Dáil Chamber silent and empty

Download this image

More from this collection

Related by When

Related by Where

Support Pastpin!

Where: 8 Kildare St, Dublin, Ireland

When: Unknown

Until the advent of television, sights such as this were relatively rare, the inside of the national parliament was considered almost sacrosanct. Now the activity there is streamed live, relevant clips appear daily on the news channels and people are familiar with the appearance and décor.

As Niall McAuley notes, the main parliament chamber at Leinster House was originally a lecture theatre leased from the Royal Dublin Society. It was bought outright for Dáil use, and redesigned in the mid-1920s (likely putting this image after that date)...


Photographer: Unknown

Collection: Eason Photographic Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1900-1939. Likely after mid-1920s

NLI Ref: EAS_1755

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8511
eason easonson easoncollection easonphotographiccollection glassnegative 20thcentury nationallibraryofireland dáiléireann dáilchamber leinsterhouse dublin ireland nationalparliament lowerhouse seats government mysterycontrols dáil rds royaldublinsociety oireachtas kildarestreet

Add Tags
  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 10:20:34

    This space was an RDS lecture theater until 1922, so this must be 1922-39. From wikipedia: it was decided to hire the main RDS Lecture Theatre attached to Leinster House for use in December 1922 as a temporary Dáil chamber. The building was bought outright from the RDS in 1924.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 10:34:12

    The room is octagonal in shape and its original seating capacity was 700. Little alteration was needed to adapt it for parliamentary purposes - the floor was raised and the seating capacity reduced. This photo matches a modern one, so I think it is after the alterations. The DIA says "alts for use as Dail" were from 1925-29, so I think this is earliest 1925.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 11:46:00

    The RTE stills library has some shots from 1969, no help. The flat wall with the pictures hung on it has been painted white by then, dark in this picture.

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 18/Nov/2016 11:50:22

    I wonder what all the controls on that piece of furniture are for?

  • profile
  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 11:58:19

    Tuesday, 12 August 1924 Dáil Éireann Debate Vol. 8 No. 22 AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Before entering upon the business, I would like to say that in order not to interrupt the very necessary alterations being made in our own Chamber, we meet today, by the courtesy of the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, whom I consulted in the matter, in the Chamber of the Seanad.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 12:04:49

    The report of the committee which decided to stay at Leinster House in 1924 (rather than move to the Roayl Hospital or Dublin castle).

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 12:17:01

    This debate indicates that Leinster House "has been in our possession for six months" in May 1925 - so from November 1924? That would line up with alterations in 1925 in DIA...

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 12:20:02

    [https:[email protected]] I'm thinking the electrical panel controls the lights?

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 18/Nov/2016 12:51:39

    The RTE 1960s Stills Library image which [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] shares no longer shows "cages" in the upper gallery. Seemingly by the 1960s, those seated in the upper gallery were trusted not to throw stuff upon (or fall upon) the deputies.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 13:02:17

    I think the galleries are glassed in these days?

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 18/Nov/2016 13:12:51

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Niall to my mind it looks a little too complicated for lighting control?

  • profile

    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 18/Nov/2016 13:57:15

    theatre seating? Parliament here is more of a large square room with desks for each MP, flat floor.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Nov/2016 15:48:30

    [https:[email protected]] It was in fact a lecture theatre until 1922, and altered very little.

  • profile

    sam2cents

    • 18/Nov/2016 21:18:51

    Absolutely fascinating. Almost eerie. Where could they be? It probably indicates the summer recess or something similar.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 19/Nov/2016 00:32:39

    Thanks all! Description, map and date updated. Below is a roughly equivalent view from 2010. As shared by our next-door neighbours. Still very familiar (though the mystery dials are gone). Have a great weekend! www.flickr.com/photos/oireachtas/4998260693/

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 19/Nov/2016 00:41:50

    Perhaps the dials were for controlling the temperature of heated debates?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 19/Nov/2016 09:52:26

    [https:[email protected]] Perhaps.....

  • profile

    Houses of the Oireachtas

    • 24/Nov/2016 13:20:00

    It's may before 1931, as the Ceann Comhairle's bell is not on the desk. This bell is a half size reproduction of the ancient bell of Lough Lene Castle, presented to Dáil Éireann in 1931 by the widow of a former member of the House, Major Bryan Cooper. The original bell was found at Castle Island, Lough Lene, Castlepollard, County Westmeath in 1881 and is now in the National Museum. Hope this helps.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 24/Nov/2016 15:14:35

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/oireachtas] Thanks neighborino! Very interesting to know - and always great to get extra refinement on the date range. Any thoughts though on the "mystery dials"? Perhaps an ejector seat button to use in case of unparliamentary language? :)

  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Nov/2016 12:42:02

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] If it's not used for controlling the lighting, is it possible that it was part of some kind of stenography or tape-recording arrangement?

  • profile

    thelimbreaper

    • 26/Nov/2016 16:09:41

    I pretty sure those "controls" would be for trap doors & ejection seats. www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7hgPwyQUTc

  • profile

    Houses of the Oireachtas

    • 29/Nov/2016 17:19:09

    Pretty sure they are not ejector seat buttons, what fun, but no. I'm sure its part of the voting/bells system as there seems to be a wire coming from the unit and back then the only electronic system may have been the bells to ring for votes and quorums etc. I will ask around the Houses... Chat soon Neighbrino...

  • profile

    Canadian Pacific

    • 22/Feb/2017 16:04:05

    I was there, well, not inside, but I saw Leinster House during my visit in 2014.

  • profile

    Carlos ZGZ

    • 18/Mar/2017 22:09:09

    [https:[email protected]] Thanks for having contributed to the group All Free Pictures. You were one of the first contributors to the group pool. A few months later, the group pool has more than 50k pictures, and not a single one has "All rights reserved"! I would like to invite you to participate in our monthly photo challenge. Every month there is a new theme (black & white, portrait, nature...) and the winners are portrayed in a gallery. I wish you an excellent day and I hope to see more of your free pictures in the group sometime soon!