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I remember Dublin City in the rare old times

Image by Luca from Pixabay

Our country’s capital city has undergone a lot of changes throughout time. One change most notably includes the end of British rule through Ireland’s battle for independence in the early 1900s, but did you know Dublin’s history stretches back over a thousand years? That’s over a whole millennium which was celebrated back in 1988. According to historians, the Capital city gets its name from a monastery from the 6th century called Duiblinn meaning Blackpool. The first recorded accounts of Dublin are from around the 8th and 9th centuries Viking raids. The city is also the birthplace of many successful writers including James Joyce and Oscar Wilde and is also synonymous with being a great musical city and is the home of many successful international artists including Bono and U2, Sinead O’Connor, and the great Phil Lynott. Numerous moments in Dublin’s long history can be discussed in great detail however, one particular time I would like to examine is the early years of independence. This time is truly Dublins coming to age. This is Dublin city in the rare old times of the 1940s

During this time Dublin was a fragmented place, the city was covered in a vast amount of poverty and people who were scared of political tension. Ireland was only 20 years into their independence and had begun to be dominated by catholic philosophies throughout society, during this time World War II was happening and the great depression of the 1930s brought great economic despair. This would have brought numerous challenges to the Irish people. However, notwithstanding this life, Dublin society had many positives as people faced constant adversity. Dublin People began to become very resilient and had a great sense of identity shaped by traditional values mixed with aspects of modernity. The most evident factor though was the community spirit shaped through every fabric of society. Neighborhoods were very close and people would look out for one another. The pub was a massive factor for most men during this time as it wasn’t just a place men could go to drink but they could go and tell stories and gain some much-needed camaraderie among friends.

Image by Nicole Pankalla from Pixabay

During the 1940s Irish people began to show more interest yet again in their own culture. The Irish language had a resurgence long shamed during British rule now embraced with ever-growing pride in Irish identity. During these difficult times, many people saw refuge in the arts, this was signified by many artists writers, and musicians contributing to the culture of the time. One of the most historic moments that happened towards the end of the decade was when Ireland where granted republic status in 1949 cutting even more ties off with the British Empire.

The dominance of a Fianna Fail government resulted in many changes good and bad. Eamonn De Valera the leader of the party delivered some level of stability and helped with the development of suburban areas like Crumlin and Cabra these areas were developed because of the housing shortages caused by many rural migrants moving to the capital for employment. Living in the city during this time was very difficult because of the poor economic situation and political conflicts. But people remained resilient and strived for a better Dublin. The legacy of this generation continues to influence every part of the city today.

Image by Åsa K from Pixabay

Although I could spout on about the history of the 1940s, I think it’s better to hear it from the horse’s mouth. I sat down with my 90-year-old Grandfather who was born and raised in the liberties to account for his own story of growing up in post-war Dublin.

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