‘Surgeons and Insurgents – RCSI and the Easter Rising’ exhibition and lecture series opens at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Tricolour reportedly flown over RCSI during the Rising on public display for the first time
A special exhibition exploring the human stories of surgeons and insurgents associated with RCSI and the 1916 Easter Rising opens today at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), 123 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. This free exhibition is open to the public from 23rd March - 17th April 2016 and will bring visitors on a journey of RCSI's occupation during the 1916 Easter Rising with a focus on the stories of nine surgeons and nine insurgents involved in these historical events.
The exhibition will be officially opened by Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor of NUI and Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations.
The College's occupation by insurgents under the command of Michael Mallin and Countess Markievicz is a well-known aspect of the Easter Rising. However, few will be aware of the role RCSI surgeons played in surrounding hospitals, as they worked tirelessly, treating the wounded during the rebellion.
Mr Declan J. Magee, RCSI President said: "The centenary commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising are of particular significance to RCSI. Our building on St. Stephen's Green was one of the principal sites occupied by the Volunteers, but, also, many of the College surgeons played important roles in treating the injured. Despite being a focal point for the Rising, the building and rooms occupied during Easter week remain intact as they did in 1916 and we are privileged to host this commemorative exhibition in these historical surroundings."
The exhibition takes place in the rooms occupied by the insurgents which are virtually unchanged since 1916 with original features including a bullet-hole from a bullet which struck the brass plate of an internal door during the Rising.
Artefacts on display in the exhibition include the tricolour believed to have flown over RCSI during the Rising and the will of Countess Markievicz, both reportedly taken from the College by the wounded Margaret Skinnider. This tricolour, which is on loan to the College from relatives of Margaret Skinnider, is on public display for the first time. A sword disguised as a walking stick, belonging to Captain Christopher Poole, on loan from the Poole family will also be on display at the event.
Features of the exhibition include a scale model of St Stephen's Green in 1916 with visual and sound-effects, showing the firing-lines across the Green and reconstructions of furniture barricades, the first aid station and 'live bombs' table, re-creating some of the scenes found in the College during the Rising.
The exhibition is family friendly with children's activity sheets available for younger visitors.
Admission is free, however booking is required for the lectures and peak times of the exhibition. Further details of opening times and bookings are available at www.rcsi.ie/2016
The surgeons featured in the exhibition are: Sir Thomas Myles, John Stephen McArdle, Michael Francis Cox, Sir Robert Henry Woods, Charles Hachette Hyland, Euphan Montgomerie Maxwell, William Ireland de Courcy Wheeler, Francis Tobin and Sir Charles Alexander Cameron. The insurgents featured are: Countess Constance Markievicz, Thomas Clifford, Michael O'Doherty, Frank Robbins, Madeleine ffrench-Mullen, Helen ‘Nellie' Gifford, Michael Mallin, Christopher Poole and Margaret Skinnider.
The College is also involved in a number of the official city-wide events over the Easter period. On Easter Sunday, a military ceremonial as part of the Easter Sunday State Commemoration Ceremony and Parade, will take place outside the College. On Easter Monday, RCSI President, Mr Declan J. Magee will be the guest speaker at a wreath laying ceremony, taking place outside RCSI as part of the synchronised wreath laying ceremonies taking place at six iconic sites associated with the Easter Rising in Dublin. Later that afternoon, the College will also host a series of lectures and live broadcasts as part of RTE Reflecting the Rising.
RCSI is ranked 46th in the world for ‘International Outlook' and #251 - 300 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2015-2016). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.