Easter Rising action at South Dublin Union

24th April 1916
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The South Dublin Union was the site of intense fighting on Monday 24 April, Tuesday 25 April and Thursday 27 April. Part of the complex was occupied by troops, but their attention shifted elsewhere as the week went on. The Volunteer garrison in the Union surrendered on Sunday. It was a major oversight not to have attempted to seize the nearby Kingsbridge Railway Station (now Heuston Station).

The majority of Dublin's military installations were located to the west of the city, so to impede the movement of troops from Richmond Barracks and the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the South Dublin Union (Ireland's largest workhouse) was seized by the 4th Battalion of the Dublin Volunteers under Éamonn Ceannt. The South Dublin Union (now St James' Hospital) was a sprawling complex that covered 50 acres at that time. 

Ceannt and his battalion assembled in the Liberties before moving along Cork Street to seize the complex. Key buildings seized in this district include Watkins Brewery in Ardee Street, the Jameson Distillery in Marrowbone Lane, and Roe's Distillery in Mount Brown (the Volunteers declined to sample any of their wares). 

Dr John Gibney describes the action around the South Dublin Union during the Easter Rising

READ Peadar Doyle's Recollections at South Dublin Union (Military Archives)