Main Sites of Activity
The Four Courts area
The 1st Battalion of the Dublin Brigade led by Commandant Edward Daly occupied the Four Courts (law courts) and the adjacent streets on the north bank of the river Liﬀey, almost a mile to the west of the GPO. This was a strategic area as it controlled the main route between the military barracks to the west of the city and the GPO. While his battalion normally numbered 400, only 150 turned out on the day, but the numbers grew over the following days as word of the Rising spread. Headquarters were at the entrance to the North Dublin Union (later St Laurence’s Hospital) on North Brunswick Street (to the north of the area shown on the map).
The 1st Battalion was involved in some of the ﬁercest ﬁghting of the Rising, the ﬁrst skirmish occurring on Monday afternoon when Volunteers in the Four Courts got the better of a party of Lancers (cavalry) escorting lorries loaded with munitions. On Wednesday the Volunteers captured two enemy positions in the area, the Bridewell which was held by police and Linenhall Barracks, which was occupied by unarmed army clerks. By Thursday the area was eﬀectively cordoned oﬀ by the South Staﬀordshire and Sherwood Forest regiments. Fierce ﬁghting ensued, particularly in the North King Street area, where a number of civilian men were murdered by soldiers of the South Staﬀordshire Regiment. The ﬁghting continued until Saturday evening when the news of Pearse’s surrender ﬁltered through. Commandant Daly is said to have shown great concern for the civilian community; he took over Monks’s bakery and arranged for the distribution of bread to the local community.