#1

I always heard a story in my family that a prominated business family in the area established its fortune by funding gained from the looting of gold in the GPO in 1916. 3 brothers took part. Is this Hogwash or was gold stored in the GPO? And did much looting occur in the Uprising?

LordSutch Registered User
#2

I am not sure if the GPO was or wasn't looted, but I recently heard that much of the damage done to O'Connell street opposite the GPO & further down towards Parnell St was as a direct result of looting & burning, and not the gunboat Helga, as myth once said . . . .

The looters robbed & burned their way down O'Connell St in the aftermath of the Rising, some say that many of the looters were actually rebels, some say it was not the rebels, but just some less well off folk taking advanyage of the mayhem & destruction, I am not sure who did the looting.

PS My Grandad was a postman in Dublin at the time.

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#3

LordSutch said:
I am not sure if the GPO was or wasn't looted, but I recently heard that much of the damage done to O'Connell street opposite the GPO & further down towards Parnell St was as a direct result of looting & burning, and not the gunboat Helga, as myth once said . . . .

The looters robbed & burned their way down O'Connell St in the aftermath of the Rising, some say that many of the looters were actually rebels, some say it was not the rebels, but just some less well off folk taking advanyage of the mayhem & destruction, I am not sure who did the looting.

PS My Grandad was a postman in Dublin at the time.



Would you have an online link to this information (in bold) ? Is it contained in books (if so which ones) or is it anecdotal ?

Yes fires spread and destroyed buildings but I am not sure that it was the looters who were setting the fires, I would have thought it was a result of the bombardment & the rebels were not bombarding.

I have never heard of Rebels looting. I have heard of them confiscating materials for the effort, such as food at Jacobs etc. In my view that is undeniably a completely seperate category to the criminal looting of jewellery shops etc. The 'stolen gold bars at the gpo' is a new one on me and sounds prettyfar fetched.

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#4

Looters tearing down whole buildings? Leaving streets in piles of rubble? That really is a new myth - they must have been the size of King Kong!

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#5

http://www.amazon.com/Dublin-Tenement-Life-Oral-History/dp/0140296255

Superb book, lots of libraries in Dublin have it.
The Rebels were laughed at and told the Tommies would be along soon to box the heads off them. You can just imagine that sentence in a Moore St accent
And gives stories of what was stolen and how it was hidden among houses and the police raids the weeks afterwards trying to recover property

There was huge looting going on in Dublin, a lot along Talbot St area.

Some good reading here
http://books.google.com/books?id=d5DYJEavqNAC&pg=PA260&lpg=PA260&dq=1916+looting&source=bl&ots=7pio6awhHG&sig=YRXCL-8LE3oD7Hb12G2HRdoHvGs&hl=en&ei=L5y5TYHWC9SYhQf0-PGODw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=1916%20looting&f=false

And you know the same would happen today with the Love Ulster. When the police withdraw, the inner city low lifes and scum emerge.

As I understand a Rebel commander initially had an order that looters would be shot but never followed through and didn't give the order.

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#6

MarchDub said:
Looters tearing down whole buildings? Leaving streets in piles of rubble? That really is a new myth - they must have been the size of King Kong!


Usually fire follows looting hence buildings falling down so you don't need KingKong. Some accounts of general looting in dublin

http://www.irishtimes.com/focus/easterrising/monday/

Helena Molony was sent from the City Hall to the GPO to ask for reinforcements. As she was leaving, one of the rebels approached her "nearly in tears: 'Miss Molony, give that note - it is a note for the ould mott' - his wife". Walking down Dame Street, she met the left-wing journalist Francis Sheehy Skeffington "looking very white and dispirited", distressed by the looting. She carried on to the GPO, delivered her message and walked back to City Hall.



Dear, dirty Dublin: a city in distress, 1899-1916 By Joseph V. O'Brien

The daylight hours were passed by some in a frenzy of looting. With the Withdrawel of the police on Monday, the poor descended on O'Connell Street, Camden Street, and other shopping centres and at great risks to their lives (for they were fired on both by the rebels inthe G.P.O and the O.T.C detachment defending Trinity College) reaped the windfall of material comforts in undefended clothing and footwear establishments. All contemporary accounts testify to this emanation of Dublin "underworld" each relating a particular example of serious or amusing character. Sean MacDiarmada leaving his post at the G.P.O to remonstrate with looters for disgracing the fight for Ireland's freedom , an army of children laying siege to Lawrence's toy bazaar, Noblett's candy store pillaged of its contents, drunken citizens fighting each other for the bottles of stout and whiskey lifted from a public house, the Lord Mayor and civilians keeping a mob at bay in fashionable Grafton Street until the arrival of a military guard. Further lurid details were provided by the police courts, where over 130 persons were charged with looting during May, the police having entered homes in search of the culprits. Those arrested included ten-year-old boys who stole footballs and running shoes from Elvery's sports shop and scores of adults in possession of equally selective plunder-- boots and shoes, topcoats and jackets, teapots and delph, toilet soap and cocoa. The grand looting prize must go to Winnie O'Byrne and her daughter Agnes, who were caught with two hair mattresses, one pillow, eight window curtains, one pair of corsets, one piece of flannelette, one quilt, one topcoat, two ladies' coats, a half dozen ladies hats, and four chairs! The greatest loss was suffered by the B and I Steam Packet Company, whose warehouse was stripped of goods to the value of £5,000. Thoses convicted received sentences of one or two months' imprisonment , and cases did not cease to be heard until mid-July. According to police statistics for 1916, 425 persons were proceeded against for looting during the Rebellion and 398 of these were either fined or imprisoned.



