“The formal transfer of power, in the handover of Dublin Castle on January 16th 1922, is singularly one of the most potent moments in the history of our State. For centuries, the Castle had symbolised British rule in Ireland and the demonstrable handing over of the Castle was a most powerful occasion for citizens and the Provisional Government of Ireland alike. Still charged with the ghosts of history, today Dublin Castle continues to play a pivotal role in political, civic and social developments for our Nation while also offering a unique place of welcome for citizens and visitors to engage with Ireland’s rich and complex history.”
– Minister Patrick O’Donovan
Read full 2022 Centenary Press Release
TALKS & CONFERENCES
The Handover of Dublin Castle: A Centenary Conference
14th & 15th January 2022
At the Printworks, Dublin Castle, & Live-streamed
Free but booking required
Attendees at the Castle are asked to adhere to current public health guidelines. Proof of vaccination (an EU digital certificate or similar) and Photo ID will be required to enter the Castle and masks must be worn.
On 16 January 1922 the Provisional Government took possession of Dublin Castle. The events of that day were overtaken and perhaps overshadowed by the civil war that soon followed, but this two-day conference, hosted by Trinity College Dublin at Dublin Castle, will retrieve the historical significance of that day. The conference, which is part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme, will explore the immediate reactions, the expected consequences, and the implications of this dramatic shift in the centre of power. Speakers will consider the context of the handover, and the response in Ireland, Britain and beyond, to this moment when, as the Irish Times reported, ‘the old regime ceased to exist’.
Contributors will include: Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, T.D., Minister Catherine Martin, T.D., Robin Adams, Laura Cahillane, Catriona Crowe, Ian d’Alton, William Derham, Anne Dolan, Diarmaid Ferriter, Niamh Gallagher, Brian Hanley, Alvin Jackson, Margaret Kelleher, Bill Kissane, David McCullagh, Martin Maguire, Ciara Meehan, Conor Mulvagh, William Murphy, Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid, Margaret O’Callaghan, Eunan O’Halpin, Elspeth Payne.
16 January 1922: Remembering the Handover of Dublin Castle to Michael Collins
by William Derham, Research & Collections
One hundred years ago, on 16 January 1922, an event that The Irish Independent described as ‘certainly the most significant event in Irish history for hundreds of years’, took place on a cold Monday at Dublin Castle. At 1.45 pm that afternoon the machinery of government, and the Castle itself, were formally handed over by the last Lord Lieutenant, or Viceroy, of Ireland to the new Provisional Government. Often represented as a colourful ceremony, what follows is a description of what actually happened that day, drawn primarily from accounts that appeared in the newspapers of the time.
From an early hour that day, crowds had begun to gather at the Castle’s gate on Palace Street in anticipation of the events due to unfold, and ‘by noon thousands had assembled … stretching in each direction along Dame Street’. The handover itself had been mooted to take place at 12 pm, but owing to the late arrival of Michael Collins, who had been away from Dublin, events were delayed. When he arrived in the city, the Provisional Government, based in the Mansion House, elected him their ‘Chairman’ and at 1.20 pm telephoned to officials at Dublin Castle to say they were on their way.
The Handover: Dublin Castle and the British Withdrawal from Ireland, 1922 by John Gibney & Kate O’ Malley
16 January 1922: the British are beginning their final departure from what will become the Irish Free State. An Irish government led by Michael Collins goes to Dublin Castle to take over. The ‘handover’ was a milestone on the path to Irish independence – often overshadowed by the Treaty split and the outbreak of the Civil War. Why did it matter? What did it mean? What actually happened at Dublin Castle on 16 January 1922? Explore this relatively unfamiliar but hugely important story from Ireland’s revolutionary era and find answers to these questions.
Published by the Royal Irish Academy.
The Treaty, 1921: Records from the Archives
Exhibition dates: 7 December – 27 March 2022
Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle, Dubh Linn Gardens
Opening hours: 10am – 5pm, daily. Admission free.
The National Archives preserves the memory of the state in the form of its records. It acquires and protects Ireland’s public records, thereby ensuring their availability as a resource for all. These records relate to the social, cultural, economic and political history of the island of Ireland from the middle ages through to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 and into the modern era. Amongst its collections is perhaps the most famous document in Irish history: the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. It is appropriate that the National Archives should mark the centenary of the signing of the Treaty by presenting a major exhibition of records in its possession relating to the negotiation and signing of the Treaty. Using the Treaty itself as the centrepiece, this exhibition places significant documents from the collections of the National Archives on public display for the first time. This exhibition forms part of the National Archives Commemorations Programme 2021–2, marking the National Archives’ role as the official repository of the records of the state. It is presented in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy, the National Library of Ireland and the Office of Public Works, with records on display from the collections of the Military Archives, Dublin, and University College Dublin Archives.
In Our Own Image: Photography in Ireland, 1839 to the Present
29 November 2021–6 February 2022
The Printworks, Dublin Castle
11am–5.45pm, Monday–Sunday, admission is free.
Please note that due to programmed events in the Printworks, the exhibition will be inaccessible on 2–5, 8–9 December; 5–7, 14–15 and 19–20 January; 1 February
Curated by Gallery of Photography Ireland and the Office of Public Works, Dublin Castle, In Our Own Image presents the first comprehensive historical and critical survey of photography from across the island of Ireland. This landmark centenary exhibition charts how the medium has both reflected and shaped Irish cultural identity, from the work of the earliest photographic pioneers up to the emergence of a recognisably modern state.
Throughout the period of intense change that characterised Ireland in the late 19th and into the mid-20th century, we see how photography served as a mirror for shifting experiences of what it meant to be Irish. More than that, it also defined the way we saw ourselves, creating an image of life on the island of Ireland that still forms part of our identity today. In Our Own Image reveals the depth of our shared photographic heritage, viewed through important works by key photographers held in leading archives, cultural institutions, museums, and private collections.