Today Gallipoli will be commemorated in England, Australia and New Zealand as it was on the first anniversary in 1916. But it will not be commemorated in Dublin except perhaps by the Australians and New Zealanders in St Anne’s Church in Dawson Street.
Gallipoli is a monumental tragedy for Trinity College Dublin and for Ireland. Trinity College is attacked by the rebels in the early hours of April 25 1916. It is as if we were responsible for the catastrophe of Gallipoli when in fact we were mourning our dead in Gallipoli.
There is a first-hand account of these historically transforming events by Elsie Mahaffy, the Provost’s elder daughter in the Provost’s house in 1 Grafton Street. It is an astonishing fact that this account has yet to be published more than a hundred years after the events it describes.
Hardly less astonishing is the fact that on April 25 1916 Provost Mahaffy is to be found invigilating a French examination for the women students who had duly presented themselves for examination that day.
A tribute not only to our women students but also to the fact that we had admitted women students in 1904, long before our sister universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
What a Provost and what a university.
Dr Gerald Morgan, Fellow, Trinity College Dublin
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