The Civil War began in Dublin in June 1922. In this gallery, photographer David Cleary returns to locations captured on film back in 1922 at the height of the fighting and takes new photographs showing how those settings have changed - or not.

Watching the siege

This image, taken in June 1922, shows a crowd gathered at the bottom of Parliament Street in the centre of Dublin, watching the siege of the Four Courts on the other side of the Liffey. As you can see, most of the buildings – including the iconic Sunlight House with its distinctive frieze, and Dublin's City Hall – are more or less unchanged. The 1922 tramlines, however, are long gone.

1922 photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images


The ruins of the Four Courts

The Four Courts siege in June 1922 marked the beginning of the Civil War and the Battle of Dublin. The building was devastated - but as the 2022 image shows, it was subsequently carefully restored. If you look closely, however, you can see where some stone blocks were mended or replaced.

1922 photo: The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images


Taking aim on Henry Street

This photograph, taken in 1922, shows members of the National Army of the new Irish Free State taking aim by the door of a chemist's shop at the top of Henry Street, in the centre of Dublin, during the attempt to take 'the Block' on O'Connell Street which the anti-Treaty forces had occupied. An advertisment for Kodak film can be seen in the shop window. The building is now a tourist office, and the streetscape has changed dramatically - not least because there are now far more trees.

1922 photo: Brooke/Getty Images


Sniper on O'Connell Street

This photograph, taken in June or July 1922 during the siege of 'the Block', shows a gunman at the railings of Nelson's Pillar in the centre of O'Connell Street in Dublin. While the pillar may be long gone, replaced by the spire, the distinctive window of the building at the top of Talbot Street is still there - and if you look closely, you can see the scars on the stonework around it, scars of the violent conflict that raged in the city in the revolutionary decade.

1922 photo: Brooke/Getty Images


O'Connell Street in ruins

This photo from the RTE Photographic Archive's Murtagh Collection shows the ruins of the Dublin United Tramways Company (DUTC) offices at 9 Upper Sackville Street (now Upper O'Connell Street), at the junction with Cathedral Street, Dublin in 1922. A crowd has gathered on the street. You can see Boots Dublin is on the right. The offices were destroyed during the Battle of Dublin which took place from 28 June to 5 July 1922.

At first glance, this corner looks unrecognisable - even those who are very familiar with 21st century O'Connell Street may struggle to figure out where exactly this photo was taken. But when you look closely, you can see that the building on the right is virtually unchanged, apart from the shop signage.