This Building changed the course of Irish History

October 19, 2016

Thank you to everyone who participated in our resoundingly successful 1916 commemoration weekend.

There have been rave reviews of the play ‘The Clerk’s Tale’, which was written and directed by Sharon O’Doherty  and performed on the 15th and 16th October at the Town Hall by the 2nd year students of the Performance Course at Inchicore College of Further Education.

The  play was inspired by the eye witness account of the activities of Joshua Manley during the 1916 Rising. Joshua Manley was the then Clerk of Pembroke Urban District Council which was headquartered in Pembroke Town Hall, Ballsbridge, D4. (Pembroke Town Hall is now the headquarters of CDETB).

There have also been rave reviews of the costume design by Léonore McDonagh; of the period music by Kylemore School of Music, of the period food by Coláiste Íde CFE and Crumlin College CFE; of the 1916 play performed in Ballsbridge CFE by Coláiste Dhúlaigh CFE drama students directed by Maria Tierney and of the exhibitions put on in Ballsbridge College of Further Education and in the Town Hall.


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Most visitors were unaware that Eamon de Valera was incarcerated in the Town Hall following his surrender in 1916.  There was a lot of interest in the exhibition on display about de Valera which CDETB is very grateful to have borrowed for the occasion from his grandson Eamon O’Cuiv TD.


It was a pleasure to work in partnership with the local historical society for this event. There was huge enthusiasm from the public about the talks given by Michael Pegum, Helen Litton, Fr. Thomas Morrissey and John Holohan.
We were delighted too to be part of the Open House Dublin weekend run by the Irish Architectural Foundation.
John Holohan’s architectural tour of D4 which began in the Town Hall was a resounding success.



A very particular thank you to the hard working and enthusiastic volunteers who made it all look so effortless and made the weekend go so smoothly.


Visitors young and old appeared to enjoy the varied programme of events.  Some even dressed up!

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As one local resident wrote, ‘We felt that the whole event was perfectly pitched, intimate and yet very well organised and it was fascinating to get acquainted with the very immediate part Ballsbridge played in the 1916 rising. I really want to say a big thank you for a very enjoyable weekend.’

Dr. John Bowman launched our weekend.

The eminent historian and broadcaster Dr. John Bowman was a very appropriate guest of honour to launch the weekend.

He was joined at the launch by local historian John Holohan, Eamon O’Cuiv TD, and Richard Veale, who is grandnephew of Maggie, a child who lost her life during 1916.



John Bowman spoke very movingly about the role of this district in history.

He told the audience that history is extraordinarily complex and we are extraordinarily lucky that it is. 

He spoke of how de Valera’s incarceration in this building after his surrender was the likely reason he was not executed.  He concluded ‘this building changed the course of Irish history’.
CDETB was delighted to have NEAR TV on board to record the event for posterity.  We look forward to sharing their account here in due course.
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