2 Dawson Street – Headquarters of the Irish Volunteers

2 Dawson Street Spring 2016

2 Dawson Street Spring 2016

It’s hard to believe that this modernised building was once headquarters of the Irish Volunteers. At one stage they had over a hundred thousand members training and drilling all around Ireland.

It was in 2 Dawson Street that at Thomas MacDonagh, Sean MacDiarmada, Padraig Pearse, Joseph Plunkett and many of their friends met and made their plans for the upcoming rebellion. The building was under constant surveillance by the police, who watched and marked down the comings and goings of the rebels.

Nellie Gifford ran her small employment bureau in a room there which Thomas MacDonagh and his fellow volunteers kindly agreed to let her use. She was determined to help young Irish men avoid being conscripted in to the British army. Nellie interviewed Michael Collins in her office in January 1916 and introduced him to Joe Plunkett, who offered Collins a job to help with the financial accounts and affairs of the Plunkett family.

It is easy to pass this building on Lower Dawson Street, across from Trinity College, without any awareness of its important place in history.

I am hoping that in time Dublin City Council will mark it with a plaque or some form of recognition.