Last night Eason on O’Connoll Street celebrated 1916 with a select number of guests invited for an evening to commemorate the events of that week.
Guests were treated to a specially created interactive digital archive which showed how Eason the store managed to stand the test of time. To this day Eason are the only retailer still trading from O’Connell Street as they did 100 years ago.
A beautifully constructed video based on the archive files was shown to the excited guests. On the night we learned how Eason was effected by the events of the Easter Rising. Eason along with it’s staff made great efforts to try and maintain the supply of newspapers to outlets around the city.
Within a week of the rebellion commencing both Eason shops on Middle Abbey Street and Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street) were destroyed. The archive materials are complimented with an aster 1916 timeline that recounts the events before, during and after the Rising and with a gallery of over 30 images from the era.
The history of Eason and 1916 share is rather incredible, one of the stories told on the night was of the staff members on April 25th. A large number of staff turned up for work but were sent home. Three staff members remained on until about 6.30 that day. They were having tea in the first floor of 40 Lower Sackville Street (O’Connell Street store) when a large sledge hammer came through the partition wall.
Having a lively imagination as to what would follow, they left their tea and retreated to their Abbey St. premises. Christopher Whelan worked as a messenger boy in Eason in Sackville Street (O’Connell Street) and was just 15 at the time when he was shot dead on Tuesday April 25th by British Soldiers in his bedroom.
This archive is now available to the public to review in the Eason store on O’Connell Street through touch screens on the ground floor.
Speaking yesterday, Brendan Corbett, Eason Group Head of Marketing said
“This week we are commemorating Eason’s connection with the 1916 Easter Rising. We know from our archives that our shops on Lower Sackville Street and Middle Abbey Street were seized by the rebels before subsequently being destroyed in the cross-fire during Easter week. Our commitment to our staff, our customers and the city of Dublin at the time was unwavering and within four years bout shops were rebuilt and 100 years later we are proudly trading from the same locations. This is the story we are sharing with the public for the first time within our new 1916 section on our O’Connell Street store”.
The digital archive, original documents and vast collection of 1916 reading will remain in situ for the coming months to commemorate the events of the Easter Rising 1916.