Number 3 Mountjoy Square in Dublin is passed every year by hundreds of thousands on their way to Croke park.

But few know that the terraced Georgian house on the north side of the beautiful square is steeped in the history of the formation of the state.

Today it makes history in smaller, more personal ways as an adult education centre where those who missed out first time round can come to learn to read and write or even sit the Leaving Cert.

Liveline's Joe Duffy, who was born in the Square has made a documentary featuring Pauline Cole who was born in the house over 8 decades ago. Her Father, Walter Cole, was a prominent member of Sinn Fein from 1910 to 1930.

The First Dáil - when it was banned - convened in Number 3, while De Valera, Collins, Griffith and often hid there .

Pauline recounts her "Downton Abbey" childhood in the magnificent house with servants, a ballroom and a working lift. In 2013, having been invited back by the Dublin Adult Education Centre, she went below stairs - having been forbidden to do so as a child.

'Below stairs' is where the education centre canteen is nowadays. It's where new students come to calm their nerves with a cup of tea and company - many about to step back into a classroom for the first time in 50 years.

Dublin Adult Learning Centre

Presented: Joe Duffy

Produced: Ronan Kelly

First Broadcast July 20th 2013.

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