Fire In The Hole


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The Marino Casino Cherrymount Crescent, off the Malahide Road, Marino, Dublin 3

A series of secret tunnels used by Michael Collins and other revolutionary leaders during the War of Independence to test-fire submachine guns.

The tunnels are open to the public for the first time as part of National Heritage Week (until August 28).

Casino at Marino

Sam Boal /Rollingnews

18 thoughts on “Fire In The Hole

  1. Harry Molloy

    I love Heritage week, great buzz around the place. Never went further than the city centre though, might plan going a little further this year.

  2. jambon

    But what were they originally used for? Paedophilia and child sacrifice, that’s what! James Caulfeild and his madcap elite buddies, always has been the way in Ireland, always will be …

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      I’d say the tunnels were designed by the clever Chambers for squirreling away foodstuffs and unsightly animal carcasses etc with the more subversive activities taking over that purpose later. It’s a feckin’ great building.

      1. The Dude

        What evidence is offered with regard to that slur on Caulfield’s good character?

        Caulfield was notably progressive; while others of the colonial class pursued a purely carpet-bagging agenda, he cultivated connections across Europe with economist David Hume, Edmund Burke, Pope Benedict XIV – and separately had the preacher John Wesley to stay. He amassed a very notable collection of books in his library at what later became the Hugh Lane Gallery – and hoped it would continue to benefit the populace after his death, which it did – until sale by a descendent in the later 19th century.

        A key figure of the Enlightenment in Ireland, Caulfield headed up the Irish Volunteers, which gave effect to Grattan’s Parliament, and provided a core part of what became the United Irishmen.

        The Casino itself is a marvellous legacy, rated afaik as the 4th most important classical building in Europe. Built to designs of Chambers, it also provided employment for James Gandon, who was to then go on to provide Georgian Dublin with some of its best set pieces, such as the Custom House, 4 Courts etc. The ‘tunnels’ at Marino originally served the purpose of access to water, sewage storage, and separately other storage – as space was particularly restricted in a building that externally appears as one room, yet which is like the Tardis inside, containing 12 rooms.

        A well written biography by Maurice Craig,’The Volunteer Earl’, originally published by the Crescent Press in London, is well-worth a goo for anyone who is further interested!

        1. Harry Molloy


          read a lot of that in his profile on the casino website, seems like a very interesting, cultured and forward thinking chap

        2. Spaghetti Hoop

          I did not slur Caulfield, jambon did!
          The subversive activities I was referring to were the guns and the hiding of men.

    2. TweedJacketGuy

      The tunnels were originally used for bringing food, linens and other items from Lord Charlemont’s nearby manor (formerly situated near the Fairview side of Marino) to the Casino, his summer home for entertaining guests. The tunnels were used so that the help wouldn’t be seen walking through his gardens thus ruining the view (naturally).

      The tunnels are large enough for a donkey and cart to fit through, though unfortunately only a small section of the tunnel remains. Place has a pretty cool history.

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