Constructed between 1764 and 1768, Mellow’s Bridge remains the oldest of all Dublin city bridges still in use. Formerly known as Aran Bridge, it was renamed again in 1942 to its current name, after Lieutenant General Liam Mellows (above) of the Irish Republican Army who was executed during the Irish Civil War, writes Ray Cleere.


In the 1670s and in the 1680s Dublin City was alive with the sights and sounds of building and rebuilding in what must have been a welcome reprieve for the well-heeled citizens at the time. Up to then the seventeenth century was violent and chaotic. Land, power and political control were wrested from the Irish and paid for in blood which was spilled in barbaric battle and indiscriminate slaughter.

It was a century in which the crown of England smote the land of Ireland, scattered the Irish Catholic nobility and settled Protestant English and Scottish on their ancestral lands. It is an historical truth, easily told in words and numbers: defeat for the Irish Earls in 1603, their flight in 1607 and 30,000 colonist landowners and tenants settled by 1640.

Catholics lost the right to hold high public office or serve in the army and by 1613 the settlers had gained a majority in the Irish House of Commons. The 1641 Rebellion and the formation of The Irish Catholic Federation ultimately ended in failure as events in England at the time cast a long shadow over Ireland.

Charles I was executed in 1649. Oliver Cromwell’s ferocious ‘New Model Army’ landed at Ringsend and by 1653 Ireland was quiet in miserable defeat.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own