The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

25 May 1922: The First Anniversary of the Burning of the Custom House

25 May 2022

Read Lisa Godson's essay on ‘Uniforms, Collectivity and Authority' on Century Ireland.

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, features 50 essays from leading international scholars that explore a turning point in history, one whose legacy remains controversial a century on. Building on their own expertise, and on the wealth of recent scholarship provoked by the Decade of Centenaries, each contributor focuses on one event that illuminates a key aspect of revolutionary Ireland, demonstrating how the events of this year would shape the new states established in 1922. Together, these essays explore many of the key issues and debates of a year that transformed Ireland.

In collaboration with Century Ireland, we are making the 50 essays freely available online. Today's essay is by Lisa Godson and it covers the first anniversary of the burning of the Custom House that was marked on 25 May 1922:

On Thursday, 25 May 1922 the first anniversary of the IRA’s ‘taking’ of the Custom House was marked in Dublin. As the headquarters of the Local Government Board of Ireland, it had been of vital importance to the British administration before being attacked and burned by more than 100 young republicans dressed in civilian clothing; the necessary disguise to launch a surprise assault. The ensuing skirmish resulted in the deaths of five combatants and three civilians and the almost total destruction of James Gandon’s ‘jewel of Irish architecture’. One year later, An t-Óglách reported the commemoration by ‘thousands of Irish soldiers’ who attended Requiem Masses with full military honours ‘for those of their comrades who lost their lives in this, the last big engagement of the Liberation War’. Continue reading (you will be redirected to the website of Century Ireland)

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, is published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now