Inside the Railings: A Portrait of Life within the Public Record Office of Ireland
Presented by a partnership of the Beyond 2022 research programme, the National Archives (Ireland) and Courts Service.
Thu, 14 April 2022 7.00 – 8.30 pm
The event is free and open to the public, but booking is essential here.
On the centenary of the occupation of the Four Courts in April 1922, Inside the Railings will give a flavour of ordinary life in and around this busy part of the city—before the fighting and the smoke obscured them from public memory. The event will feature historical imagery, readings, and talks live from the Reading Room of the former Public Record Office, now the Appeal Court.
- The Hon. Mr. Justice Donal O’Donnell, Chief Justice
- Zoë Reid, Keeper, Public Services and Collections, National Archives (Ireland)
- Ciarán Wallace, Deputy Director, Beyond 2022 | Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland
- Shona Gibson and Maeve Bradley, the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art
- Maura Howe, The Courts Service of Ireland
One hundred years ago, on the evening of Holy Thursday 1922, Anti-Treaty forces occupied the Four Courts and the Public Record Office of Ireland. Ten weeks later, the stand-off ended with the Battle of the Four Courts—the opening engagement of the Civil War. Three days of fighting between the National Army and the Anti-Treaty garrison (28–30 June 1922) left many dead and wounded. The Four Courts lay in ruins and centuries of historic records were destroyed. While incomparable with the loss of human life, this cultural loss was one of the great tragedies of the Civil War.
On the centenary of the occupation of the Four Courts, Inside the Railings will give a flavour of ordinary life in and around this busy part of the city—before the fighting and the smoke obscured them from public memory.
Before its destruction, the Four Courts was a bustling location in the city, where staff, residents and the public went about their daily lives. Through a selection of short talks, rarely-seen photographs, and engaging eyewitness accounts, Inside the Railings will portray life in earlier decades, and during the ten tense weeks of the occupation.
Beyond 2022 is a significant all-island and internationally collaborative legacy for the Decade of Centenaries, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under Project Ireland 2040. ‘Inside the Railings’ is one of a number of free, public events taking place leading up to the launch of the Virtual Record Treasury at the end of June.