EMIGRATION, TRAFFIC PROBLEMS and a visit from the British monarch… in many ways Dublin hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years.
But women can now wear trousers without fear of ridicule – and even vote.
A new book, Dublin 1911, compiles some of the biggest news stories that dominated the press one century ago. We’ve picked out some of the issues that grabbed headlines…
- Emigration There were more than 80 boats sailing to Britain every week from Dublin port – but most of those who took them were people from the country passing through the capital on their way elsewhere.
- ‘Mixed marriages’ There were protests against a decree from the Pope forbidding marriages between Catholics and Protestants – which one elected representative described as “an act of intolerable aggression on the part of a foreign power”.
- The trouser skirt A new ‘trouser skirt’ appeared for women with two baggy legs – and invited mass ridicule that women could wear anything so mannish. “This latest freak of fashion [...] will not be adopted by Irishwomen”, one commentator wrote.
- The King Huge crowds lined out for the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, giving “spontaneous and cordial demonstrations of welcome”.
- Birds A “great rush” of birds was reported across south-east Ireland on March 29 1911, appearing “like a cloud which covered several miles”. One postman reported being struck by several starlings as he cycled across a Waterford bridge.
- Women The ‘votes for women’ campaign was stepping up, with a number of groups attempting a boycott of the 1911 census – arguing that women were not being treated as full citizens so should not be counted.
- Motor cars Restrictions were threatened on the relatively new innovation, with some calling for speed limits on motor cars to be the same as those for horses. This meant 10mph in the city, and 20mph in the Phoenix Park.
Dublin 1911 is available in all good bookshops or online from the Royal Irish Academy, where you can read a sample snippet.