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Irish Citizen Army Plaque Unveiling


On Friday afternoon the 11th of March, there was an unveiling of an Irish Citizen Army Plaque at Marino College of Further Education on North Strand. This plaque commemorates the men, woman and young people from the surrounding area who served with the Irish Citizen Army during the revolutionary period 1913-23.

The plaque was erected by the local community and the SIPTU Dublin District Council, with the support of Dublin City Council, for this year’s 1916 commemoration. The march started at 2.30pm at Liberty Hall  to reach Marino College at 3.00pm. Lead by men and women dressed up in ICA uniforms, a pipe band marched with them down the North Strand Road with men carrying trade union banners.

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There were a number of speakers at the College waiting for the procession to arrive, they included playwright Peter Sheridan and SIPTU Dublin District Council member, Alison Regan. SIPTU Dublin District Council joint secretary, Kevin Glackin, read out a roll call of members of the ICA from the local area – Summerhill, Sherif Street and surrounding D1 area. Robert Norgrave who was there representing the Norgrove family, officially unveiled the plaque that has been mounted to the wall at the entrance of Marino College. The Norgrove family had several family members who served the North Strand section of the ICA.

After the unveiling a seminar on life and politics of ICA leader James Connolly was held in the Marino College of Further Education. Historians Brian Hanley, Donal Fallon and Theresa were there to address the seminar.

“During 2016, the SIPTU Dublin District Council in conjunction with local community groups and Dublin City Council, are unveiling a series of plaques to commemorate the working class men, women and young people who served in the ICA in the areas where they lived. The story of these ICA members can provide a valuable opportunity for communities to rediscover their history and the values that motivated people to risk all for a new future,” John Dunne, the SIPTU Dublin District Council joint secretary said.

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There was a decent crowd, including members of the media, gathering at the event in front of the College, with passerbys stopping and enjoying a memorable day. The ICA was founded by members of the ITGWU trade union in the winter of 1913 to defend workers from police violence during the Great Dublin Lockout. Following the end of the Lockout, the ICA continued to recruit and drill. It adopted a constitution, which included the principle “that the ownership of Ireland, moral and material, is vested of right in the people of Ireland”, and “that the Citizen Army shall be open to all who accept the principle of equal rights and opportunities for the people of Ireland”. The ICA also had its own flag – the Starry Plough.

In April 1916 the ICA leader James Connolly led approximately 320 men, women and young people of the ICA to take part in the Easter Rising. During the fighting 12 ICA members were killed while Connolly and ICA captain Michael Mallin were executed in its aftermath. ICA member Countess Constance Markievicz was also sentenced to death but this was commuted to penal servitude for life. The ICA continued as an organization in the years afterwards with many of its members taking part in the War of Independence and playing leading roles in the trade union movement.

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