“For many years past, Liberty Hall has been a thorn in the side of the Dublin Police and the Irish Government. It was the centre of social anarchy, the brain of every riot and disturbance.” The Irish Times. (pg 191, Easter 1916, Townshend)
Reading through Charles Townshend’s excellent book “Easter 1916,” I picked out the above quote about Liberty Hall and thought to myself, how times really have changed. While DFallon’s recent post on Hawkin’s House challenged the myth, some still call it Dublin’s ugliest building, while others hold it in reverence. Although in this climate, the plans to see it torn down are unlikely, SIPTU have been talking about redeveloping as recently as last August. Personally I’d hate to see it removed, not because of it’s architectural significance or visually appealing exterior (or lack thereof,) but because of the historical relevance of the site and the significant difference it would make to Dublin’s skyline if it was replaced.
With the next government looking likely to be made up of a collaboration between Labour and Fine Gael, the current occupants of Liberty Hall, (SIPTU, who to be honest have been about as Anarchic as Tory Boy,) look fully set to have one foot in Leinster House. Not discounting the fact that due to Social Partnership, they have been bedfellows with the Government for over a decade, for the next four years or so, the party they have official ties with are to share power with a party whose roots are seeped in the fascist tradition. Dark days indeed.
I dread to think that in the next couple of weeks, a new banner will appear on the side of Liberty Hall, calling on the people of Ireland to vote Labour. Lets just hope it isn’t accompanied with an image of Joan “Joe Higgins eats babies” Burton. “The brain of every riot and disturbance” indeed.