Introduced as part of the Finance Act of 1963, the “turnover tax” proved a controversial piece of legislation. Throughout the course of the year there were protests, meetings and rallies in all areas of the country from those in the sales industry as it was deemed totally unworkable. The sales tax of 2.5% led to huge fears of business closures and naturally caused political controversy at the time, but strongly defended by then Taoiseach Sean Lemass. This protest by approx 1,500 women was one of several in Dublin before the implementation of the statute, with exemptions sought for certain areas of business, as can be seen by the placards on show.
Scenes from “The Rose of Persia”, performed at the Gaiety theatre in December 1921 by the long established Rathmines and Rathgar musical society. The two act light opera was the last completed work of Arthur Sullivan(of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) aided by the writing of Basil Hood. The society were performing in aid of cancer research(the city of Dublin skin and cancer hospital in Hume Street) and got favourable reviews from the press, and in 1928 produced the same opera again featuring Nan McGarron, Florence Evans, Joseph O’Neill and others. The R&R musical society was established in 1913 and celebrated its centenary last year. It’s unfortunate clips of this period have no audio(the talkies where a while away at this stage!) but interesting archive footage.
Established in the 1760’s initially for the instruction and education of the children of deceased soldiers, the Royal Hibernian Military School was lucky to survive a fire that broke out in March 1925. The military school had by then been taken over as a barracks and hosted the first Irish speaking battalion of the Free State army. The fire started in a room beneath the clock tower and thankfully there was no loss of life as the fire spread quickly. Members of the army saved as much property as possible but the fire destroyed the roof and a considerable part of the upper floor. The fire brigade were quick on the scene but the weather was so cold in that March it hampered their efforts due to icicles forming on some of the hoses. The building, designed by Francis Johnston(see my earlier post in relation to him and the Richmond Gate at Kilmainham) now houses St. Mary’s Hospital after development in that direction by the Irish Army in the 1940’s.
Scenes during 1920 when a curfew was introduced in Dublin. People could not walk the streets between midnight and five in the morning unless you had a permit. Armoured cars patrolled the roads and streets with searchlights and if without that permit you would be arrested on the spot. Many premises and households were searched and arrests made. Scenes here show Sackville St. as auxilliairies of the R.I.C. drove armoured cars around the crowded streets.
Coverage of the laying of the first stone of the church in Marino dedicated to St. Vincent. The area was developing rapidly with the establishment of new housing estates around Fairview and Marino, and in the following years new schools were built to accommodate the growing parish. Most of the funding for the building of the church came from individual donations and fundraising,. The first stone was blessed and laid by E.J. Byrne on May 2nd 1926. The church was designed by William Byrne & Sons of Suffolk St, and built by Messrs. Maguire and Short. The church was officially opened in October 1928.
On this date in 1961 Princess Grace(Grace Kelly) and Prince Rainer arrived in Dublin for a state visit. It was a huge success and in their time here spent a lot of time with the people. Princess Rainer visited Our Lady’s Hospital for sick children in Crumlin and in advance of the visit presented auction items for the society of St. Vincent de Paul. She also took time to visit the sacred heart home in Drumcondra. Prince Rainer paid a visit to flats in Ballybough and to the boys national school in Coolock. The children got a half day out of it as the Prince asked the principal to let them off just before leaving so he was a popular man in Coolock that day! The Lord Mayor of Dublin Maurice Dockrell accompanied him on the day. I was only talking to my friend last night about the film “To Catch a Thief” and how good and beautiful Grace Kelly was in it, and people here that remember the visit say people were truly in awe of the couple. Receptions were held in Dublin Castle and the Gresham Hotel during the initial few days. After the state visit in Dublin the couple went on to visit areas in the west such as Westport, Cong, Gort and Killarney. Here footage shows the arrival of the couple at the airport and on to the Phoenix Park, greeted by president Eamon De Valera.
After many years of unrest, “train ferries” began to arrive at the North Wall under guard at all areas of Dublin port and Alexandra Basin. Ferries of this nature came from Liverpool throughout the year to transport heavy British army vehicles, armoured cars and artillery as the evacuation of troops from the free state progressed.