South Dublin County Council

Messines and Passchendaele: the South Dublin Perspective

11th September 2017

Exhibition at County Library, Tallaght

4th – 29th September 2017

After the Battle of the Somme, the campaigns of the Great War continued to take their toll on South Dublin County. To mark the centenary of two of the most decisive battles to take place after the Somme, South Dublin Libraries presents this exhibition based on thirteen men from the county who were killed in Belgium during these iconic battles of the Great War. One was killed at Messines, twelve perished at the Third Battle of Ypres.

The Battle of Messines was considered a successful offensive of the Great War mainly due to the much-improved accuracy of British Artillery, and the extensive use of underground mines. In all, 19 were detonated under the German defences at the Messines Ridge causing extensive damage. In Irish terms, it was also the first battle where Unionists and Nationalists fought together against a common foe. Among their number was the only known Messines casualty from the South Dublin County area – a Tallaght man – William (Billy) Barrett who spent his early years living in Tallaght Village. His mother ran a pub which was then called Barrett’s. The premises still exists as the Dragon Inn, and is virtually unchanged since then.

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