A joint initiative of Dublin City Council, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the Irish Heritage Trust – the exhibition is open to the public for two months, from Thursday, 4th July and will continue until the end of August at No.14 Henrietta Street. (For further information and ticket sales see http://dublintenementexperience.com/) The 35-minute drama element of the experience is performed by the award-winning ANU Productions.
At the official opening the exhibition on Thursday, 27th June, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn, said: “This project is groundbreaking. It brings history to life. This large early Georgian house, originally designed for one family, by the turn of the last century had become a typical Dublin tenement and was home to more than 100 people. Entering the ground floor now is like entering a time capsule which transports the 21st century visitor back to 1913. The use of drama, archival records, photographs and personal testimonies, in what is quite a compact space, brings the history of the experience to life. I would encourage as many people as possible to come and see the hour-long Dublin Tenement Experience: Living the Lockout and get a real taste of what life was really like for thousands of people in the city 100 years ago.”
ICTU 1913 Commemoration Committee member, Sally Anne Kinahan, commented: “Dublin Tenement Experience: Living the Lockout features intense and passionate scenes that capture the heady optimism of the strikers at the beginning of their struggle in August 1913; the desperation of the families as they faced ruin and possible starvation in the run-up to Christmas 1913 and the hard choices that confronted the workers and their families as the Lockout neared its end in early 1914. The drama, which was driven from documentary material, also portrays the heroic determination of the workers and their communities to bring about lasting change in relation to their right to organise themselves in a union and to improve the grim living conditions of the tenements.”
She added: “One hundred years on from the Lockout, workers in Ireland still have no legal right to collective bargaining, namely to collectively negotiate their pay, terms and conditions of employment. In fact, we’re one of only five EU countries where this is the case. In addition, the campaign for decent work is particularly relevant during this time of austerity where many employers have used the global recession to drive down the pay and conditions of workers.”