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Sites of 1916: The Four Courts and Church Street
The Four Courts after the Rising, with noticeable damage to the building. Photo: Irish Life - A Record of the Irish Rebellion, 1916. (Full collection available in the National Library of Ireland)

Sites of 1916: The Four Courts and Church Street

By Dr John Gibney

The area directly behind the Four Courts, extending up Church Street towards Phibsborough, was, after the GPO, the other main area of insurgent activity north of the River Liffey during the Easter Rising. This area included North King Street, the Linenhall Barracks (which was burned down), and the North Dublin Union. Its location gave it a strategic importance. It was adjacent to the north quays, which ensured that Volunteers in this area were in a position to interfere with troop movements to and from both the Royal Barracks and Kingsbridge (Heuston) Station, the terminus of the Great Southern and Western Railway. North of the area seized by the Volunteers was Broadstone Station, the terminus of the Midland Great Western Railway, which was another venue that could facilitate the arrival of reinforcements into the city. In line with the manner in which fighting intensified as the week wore on, the area around Church Street, Brunswick Street and North King Street saw some of the heaviest and most intense fighting in the city during the Rising. This area was also the location of one of the most notorious incidents of the Rising, when members of the South Staffordshire Regiment killed a number of unarmed civilians as they advanced along North King Street.

Dr John Gibney describes the activity around the Four Courts and surrounding areas during Easter week 1916. 


Century Ireland

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