Listen to A History of the Easter Rising in 10 Objects Ep 6: A Flag from the Gunship Helga
The sixth in a ten part podcast series on a 'History of the Easter Rising in 10 Objects' discusses the flag from the 'gunship' Helga which was responsible for part of the artillery fire on Dublin city.
Many accounts and testimonies from the Easter Rising make reference to the Helga, a gunboat that came up the River Liffey and is assumed to have laid waste to much of Dublin city centre with artillery.
Yet the Helga’s role in the suppression of the Rising illustrates the degree to which appearances can deceive. There was indeed a vessel called the Helga—these artefacts are proof of that. It did come up the Liffey. And it was equipped with guns. But it is stretching matters too far to describe it as a gunboat.
'A History of the Easter Rising in 50 Objects' by John Gibney is available now.