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Dublin's tragic past revealed in rare 1916 photographs of Easter Rising

Published 23/03/2016

File photo dated 14/05/1916 of a view from Nelson's Column showing ruins in the city of Dublin. PA
File photo dated 14/05/1916 of a view from Nelson's Column showing ruins in the city of Dublin. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of Sackville Street (O'Connell St) and the River Liffey at Eden Quay showing the devastation wrought during the 'Easter Rising', as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 30/04/1916 of British troops at a road block outside Cassidy's Grocery during the Easter Rising in Dublin, 1916 as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of Sackville Street from the Nelson Column after the Rising in Dublin as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 01/04/1916 of crowds outside Bow Street court, for the Roger Casement Trial as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 01/05/1916 of children carrying wood from Sackville Street, Dublin after the Rising as a trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend. PA
File photo dated 24/04/1916 of a poster issued by members of Sinn Fein proclaiming the creation of an Irish Republic. PA
File photo dated 11/05/21916 of souvenir hunters of all ages scrabble amongst the rubble in the streets of Dublin in the aftermath of the 'Easter Rising'. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of damage in Dublin from the top of the Nelson Pillar. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of the Dublin Savings Bank closed after the Rising. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of British soldiers guarding an improvised armoured car made from a locomotive boiler and used to convey troops from point to point during the 'Easter Rising'. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of the ruins of the General Post Office viewed from the top of Nelson's Column , Dublin as rebels, proclaiming an Irish Republic, seized control of the building on the 24th April. PA
File photo dated 25/04/1916 of the scene from O'Connell Street in Dublin. PA
File photo dated 11/05/1916 of a part of the ruins of the Picture Gallery . PA

An extraordinary trove of rarely-seen photographs lays bare the utter carnage wreaked on Dublin during the tumultuous Easter Rising 100 years ago this weekend.

Drawn from the Press Association archives, scenes comparable to modern-day war zones show great swathes of O'Connell Street and Eden Quay entirely obliterated.

The capital's streetscapes are instantly recognisable yet disfigured and decimated, mostly by British artillery fire.

Crumbling facades are all that stand from once proud buildings lining the bustling, world-famous thoroughfares.

A bird's-eye view of the General Post Office, the rebel headquarters, taken from Nelson's Pillar in the aftermath of the bombardment shows it to be a mere shell.

The monument which stood on the site of its present-day replacement The Spire survived the devastation all around it in 1916, but was blown up by republicans in 1966 to mark the 50th anniversary of the insurrection.

Despite the destruction, the Press Association archive photographs also capture people going about their normal lives in the days following one of the most momentous events in Irish history.

People are seen gathering on street corners to talk about the horror, perhaps the surrender or execution of the Rising leaders, next to makeshift wood and barbed wire barricades manned by British troops.

Hundreds more dressed in suits and bowler hats, dresses and bonnets, are walking the city's streets as usual, maybe on their way to work or the shops, against a backdrop of ruination - the scene of almost 500 deaths, most of them civilians.

There are touching portraits too.

Two beaming girls, one with a baby tucked into her sling-fashioned shawl, look delighted with themselves, having salvaged wood from bombed-out buildings that will heat their families for a night.

In another photograph, capped youngsters and older men scour the rubble on the streets for souvenirs of the rebellion.

Worried savers gather outside the Dublin Savings Bank which is shut with a sign placed outside declaring: "WILL OPEN WHEN LAW AND ORDER IS FULLY RESTORED".

One image shows a man peering in disbelief as he ventures into the burnt out husk of the once grand Royal Hibernian Academy picture gallery on Abbey Street.

British soldiers are also seen guarding an improvised armoured car made from a locomotive boiler.

It was used to move troops from point to point during the Rising and both fake and real loopholes can be seen on the side of the boiler - a security measure of the day.

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