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Sites of 1916: Dublin City Hall
The entrance to Dublin City Hall, photographed in 1952. Photo: Bureau of Military History

Sites of 1916: Dublin City Hall

Dublin City Hall, located at the intersection of Parliament Street and Dame Street in the south inner city, was originally opened as the Royal Exchange in the 1770s and was reopened as the City Hall in 1852. On the afternoon of 24 April 1916 members of the Irish Citizen Army led by Seán Connolly seized City Hall and a number of other buildings in the immediate vicinity. City Hall is located just outside the entrance to the upper yard of Dublin Castle. While there was no attempt made to seize the Castle itself, the location of City Hall ensured that it was a natural vantage point from which to ambush troops who might emerge from the Castle. The occupation of City Hall saw the killing of DMP Constable James O'Brien, who is often classed as the first victim of the Rising: he was shot by Connolly, who later became the first insurgent victim of the Rising after he was shot while on the roof of City Hall. The garrison in Dublin Castle was immediately reinforced when the Rising broke out, and heavy fighting took place in the vicinity of City Hall until troops broke into the building later that day and overwhelmed the small garrison; the building itself suffered only minor damage.

Dr John Gibney describes the action around City Hall during the Easter Rising. 

Read the account from Kathleen Lynn of the activities around City Hall during the Easter Rising - from the Bureau of Military History Witness Statement

Read an account from inside Dublin Castle from An tÓglach February 13 1926


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.