The Windy Arbour Playground Campaign

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near Robert Emmet's home

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Posted by Shan on June 18, 2014 Full Size| Slideshow

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Reply Shan Kelly
11:07 AM on May 24, 2015 
Celebrating Windy Arbour History and Building Republic 2.0

Windy Arbour Village wants to remember the birth of our Republic in 1916 by focusing on the lives and the achievements of people who have lived near here in the past.
We want to remember the people who came before us, assess the contributions they made in the context of the times they lived in and look at how things can be done better in future We?ve picked five local heroes Patrick Doyle, Robert Emmet, Sean MacBride and Thomas Edmondson and we?re planning events to celebrate what they did from Easter next year.
Our least well-known local hero is probably Patrick Doyle, the Dublin laundry manager who joined the Volunteers when the organisation was set up in 1914. Patrick Doyle had a wife and a family of five children and he worked more than forty hours a week at the Milltown Laundry. Yet he also found time to teach Irish and marksmanship for two years before he died fighting with De Valera during Easter Week 1916.
It would be great if we could do something to remember him next Easter.
His son, who was also called Patrick Doyle, supported the anti-treaty side in the war of Independence. Patrick Doyle Junior was killed in Wicklow, during an ambush in 1922. Both Doyles are buried in Taney Churchyard and some of their descendants still live on the road named after them, where Dun Laoghaire Rathdown has just built a wonderful new children?s playground there, so that would be a great place to unveil a rock or statue engraved with his name or an information point telling his story..
Sean MacBride also lived locally and he was involved in many of the seminal events that followed Easter Week, during which his father was also killed. We?d love to explore this complicated man and talk about the contribution he made to Ireland?s first Republic. That would be impossible without mentioning MacBride?s famous mother Maud Gonne, actress, journalist and convert to Catholicism and Fenianism, and their friends the Yeats sisters, who founded The Cuala Press at The Jam factory, (Headquarters of the IRA) which also operated out of Roebuck House in Goatstown.
Last, but not least, is our most famous local hero Robert Emmet, and his brother Thomas, the revolutionaries who grew up at the Casino, Bird Avenue. As a teenager, Robert hid in a secret room under the lawn during the Rebellion of 1798, which his brother Thomas Emmet had helped Wolfe Tone to plan. The Emmets were brought up in the Church of Ireland, but like many people from Ascendency families, they were profoundly influenced by the Nonconformist and Republican ideas that were fanned into flames by the French and US revolutions. After his father died and left him a small inheritance, Emmet used his money to design new kinds of weapons which were used in the 1803 rebellion. His friend and co-conspirator Ann Devlin was imprisoned for years after his execution, but she kept the identities of his supporters secret, despite huge cost to herself and her family.
A fourth local hero that we think is worth remembering is Thomas Edmondson, the Quaker businessman who built the ultra-modern Dublin laundry in Milltown near the Dropping Well pub in the late 1880s.
The Dublin laundry provided work for hundreds of local people. Edmondson used the latest technology to build a business which paid decent wages to his workers. Thomas Edmondson was also a fierce critic of the state?s support of the rival laundries that were operated by The Catholic Church on behalf of the state from 1921, where ?fallen? women were held against their will and forced to work for slave wages. Edmondson also helped to set up the Dublin Vocational Education Committee and he was active on Rathmines Town Council.
WAVA plans to organise a series of events next year to highlight the contribution made by these and other local people in 1916 and throughout the century that followed .
WAVA is inviting people from all walks of life, and people who may be active in local political parties, clubs or societies to join us in celebrating our heritage.
We are asking you to consider helping us by suggesting what we can do to remember those who have shaped our history so far and to help us chart a new course for a future Republic 2.0
All ideas are welcome ? WAVA wants people from every age group and every corner of the globe to get involved and take part.