephen’s Green

 St Stephen’s Green, Family Zone

St Stephen’s Green one hundred years ago looked very similar to today. However, for part of Easter Week 1916, it was occupied by around 200 Irish Citizen Army volunteers, under the command of Michael Mallin and Countess Constance Markievicz. They erected barricades and dug trenches to protect their position, and set up a makeshift Red Cross post in one of the summer houses. Look out for bullet holes under Fusilier’s Arch at the main entrance to the Green – just some of the scars of Easter Week still visible around the capital today.

Entering the Green, you will be invited to walk through a trench, recalling those dug by the rebels during that Easter Week.

View enlarged vintage photographs on display around the park of the Green as it was 100 years ago.   Fergal McCarthy’s Cartoon History of the Rising, offers a historically accurate account of the events of Easter Week with a lighter twist.

Observe actors dramatising events, listen to poetry readings and watch pop-up choirs and musicians perform around the Green.  The era of the brass band will be evoked by the 8 piece Booka Brass Band, one of the finest surviving bandstands in the country. There will be entertainment throughout the day with the line-up including the Dublin Gospel Choir and the Rowsome Uileann Piping Quartet.

Call into our tented village nearby to discover how they did things in the olden days, with demonstrations of professions and crafts.

Every day during Easter Week, there was a ceasefire around St Stephen’s Green to allow the ducks to be fed.

The Times History of the War recorded that St Stephen’s Green “was well stocked with waterfowl, and the keeper, who remained inside all the time, reported that his charges were well looked after and fed by him, and were very little perturbed by the bullets flying over their heads”. The park-keeper’s name was James Kearney. There will be processions of children from theatre and drama societies through the Green to commemorate this act.

Enjoy poetry, readings and music from the era performed in the Summer House throughout the day. Imagine what people 100 years ago were wishing for as you read lines from the Proclamation displayed on the branches of one tree. Next to it, lies another Wishing Tree, there to display your wishes for the next century. Pen, paper and string will be provided.  So get wishing!

Or, how did your garden grow in1916? Find out by visiting our Traditional 1916 Allotment where Kitty Scully, Head Kitchen Gardener at Airfield Estate and star of RTÉ’s ‘How to Create a Garden’ will show you around.

Photograph courtesy of RTÉ Archives

MANY THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY CONTRIBUTOR, OUR AMBASSADORS AND TOUR GUIDES

Abbey Theatre, An Garda Siochana, Association of Professional Genealogists Ireland, Band of An Garda Siochana, Buswells Hotel, Capuchin Friary, Century Ireland, Cobblestone, Conradh na Gaeilge, Dubray Books Grafton Street, Dublin Fire Brigade Pipe Band, Dublin Institute of Technology, Eason’s O’Connell Street, Gallery of Photography. Garda Historical Society, Generator Hostel, Glasnevin Trust, Grafton Barbers, Hodges Figgis Dawson Street, Irish Film Archive, Irish Veteran & Vintage Car Club. John Shevlin Millinery, Little Museum of Dublin, Louis Copeland & Sons, Manning's Bakery, Massey Funeral Directors, Maynooth University, Merrion Square Artists Association, National College of Art and Design, National Library of Ireland, National Museum at Collins Barracks, National Transport Museum of Ireland, NUI Galway, Poetry Ireland, Queen's University Belfast, Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, Royal Hibernian Academy, St Michan's Church of Ireland Parish, St Michan's Roman Catholic Parish, St Vincent de Paul, SIPTU, The Four Courts, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, University of Ulster, Whyte’s Irish Art & Collectables, National Print Museum, Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers, ICA, Feltmakers Ireland, Irish Woodturners Guild, Doran Barber Shop The Pram Doctor, The Merrion Square Artists Association, The Dice Bar, Third Space, The Family Resource Centre St. Michael’s Estate, Brown Bag Films, The Stoneybatter and Smithfield People’s History Project, The Revenue Museum, www.irishmusik.com

RTÉ would like to gratefully acknowledge the support and participation of the individual speakers who were kind enough to share their research and private collections with the public as part of the RTÉ Reflecting the Rising project. A big thanks also to the many volunteers and actors who gave their time so generously to help make RTÉ Reflecting the Rising a memorable and successful day.

© RTÉ 2017