Sites of 1916: Liberty Hall
By Dr John Gibney
Liberty Hall was originally the Northumberland Hotel, located just north of the River Liffey on Beresford Place, facing the Custom House. It became the headquarters of James Larkin's ITGWU in 1912 and subsequently the headquarters of the Irish Citizen Army after its foundation in 1913. Later described by The Irish Times as 'the centre of social anarchy in Ireland, the brain of every riot and disturbance', Liberty Hall had been a focal point for radical politics for a number of years prior to the Rising.
In the weeks and months leading up to April 1916, Liberty Hall was used to manufacture and store weapons, and hosted lectures on military planning. The 1916 Proclamation was printed in Liberty Hall on the presses of James Connolly's newspaper The Workers Republic, and on 24 April 1916 it became the assembly point for those insurgents who actually took part in the outbreak of the Rising. The building was damaged by artillery and was raided by the military during the Rising, though it was not destroyed. The current version of Liberty Hall was built in the 1960s on the location of the original building.