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Where: Unknown

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When: 01 January 1917

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After the fun we had yesterday, I am very confident to present this fantastic photograph, the catalogue description is "Release of Republican Prisoners, Dun Laoghaire 1918? (Showing Dev)" the notes also point us to the bottom left of the photograph. The question is how many more can we name?

Though labelled as "circa 1918" in the catalogue, the general consensus is that this is a snapshot of a 117 prisoners, most detained following the 1916 Rising, who returned to Ireland in June 1917. The contemporary descriptions of the prisoners' return (includng the headwear, somewhat disheleved suits, somewhat uncharacteristic flat cap for DeV, and rough shorn buzz cuts of the prisoners), all seem to align with what we see in this image. And what we read in its description. Thanks to sharon.corbet for the initial prompt and to BeachcomberAustralia for the corroberating reports!

Photographers: Unknown

Collection: Republican Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue date c.1918. Probably June 1917


You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 18685
devalera release prisoners republicanprisoners hats men crowd group celebration celebrating éamondevalera 1917 easterrising prisonerrelease 117 parkhurst maidstone portland lewes shorthair boaters cheapsuits

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    domenico milella

    • 08/Aug/2018 08:06:45

    Congratulation for your beautiful Album.

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    • 08/Aug/2018 11:22:27

    One possibility is that this is June 18th 1917, when Dev "arrived back in Dublin on board the SS Munster" when the 1916 prisoners were released.

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    • 08/Aug/2018 11:54:17

    If my theory is correct then we've visited the same occasion before, just a bit later, when the ex-prisoners were on their way to Westland Row: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/8505718647

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2018 23:36:29

    Thanks https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet - That seems eminently plausible. Though I might hold off on ringing any bells until at least one other contributor chimes in. (Where is everyone today BTW? Is there a party we weren't invited to?) Also while the catalogue notes suggest that this was a "male only crowd" (many of whom seem very aware of the photographer), there seems to be at least one person bucking the gender trend (bottom right). With evidence of other "female" hattage close by....

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    • 09/Aug/2018 08:11:38

    If June 1917 is the right occasion, there are several Trove articles with contemporary reports. It seems no-one knew what boat the released prisoners would be on, hence a relatively low-key welcome at Kingstown - the main welcome and demonstration happened at Westland Row. trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/152182969?searchTerm=d... trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/106088528?searchTerm=d... trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/212684784?searchTerm=d... - which includes ... ... As the men paced the deck [on the Holyhead Dublin mail boat] they looked cheerful, but it was quite evident that they had gone through a trying time. The faces of many presented, a sickly appearance, but others of more robust constitution looked quite well under the circumstances. All were clad in new suits of. a poor quality, and wore creaking boots. Beneath their collars and ties the striped prison shirt was noticeable. White straw hats in most instances— caps in others — completed their outfit. Unrecognisable. Their intimate relations would hardly recognise some of the men at first sight. Eoin MacNeill, for instance, stripped of his beard and with a closely cropped head, was quite unrecognisable. Thomas Ashe, minus his curly locks and moustache, did not look himself, though he appeared to be as strong as ever. De Valera, towering above most of his comrades, was a remarkably striking figure. ... ... ... ... Welcome at Kingstown. A small force of police were on duty on Carlisle Pier, and on the arrival of the boat, at about 7.50 a.m., a crowd of about 100 congregated, including Ald. Corrigan, Mrs. and the Misses Cor- rigan, Ald. T. Kelly, Messrs F. J. Allen, T. J. Cullen, M. C. Collins, etc. As the vessel approached the pier handkerchiefs and hats were waved from those on shore, and a cheer was raised as the salute was returned from the boat. When the steamer drew alongside enthusiastic greetings were exchanged between the released men and their friends, and the former, gathered together on the third-class deck, sang "A Soldier's Song" and "God Save Ireland." There was. much hand-shaking and cheering as the men disembarked, and when the last man had come ashore they formed up, under the command of De Valera, who marched them two deep, to the Dublin portion of the train. General Sir Bryan Mahon was one of those who witnessed the arrival of the amnestied prisoners. ... ...

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    • 09/Aug/2018 08:44:55

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I was assuming that your "What's this" is part of the boat or the mailboat pier. There's another photo of where Dev is on the gangway of a ship and one of the returned prisoners at the Mansion House that is dated 1917. He seems to be wearing the same lighter suit in all three, and in at least two he has a flat cap. I'm inclined to think all three are from the same occasion.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Aug/2018 08:47:46

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia I think you are correct, there are a few "white straw hats" and Dev holds a cap and is dressed in a very "poor quality suit"

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Aug/2018 08:52:56

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Thanks Sharon, I am inclined to agree with you. And, while I haven't updated the location, have updated the description dates and tags to match the different inputs. Thanks!