I think all of these have already been posted here and are familiar scenes.
Apart from pic no. 2 below.
I've no problem accepting they were really taken on 25 May 1921 in the aftermath of the IRA's attack on the building and the gun battle that early afternoon.
What's recently caught my interest is seeing them in the archives of the Kerryman newspaper, dated 12 March 1938.
And what it said about their origin and source, which I'd like to hear other members views on....
This is how they were published then:
Zooming in, the headline reads:
Camera Caught History In the Making
These series of pictures were taken during the red-hot activity which followed immediately on the arrival of the Crown Forces at the burning Dublin Custom House. Whoever snapped them is not now identifiable, for they were found in Dublin Castle after the evacuation in 1922, and have not been published hitherto.The captions are:
Pic 1. THE ANGEL OF DEATH PASSED THAT WAY BEFORE THE AUXILIARY
A British Auxiliary pauses in his stride to run practised hand over the body of a prostrate Irishman whose attitude suggest the complete indifference of the dead to the attention of the living. What does the Auxiliary seek? Life, arms, wounds? The possession of any one of them by an Irishman near the burning Custom House in Dublin on 25th May, 1921, would have made him the Auxiliary’s prey.Pic 2. CALLING TO COLLECT THE EMPTIES
Against a background of smoke, Auxiliaries removing the petrol tins from which the IRA methodically sprinkled the interior of the Custom House with paraffin oil. Not a drop of petrol was used in the coup.Pic 3. PUT THEM UP AND KEEP THEM THERE!
Burly and well-armed Auxiliary with civilians rounded-up in the vicinity of the Custom House after it was set on fire.Pic 4. ONE COULD NOT GO AND OTHERS WERE NOT TAKEN
The closing scenes in the operations of the British Crown Forces around the burning Custom House – rounded-up Irishmen being marched away under arrest, while one poor fellow lies stretched on the pavement and others gaze after the retreating figures.Comments.
General - Pics 1 and 2 in particular seem of less-than professional quality, as opposed to many more taken that day. Exposure is poor, as is focus in Pic 3. Even compared to pic 4.
They are taken very close to the subjects, especially Pic 2. Suggesting an amateur snapper among the police or military on site that day?
So, possibly something to support the story of discovery in the Castle in 1922?
Pic 1 I'm unsure of the identity of the fatality here. Let's leave any captions we've seen aside for a moment.
IMHO it is one of the Reilly brothers, Patrick or Stephen, two of the four IRA Volunteers killed at the scene (a 5th, Sean Doyle, died of wounds some days later).
Wearing the "broad black brimmer of the IRA"?
Less likely it may be Volunteer Ned ("Tommy") Dorins.
I believe it's most unlikely to have been either of the two civilians killed outside the building - John Byrne and James Connolly.
That's based on (1) Byrne was cycling when shot, we don't see a bicycle; and Connolly was a Quay Labourer, hardly a wearer of a hat like that doing his kind of work; and
(2) IF the pics were taken by the British, they'd probably show a "trophy gunman" rather than a civilian shot in cross-fire and found to be unarmed and innocent.
Pic 2 I hadn't seen this until Liz Gillis* recently drew my attention to a pamphlet by Sean O'Mahony on the Custom House burning published in 2000 (It appears in even poorer quality there).
The Auxy on left looks like one who appeared in several pics from that day.
I just love the way he's smoking while collecting tins of accelerant used by the IRA! Proves it wasn't petrol which had been in the empty tins.......
Pic 3 is very well known, as is the big Auxy shouldering his shotgun (but with a handgun drawn too).
Pic 4 The fatality here must be Dan Head, the 17-year-old D Company IRA man shot that day after his grenade attack on an Auxy lorry.
I'll post my evidence for that opinion after this year's commemoration of the event, 25 May.
I wonder why the well-known version always seems to be cropped to exclude the onlookers at right? The smaller guy is bare-foot......
Some other photos "from the Burning" also appeared in the O'Mahony pamphlet; mainly showing military. If I can't satisfy myself about their origin, I'll post them here for expert review.
* The Dublin author mentioned recently in a post by CSM. Liz is also a Kilmainham Gaol tour guide and a great character who knows her history.