Detailed Course Description

Course Description

This course will provide people with an insight into the social history of the Irish capital in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By combining classroom lectures with walking tours, the course aims to shine a light on the lives of ordinary Dublin citizens historically, looking at issues like housing, class, culture, politics and more.  Irish history has traditionally focused on famous male characters, yet this course aims to explore the lives of the forgotten and marginalised, including women and children.  The class will introduce people to some of the more unsavoury aspects of Dublin's past, while also celebrating the rich history of the city.

Utilising tools like the 1911 Census, the Bureau of Military History and other archival materials, the class will educate participants on the tools at our disposal to help us tell the stories of ordinary Dubliners.

Key events examined in detail include the Lockout and the tenement crisis of 1913, as well as working class responses to the Easter Rising and broader revolutionary period.

Course Schedule


4 Tuesdays 7.00-9.00pm

Feb 21, 28, Mar 7, 14


4 Saturdays 11.00am - 1.00pm

Feb 25, Mar 4, 11, 18

Provisional List of Key Topics

*Migration in Dublin

*Working class housing

*Working class culture


*Prostitution in Dublin

*Working class responses to the Irish revolution.

Provisional Reading List

Kevin Kearns: Dublin Tenement Life

Padraig Yeates: Lockout: Dublin 1913

David Dickson: Dublin: The Making of a Capital City

Joe Duffy: Children of the Rising

Terry Fagan: Monto: Madams, Murder and Black Coddle.


Donal Fallon is a historian and broadcaster based in Dublin. A graduate of University College Dublin, his MA thesis examined the ‘Animal Gangs’ and youth violence in working class Dublin in the 1930s. He is particularly interested in the social history of the Irish capital. His publications include a biography of Major John MacBride (O’Brien, 2015) and a study of the Nelson Pillar (New Island, 2014).