EVENTS ARE to take place this weekend to mark the centenary of the handover of Dublin Castle to the new Provisional Government.
On 16 January 1922 at 1.45pm, the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland formally handed over power and the castle itself in a ceremony that lasted 45 minutes.
While it may have been overshadowed in public memory with the outbreak, six months later, of a devastating civil war, the handover and the subsequent events of 1922 profoundly shaped the political landscape of the State.
To commemorate the the handover, an outdoor event will take place on Sunday in the Upper Castle Heard of Dublin Castle, in the presence of the President, the Taoiseach and Defence Forces Ceremonial, and will br broadcast live on RTÉ One.
Trinity College Dublin will also host a two day conference on 14 and 15 January, at The Printworks in Dublin Castle, to explore the implications of this dramatic shift in the centre of power, the immediate reactions, and anticipated consequences.
This week, original records describing the handover of Dublin Castle by British Administration to the Irish Provisional Government will go on display at the National Archives for the first time in 100 years.
The documents cast some light on what happened that day, and on its implications for the formation of an independent Irish state.
Among the records on display are minutes of the first meeting of the Irish Provisional Government (‘Rialtas Sealadach na hÉireann’) in the Mansion House on the morning 16 January 1922, which appears to have been written by Michael Collins.
There are also a set of minutes from 4pm on the afternoon of 16 January 1922, after returning to the Mansion House. They contain the text of the statement later issued to the press, describing how "members of the Provisional Government received the surrender of Dublin Castle at 1:45 p.m. to-day. It is now in the hands of the Irish nation".
Speaking ahead of the forthcoming events, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said:
"I welcome all the events taking place to mark the significance of 16 January 1922, a day that helped shape our journey towards sovereignty and self-determination. This weekend’s Decade of Centenaries Programme provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on the principles that have buttressed one hundred years of parliamentary democracy, and our place in the world as one of the oldest continuous democracies."
"The handover of Dublin Castle by the British to the Provisional Government led by Michael Collins, is a seminal moment in Irish history and marked a major stepping stone towards independence and the creation of the Irish Free State later that year. Ireland is far from perfect, we have many problems still to solve, but we should not lose sight of the fact that our State has been successful and all that has been achieved in a hundred years of independence.
Minister for Culture Catherine Martin said:
"The castle was a symbol of British power in Ireland for almost 700 years and its handover to the forces of the Free State was a pivotal as well as a hugely symbolic event. This engaging and imaginative programme of events marks the centenary of the handover of power and of Dublin Castle itself to the new provisional Government.
"I would like to express my appreciation to our valued partners – including the Office of Public Works, the National Archives, Trinity College Dublin, and the Royal Irish Academy - who have created really ambitious initiatives to encourage us all to explore and reflect on the events that took place on 16th January 1922 and their legacy.
"I have said before that the history of this seminal period belongs to all of us and it’s really important that we approach our remembrance of these events in a holistic way – seeking to understand how each impacted upon the next."