Mary Louisa Hamilton Norway The Sinn Fein Rebellion as I saw it

Yesterday afternoon [Thursday], when the firing in Grafton Street was over, the mob appeared and looted the shops, clearing the great provision shops and others. From the back of this hotel you look down on an alley that connects with Grafton Street, - and at the corner, the shop front in Grafton Street, but with a side entrance into this lane, is a very large and high-class fruiterer. From the windows we watched the proceedings, and I never saw anything so brazen! The mob were chiefly women and children with a sprinkling of men.They swarmed in and out of the side door bearing huge consignments of bananas, the great bunches on the stalk, to which the children attached a cord and ran away dragging it along. Other boys had big orange boxes which they filled with tinned and bottled fruits. Women with their skirts held up received showers of apples and oranges and all kind of fruit which were thrown from the upper windows by their pals; and ankle-deep on the ground lay all the pink and white and silver paper shavings used for packing choice fruits. It was an amazing sight, and nothing daunted these people. Higher up at another shop we were told a woman was hanging out of a window dropping down loot to a friend, when she was shot through the head by a sniper, probably our man; the body dropped into the street and the mob cleared.

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#7

Corsendonk said:
Usually fire follows looting hence buildings falling down so you don't need KingKong. Some accounts of general looting in dublin



Spontaneous combustion does not occur so easily - and looting does not automatically spawn fire. Also back then the non combustible nature of so much building materials - as opposed to our more plastic age - would have made setting fire a much more deliberate enterprise. The looters are described mostly as women and children. I would need much more evidence that they had deliberately set fire to buildings.

In the "Burn baby burn" of the civil rights movement in the US setting fire was a careful and purposely laid plan.

#8

Were looters shot ???

Here is an interesting link

http://www.irishroots.org/aoh/easter.htm

I have always wondered about the numbers of civilian casualties and the circumstances of their deaths.



Elsewhere the Volunteers had occupied places of work and welfare (such as there were) of poor working class people.In several cases the rebels had to use force against the locals to occupy their positions. At Jacob’s factory, a Volunteer named Sean Murphy recalled, “some civilians had … attacked one of the Volunteers and in order to save his life they had to shoot one of the civilians”.[6]



At South Dublin Union, the Volunteers found themselves involved in a riot with locals and had to “lay out” two with rifle butts before they got into the complex.[7] At Stephen’s Green, the Citizen Army had seized passing cars and carts at gunpoint to serve as barricades, James Stephens saw a carter try to remove his livelihood from the barricades, only to be shot dead by the insurgents. “At that moment the Volunteers were hated.”[8]


http://www.theirishstory.com/2011/04/24/today-in-irish-history-april-24-1916-the-first-day-of-the-easter-rising/

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#9

i have to say i never read anything about gold bars in the GPO or looters setting fires in shops or indeed the rebels looting. many myths stories and hearsay did the rounds after the Rising in many famlies in Dublin , some true and others not .

PatsytheNazi Registered User
#10

Corsendonk said:
Usually fire follows looting hence buildings falling down so you don't need KingKong. Some accounts of general looting in dublin

The looters took goods away only, the fires were mainly started by the British artillery etc hitting the buildings and igniting fires as one of the effects of an explosion is to cause intense heat.

Simples.

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#11

James Stephens the writer wrote that "small boys were killed"

In the morning, James Stephens took a walk to St Stephen's Green, where rebels sniped from the roof of the College of Surgeons. However, government troops now had machine guns on the roofs of three buildings on the Green - the Shelbourne Hotel, the United Service Club, and the Alexandra Club - and a duel had opened up across the trees.
"Through the railings of the Green some rifles and bandoliers could be seen lying on the ground, as also the deserted trenches and snipers' holes," Stephens recalled. "Small boys bolted in to see these sights and bolted out again with bullets quickening their feet. Small boys do not believe that people will really kill them, but small boys were killed."


http://www.irishtimes.com/focus/easterrising/wednesday/

PatsytheNazi Registered User
#12

CDfm said:
Were looters shot ???

Here is an interesting link

http://www.irishroots.org/aoh/easter.htm

I have always wondered about the numbers of civilian casualties and the circumstances of their deaths.

http://www.theirishstory.com/2011/04/24/today-in-irish-history-april-24-1916-the-first-day-of-the-easter-rising/

I believe their were some shots fired over the looters by the Rebels as they became apprehensive that the whole Rising might look like an organised looting spree instead of a proper Rebellion.

#13

There's the basis of a great dynasty type TV drama in that rumour.

#14

Um, right. Speaking of TV . . . does anyone know of any plans to release TG4's 'Seachtain na cásca' on dvd boxset ?

It does say :

http://www.tg4.ie/corp/nl/nl1.asp?NID=12

Another opportunity to see the award winning series, which examines the lives of the 7 signatories of the 1916 Easter Proclamation. The full series will be screened over Easter. DVD box set also availavle on www.tg4.ie/siopa

however only the book is on the sales site.

#15

The producers were on boards last Novemeber when it was being screened

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=69090567

Hi There,

Thanks to all for watching the show. The series will be released on DVD but not in time for Christmas. If you would like to pre-order a copy of the set you can send an email with your name, address and phone to 1916@abumedia.com, and we will contact you with details of the DVD release! Thanks for the support,

Abú Media


Just sent them a quick email, will report back if I get a reply
It's a boxset that would sell well, makes sense to release it

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