The original cassette inlay from 1991.
Fáilte, Welcome, Bienvenue, Bienvenidos, Bem-vindo, Willkommen, Mile Widziany, ようこそ , 欢迎 ,
The one-hour recording can be heard/read as a conducted tour of the outposts in Dublin where the insurgents of Easter week 1916 held out against the superior forces of the British Empire from the declaration of the Irish Republic at midday on the Monday to the final surrender on the Saturday. The listener/reader can undertake the walk from Liberty Hall to Boland's Mill, Stephen's Green, the YMCA building (formerly Jacob's Factory), Dublin Castle and along the Quays to St. James' Hospital (formerly South Dublin Union), the Four Courts, the G.P.O. and end in Parnell Square at the Garden of Remembrance, but the recording itself with the narration, the music, the songs and poetry, is of itself good listening without essaying the walk at all.
Is féidir éisteacht leis an taifeadadh uair an chloig, nó é a léamh, mar thuras treoraithe ar na hurphoist i mBaile Átha Cliath inar sheas ceannaircigh Sheachtain na Cásca 1916 an fód in aghaidh fhórsaí ceannasacha Impireacht na Breataine, ó fhógairt Phoblacht na hÉireann ag meán lae ar an Luan, go dtí an géilleadh deiridh ar an Satharn. Tig leis an éisteoir/léitheoir an tsiúlóid a dhéanamh ó Halla na Saoirse go Muileann Uí Bheoláin, Faiche Stiabhna, foirgneamh an YMCA (iarmhonarcha Jacob), Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath, agus ar feadh na gcéanna chuig Ospidéal San Séamas (iar-Aontas Bhaile Átha Cliath Theas), na Ceithre Chúirt, Ard-Oifig an Phoist, go dtí an ceann scríbe ag an nGairdín Cuimhneacháin i gCearnóg Parnell; ach is lón maith éisteachta an taifeadadh féin, gona aithris, ceol, amhráin agus filíocht, gan tabhairt faoin turas in aon chor.
The extracts of Tomás MacAnna's handwritten script are reproduced here in honour of one of Ireland's greatest believers in Irish heritage, language and folklore. His commitment to the Abbey Theatre was unstinting, his contribution incalculable and his handwriting was always a delight to read
Tá na sleachta de script lámhscríofa Thomáis MhicAnna san áireamh anseo in ómós do dhuine de na daoine ba mhó in Éirinn a chreid in oidhreacht, teanga agus béaloideas na hÉireann. Bhí tiomantas iomlán aige d’Amharclann na Mainistreach, rinne sé cion oibre thar na bearta, agus ba mhór an sásamh i gcónaí a lámhscríbhneoireacht a léamh.
First page of Tomás MacAnna's handwritten script
Page 17 of Tomás MacAnna's handwritten script
Click on the flags to access photographs and audio commentaries.
Cliceáil ar na bratacha chun teacht ar na grianghraif agus na tráchtaireachtaí.
Click on the outposts in order to access photographs and commentary.
Cliceáil ar na hurphoist chun teacht ar na grianghraif agus na tráchtaireachtaí.
The application will take you on a tour of Dublin with audio commentaries, music, songs and poetry about the 1916 Easter Rising.
The tour starts in Liberty Hall and ends in The Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square. You can take the tour using either the online version or the offline version.
Go back to the main menu, by pressing the "Main menu" button located at the top of the screen, and press "Start the Tour (online version) ". A map of Dublin will appear on your screen with the 12 stages marked with little flags. Please note that the starting point (Liberty Hall) will be represented by . All the other outposts are highlighted by a little Irish flag . If the map does not display, please make sure your device is 3G or 4G enabled and connected to Internet (through a data network or WIFI). If you cannot get your device to connect to the Internet, then please use the offline version.
Go back to the main menu, by pressing the "Main menu" button located at the top of the screen, and press "Start the Tour (offline version) ". A list of the 12 outposts will dislay on your screen, just press the outpost relevant to your location.
On each outpost's page, you will see a slideshow of photographs of your surroundings, comparing them to what they looked like back in 1916. To hear the commentary by Donncha Ó Dúlaing, press the "play" button on the audio panel. Below the audio panel, you will find the transcript of the commentary.
At any point, you can use the navigation bar located at the top and/or bottom of the screen to get back to the map, to the list of outposts or to the main menu.
The objectives of the Association have always been:
To restore, where necessary, and maintain fittingly the graves and memorials of our patriot dead of every generation.
To commemorate those who died in the cause of Irish freedom.
To compile a record of such graves and memorials
The mission of the National Library of Ireland is 'To collect, preserve, promote and make accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland and to contribute to the provision of access to the larger universe of recorded knowledge'.
Prison museum where many of Ireland's political prisoners were incarcerated, tortured and executed.
Address: Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
Victorian burial grounds & museum with guided tours, interactive exhibits, a gift shop & cafe.
Address: Finglas Rd, Dublin 11, Ireland
Collins Barracks is a former military barracks in the Arbour Hill area of Dublin, Ireland. The buildings are now the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History.
