Libraries and Archive - Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log book, Easter 1916


In addition to fire-fighting duties, Dublin Fire Brigade was also responsible for the provision of an ambulance service which in 1916 was based at brigade headquarters in Tara Street. As with all of its other stations, Tara Street maintained an occurrence book (also known as a log book) which recorded all activities on a day-by-day basis. Owing to a paper clearance in the 1930s all Fire Brigade records older than seven years were disposed of. However, the Tara Street log book for the year 1916 – including Easter Week – was rescued and Dublin City Council was able to buy it back in November 2014. A second, less detailed, report from Thomas Street Fire Station to DFB Chief Purcell was also purchased at the same time. These documents are now held by Dublin City Library & Archive.

The Tara Street log book records events in chronological sequence in a factual, contemporaneous manner. There is no attempt at political or other analysis of any kind. Most of the locations are in Dublin city centre, and the ambulances collect the wounded and bring them to hospital – either the nearest one, or else the nearest which could be reached safely. Sometimes the wounded have to be taken to a private house, as it is too dangerous to proceed further. Interspersed with the victims of fighting are regular patients – one woman had to be brought from Fairview to Holles Street, and one man refused to go in the ambulance to hospital – whether he was afraid of the fighting or afraid of the hospital is not recorded.

The Tara Street log book is written in ink by several different hands, according as successive men took charge of writing it up. While it is generally legible, a complete transcript for Easter Week 1916 (Monday 24 to Sunday 30 April) has been provided by Dublin City Archives, where staff have also intensively researched the various incidents and locations mentioned in the log book. On the right-hand side of the screen is a transcript of one page of the log book with the date given, and the layout is as shown in the original. For each date, each of these incidents and locations has been mapped on a day-by-day basis by genealogist and IT specialist John Grenham. The work is now published online by Dublin City Council, where it can be viewed free of charge.


Dublin City Council       Easter 2016