Grandfather's Office 1916
This Easter weekend marks the Centenary of The 1916 Rising in Dublin, a hugely significant historical time for Ireland which changed the course of Irish history.
It's also true that the events which took place in Dublin during the 1916 rebellion affected of my own family and almost it's very existence.
My father (who is now the great age of 93) was born November 1922, six years after the Rising. In 1916 his father (my grandfather), owned a solicitor's practice on Sackville Street in Dublin opposite the GPO. We don't know much, but we do know this.
A Devastating Monday
On Easter Monday morning 1916 my Grandfather headed off to work and arrived at the location of his office only to find the entire building destroyed and reduced to rubble after the bombing. His whole business and livelihood was destroyed overnight, not a single thing survived. We know that afterwards he set up a temporary office in Dublin and eventually relocated his practice to Bray in Co. Wicklow.
Thankfully my grandfather wasn't in his office when it was destroyed, otherwise I wouldn't be here today to tell the story.
Easter 2016 - GPO Witness History Visitor Centre Opens
This week the GPO Witness History Exhibition Centre opens in O'Connell Street (aka Sackville Street) in Dublin marking the Centenary of the 1916 Rising. It's the first visitor centre of it's type in Dublin and promises to be a wonderful addition and a 'must-see' destination for Irish people and foreign visitors alike.
I am truly delighted to add that my Dublin prints are going to be for sale in the lovely new GPO Witness History shop within yards of my late grandfather's office that was.
The Grace of Fortune
Thankfully by the grace of fortune the events of 1916 spared my grandfather's life and allowed my family to exist! So when I visit the new GPO Witness History Centre next week and see some of my Hairy Fruit Art prints of Dublin on the shelves it will be quite an emotional moment. I know I will be feeling so grateful to have my work inside the most historical building in Dublin, but also relieved that my grandfather survived to tell the tale.
I wonder what Grandfather would have to say to me about it all 100 years later on?