The archives contain the records of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in Ireland from 1615 to circa 1980. Principal collections include Correspondence and papers of Fr. Albert Biddy, OFM Cap., Fr. Dominic O'Connor, OFM Cap., and other Capuchins involved in ministering to court-martialed insurgent leaders following the Easter Rising. This collection includes contemporary republican pamphlets, newspapers, handbills, photographs, correspondence and other documents relating to the War of Independence, the Treaty and the Civil War.
"Courage Boys We Are Winning – An Illustrated History of the 1916 Rising" by Michael Barry (Andalus Press 2015)
"Deansgrange Cemetery & The Easter Rising" by Ray Bateson, published by Irish Graves Publications October 2015
"To Speak Of Easter Week - Family Memories of the Irish Revolution" by Hélène O'Keefe (Mercier Press)
"Easter Widows - Seven Irish Women who lived in the Shadow of the 1916 Rising" by Sinead McCoole (Doubleday Ireland)
"A Pictorial Guide, The Easter Rising" published by Picture Press
"Easter Dawn: The 1916 Rising" by Turtle Bunbury (Mercier Press)
||Donncha Ó Dúlaing
|Scriptwriter + Producer
|Bosco Hogan, Eithne Dempsey
||Cormac Breatnach (flute + low whistle)
Niall Ó Callanáin (acoustic and electric bouzouki)
Seán Óg Potts (uilleann pipes)
Recorded at STARC Studio, Dublin.
Engineer – Ken Harley.
Sound Recording © 1991 c/o Cormac Breatnach
This recording under the then banner of
Reclaim the Spirit of Easter 1916/A Dublin Itinerary was supported by Dublin 1991 Cultural Capital of Europe.
The copyright in the audio recording incorporated in this App is held by the Estate of Tomás MacAnna.
|Mo Ghile Mear
||arr by Cormac Breatnach, Séan Óg Potts and Niall Ó Callanáin
||arr by Cormac Breatnach, Séan Óg Potts and Niall Ó Callanáin
|The Ballad of James Connolly
||arr by Joan McDermott
|Bold Robert Emmet
||arr by Joan McDermott
|The Dublin Reel
||arr by Séan Óg Potts and Niall Ó Callanáin
|The Lament for Limerick
||arr by Cormac Breatnach
|The Women of Ireland
||arr by Cormac Breatnach and Niall Ó Callanáin (composed by Seán Ó Riada)
|Dear Irish Boy
||arr by Séan Óg Potts
|App Design and
|Emmanuelle Balme - Emma B. Designs
|App vintage photographs
||(a) Irish Capuchin Provincial Archives(Visit website)
(b) Na Piobairi Uilleann (Visit website) for the image of Éamonn Ceannt playing his uilleann pipes
(c) Thomas (Tos) Quinn for the image of Éamonn Ceannt's Uilleann Pipes
(d) Gael-Linn for the film still of the Citizen Army photograph [from the 1959 Film 'Mise Éire']
(e) Úna Uí Challanáin for the images of Michael Mallin and his surrender with Markievicz
|App new photographs
||Robert Ballagh, Owen Daly
|Project Manager and App Co-Direction
|Transfer of DAT Recording
|Conversion and Compression of Recording
|Transcription of Recording
||Helen Ryan with notes by Cormac Breatnach
||Máirtín Ó Cadhain
|& Thanks to/Buíochas le
||Robert Ballagh, Emmanuelle Balme, Ray Bateson, Bláthnaid Ní Bhrádaigh, [Fondúireacht an Phiarsaigh] Michael Brady, Lucilita Bhreatnach, Cormac Breatnach, Antoine Ó Coileáin, [Gael-Linn] Rori Coleman, Geraldine Daly, Owen Daly, Eithne Dempsey, Ann Daly, Mary Doyle, Bosco Hogan, Gerry Keenan, Brian Kirby, Gerry Lyons, Ferdia Mac Anna, Joan McDermott, Niall Ó Callanáin, Donncha Ó Dúlaing, Feargal Ó Dúlaing, Peadar Ó Riada, Seán Óg Potts, Thomas (Tos) Quinn, Úna Uí Challanáin, Pádraig Yates and finally, to all in 'Reclaim The Vision of 1916'.
And Finally/le críoch
Ár mbuíochas le Fondúracht an Phiarsaigh (c/o Cultúrlann na hÉireann, Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co. Dublin) for permission to use the voice of the late Siobhán McKenna from the Pearse Centenary Record 'Mac Piarais/Pearse'; freisin, le Clann Uí Riada agus Gael-Linn, for the use of Seán Ó Riada's 'Mise Éire' [Realworld Publishing].
App copyright 2015 c/o Cormac Breatnach - All copyright and other rights in this App are held by or licensed to the App developers c/o Cormac Breatnach. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
A group of concerned individuals has established “Reclaim the Vision of 1916 — A Citizens' Initiative for 2016,” in order to reassert the political principles and objectives that animated the 1916 Rising and to show their continuing relevance for Ireland today.
For further information, please visit our website: www.reclaim1916.ie or email us at email@example.com
Here is our own Proclamation.
