The Howth Gun-Running took place 100 years ago this weekend on 26 July 1914.
M&ARL holds the papers of Robert Erskine Childers (1870-1922), Irish nationalist, writer and father of the Irish President of the same name. Within this collection is a wonderful selection of photographs (TCD MS 7890/8) recording the history of the Asgard, the Childers’ yacht which was used to transport a shipment of arms for the Irish Volunteers in 1914.
Childers, his wife Molly, and a small crew agreed to collect part of the haul in the 51ft yacht, transporting 900 rifles and 29,000 rounds of ammunition, which originated in Germany, to Howth. The ammunition was to be used in the 1916 Easter Rising.
Somehow they also found time to take photographs to record the mission, including pictures of the writer and political activist Darrell Figgis; of nationalist activist Mary Spring Rice and Molly Childers with guns, aboard the Asgard; and of the Irish Volunteers at Howth who had assembled at the harbour to receive the shipment .
Photographs from the Childers collection have been used by RTE News in their coverage of the centenary and are also on display at the National Museum Collins Barracks as part of the permanent exhibition Asgard: The Howth Gun-Running Vessel Conserved.