Ceremony marks the centenary of Dublin Castle being handed back to the Irish people 4 months ago

Ceremony marks the centenary of Dublin Castle being handed back to the Irish people

"It is now in the hands of the Irish nation.”

This Sunday (16 January) marks the 100 year anniversary of Dublin Castle being handed to the Provisional Irish Government, a key step in the foundation of the Irish Free State.

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At 1.45 pm on 16 January 1922, the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, or Viceroy, handed over the castle to members of the Provisional Government, led by Michael Collins.

According to one anecdote, Collins was greeted by James MacMahon, who said "We’re glad to see you Mr Collins".

Collins allegedly replied "Ye are like hell boy!".

Following the handover, Collins released the following statement.

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“The members of Rialtas Sealadach na hÉireann (Provisional Government of Ireland) received the surrender of Dublin Castle at 1.45 p.m. to-day. It is now in the hands of the Irish nation.”

King George V sent a telegram following the handover, congratulating the formation of the Government.

"Am gratified to hear from your telegram of the successful establishment of the Provisional Government in Ireland," King George wrote.

"Am confident that you will do all in your power to help its members to accomplish the task that lies before them."

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The castle had acted as the administrative seat in the country, but this ceased with the handover.

No public commemoration was held, but a ceremony was held on castle grounds and broadcast on RTÉ One.

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The event was attended by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tanáiste Leo Varadkar, and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou MacDonald.

Other attendees include former Taoisigh Enda Kenny and Bertie Ahern, and former presidents Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson.

"As we honour the achievements of the revolutionary generation, we do so with pride that the State they helped to create is entering its second century of independent, democratic government," Micheál Martin said.

President Michael D. Higgins was also in attendance, and unveiled two plaques at the castle, one in English and one in Irish.

The event was also attended by the UK Ambassador in Ireland, Paul Johnston.

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