Apr 25

Sean O’Casey and the fighting men of 1916

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These four watercolours by Sean O’Casey illustrate some of the uniforms worn by the fighting men of the 1916 Rising. O’Casey had been a founding member and secretary of the Irish Citizen Army in 1913 until he resigned in 1914. He was not a combatant in the Rising though he was caught up in the events, almost being shot by a British sniper and interned during a round up of residents in the North Docks. The watercolours were painted by Seán O’Casey in the 1930’s to provide costume details for a German production of The Plough and the Stars.

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(The watercolours are normally held in the Benjamin Iveagh collection at Farmleigh House.  They were donated to Marsh’s Library by the Guinness family and are managed by the Office of Public Works).

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These four watercolours are currently on display at Marsh’s Library in their exhibition ‘1916: Tales from the Other Side’.  The exhibition uses a unique archive of books, manuscripts and artefacts to trace how minority communities responded to the tumultuous events of the Irish revolution.

 The exhibition runs until December 2016, and is free with entrance to the library (€2/€3).  Opening Times: 9.30am – 5.00pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10.00am – 5.00pm on Saturdays; closed Tuesdays and Sundays).

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(All images used with permission of  Marsh’s Library and the O’Casey family and is greatly appreciated)


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