The Unlock NAMA occupation today has really grabbed peoples imagination, and I thought it was a great touch that alongside the information on NAMA and the properties under its ownership, the group behind the occupation included a history of the building to show what it was in past lives.
One picture stood out instantly, taken from here at Come Here To Me. 66-67 Great Strand Street were occupied today, but right next door at 64 occurred one of the most unusual events of the 1930s in Dublin, in the form of the storming of Connolly House following a rather heated mass at the Pro Cathedral.
Bob Doyle, who went on to fight fascism in Spain, was ironically enough among the crowd who stormed Great Strand Street. He wrote in his memoirs years later:
I had attended the evening mission on Monday 27 March 1933 at the Pro-Cathedral, during the period of Lent where the preacher was a Jesuit. The cathedral was full. He was standing in the pulpit talking about the state of the country, I remember him saying – which scared me – “Here in this holy Catholic city of Dublin, these voile creatures of Communism are within our midst.” Immediately after the sermon everybody then began leaving singing and gathered in a crowd outside, we must have been a thousand singing “To Jesus Heart All Burning” and “Faith of our Fathers, Holy Faith”. We marched down towards Great Strand Street, to the headquarters of the socialist and anti-Fascist groups in Connolly House. I was inspired, of you could use that expression, by the message of the Jesuit. There was no attempt by the police to stop us.
We’ve already looked at the event in some detail before, over here, but with the day that is in it I thought I’d repost the image as it appeared in the Unlock NAMA history today. Below is a rare image showing two police officers alongside the petrol cans used during the burning of Connolly House. It came into my possession as a gift, and I’m chuffed to share it.