Living the Lockout is a rare opportunity to see inside an old Dublin tenement property situated on the once epic Henrietta St. The Dublin Tenement Experience takes you back in time to the 1913 lockout in Dublin and in particular what life was like at No.14 Henrietta St during this challenging period. I’ll not spoil what the ‘experience’ is about because I didn’t know myself prior to going and I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the evocative nature of the experience. It’s very interactional ( so don’t be shy to ask questions and join in). You go from one room to the next ( on the ground floor only) and learn new stories in each room.
Henrietta Street is undoubtably my favourite street in the city. It’s one I regularly walk on and capture on my camera. Once you reach the top of Henrietta St. you are greeted by Kings Inn (see photo below), another impressive sight. It’s fascinating to think of how a once grand Georgian townhouse (build by Gardiner) turned to a street full of rundown tenements. As you step inside No.14 you begin to understand how difficult it must have been to have 100 people living in one house. The little eyeopeners such as the room size, furniture and marks on the wall (see above) tell a huge amount about working class living in 1913. As a result of different factors such as poor facilities, lack of work, overcrowding etc. you can understand why the health of many working class deteriorated in this time period. Infant mortality was regular and landlords were not obliged to improve situations. Those who were working or returned to work after the lockout faced long hours and poor pay.
On this experience you will learn about Larkin, the ITGWU and the struggle of the working class to achieve basic human rights. One gets a real sense of community, support and solidarity from the individual stories during the tour. I thoroughly recommend the Tenement Experience for as a stepping stone into the history of our nation. This tour is a taster of what it was like in 1913 and I can only hope that in the future a museum of some sort and a tour that encapsulates the whole of a Georgian house from basement to the top floor will be on the cards. Tickets for the Dublin Tenement Experience cost €5.50 and can be purhcased online here. The experience runs until August 31 and prior booking is advised.