Music: 'Mise Éire' performed by the Raidió Éireann Symphony Orchestra
We start our Spirit of 1916 Walkabout here at Liberty Hall, the Headquarters of SIPTU, the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union, formerly the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union. The 'Hall of Liberty', aptly named, but seventy-five (1) years ago [or 100 years ago] it was far removed from this glass and concrete tower dominating the Liffey skyline, looking down on the metro railway bridge and the classical 18th century structure of The Custom House.
It was a grey two-storey building, classical enough in a modest way, formerly a hotel and taken over by the Workers' Union in 1908. From its centre window, the great Labour Leader, Jim Larkin (2), had addressed the poor of Dublin, raising their spirits during the great Lock-Out of the workers in 1913; it was here, too, that James Connolly and Larkin formed a Workers' Army, The Citizen Army in 1914 and at the outbreak of The First World War, hung a banner across the front of the building proclaiming 'We serve neither King nor Kaiser, but Ireland'.
The young Sean O'Casey, later to win world-wide renown as an Abbey Theatre playwright, was a founder member of The Citizen Army, as was the Countess Markievicz - but we will hear more about these later. It was in Liberty Hall that the leaders of the Rising met that Easter Sunday when it seemed that their long planned vision of a rebellion in Dublin and throughout the country was in ruins. Roger Casement had been arrested, the German arms ship, the Aud, had been scuttled by her Captain off the Kerry coast, and the Chief-of-Staff of the Irish Volunteers, Eoin Mac Néill, had issued a countermanding order to all ranks. (pause for music).
Music: 'Mo Ghile Mear' - played by Séan Óg Potts, Cormac Breatnach and Niall Ó Callanáin.
They met, they consulted and made the fateful decision to go ahead at all costs, calling on all ranks of volunteers and Citizen Army to rally to the Green Flag of the Irish Republic and the blue banner of the workers, the Plough and the Stars (pause for continuation of music).
It was in the basement of the old grey building that the now famous Proclamation of The Irish Republic was printed on a small printing press. Patrick Pearse had a hand in it but so also had Connolly and indeed, quite a few of the others for among them were three poets and three playwrights and the undimmed fenian dedication of the ageing, but ever youthful, Tom Clarke. 'In the name of God and the Dead Generations …. Ireland through us, summons her children to her flag, and strikes for her freedom …' (pause for continuation of music which ends).
It was in the name of these Dead Generations and the vivid memory of the workers' Lock-Out in grim 1913, together with the realisation that in O'Casey's words 'the time was rotten ripe for revolution', that the two armies assembled here on that Easter Monday morning – the grey-green of the Volunteers side by side with the dark green of the Workers – and led by Connolly and Pearse, marched around the corner and down Abbey Street, on their way to their selected headquarters, the General Post Office. Pearse said to Connolly 'Thank God James we've lived to see this day' and someone enquired of Connolly 'Is there any hope?' 'None whatsoever' said Connolly cheerfully as he set off, a soldier among – again to quote O'Casey 'a handful of scraws of chaps with rifles and rosary beads to challenge the might of the British Empire'. It was just a few moments before twelve noon, Easter Monday, April 24th, 1916.
We should follow the route of this motley army as it followed Pearse and Connolly to the G.P.O. and on Connolly's order 'Left turn. On guard. G.P.O. – charge!' took over the building and raised the flags of freedom. But instead we will find it easier to go the other way - over Butt Bridge – then, and perhaps still, an ungainly metal structure - and follow the route of another green clad group, the Third Battalion of the Irish Volunteers under Commandant Éamon de Valera down Brunswick Street (3) as it was then, all the way to Boland's Mills.
And as we go, the voice of Joan McDermott and the ballad of James Connolly. (pause for continuation of music).
The Ballad of James Connolly is sung.
James Connolly was the son of two Irish immigrants, born in Edinburgh and a worker from the age of eleven, first a printer, later a baker, and eventually a soldier in the British Army, stationed in Cork.
But he deserted from that Army and dedicated the rest of his life to Socialism, both in Scotland and Ireland and for a spell in America before becoming General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union. He was both Socialist and Nationalist, and his vision of an Irish Republic was one which in his own words 'should be of such a character that it would at all times serve as a beacon light to the oppressed of every land …' (pause for continuation of music).
Music: The Ballad of James Connolly continues and ends.
But we have followed the route taken under Commandant De Valera, turning left into Pearse Street. On our right is a modern office block called Pearse Mansions as it was there the Queen's Theatre stood, a theatre which long before the Abbey Theatre was founded could well be regarded as Ireland's National Theatre, managed by P.J. Burke, an uncle of the playwright, Brendan Behan with plays such as Wolf Tone', 'When Wexford Rose', 'For the Land She Loved' and the 'Fenian', keeping the spirit of Nationalism alive on its popular stage. On that particular Easter Monday, the play advertised there was a French Historical Romance….. 'Napoleon and Josephine'.
Further down on our left, a narrow grey building with tall balconied windows has a plaque in bas-relief of a modern shop front showing the two Pearse brothers, Patrick and Willie. It was in this house they were born to an English father and an Irish mother who imbued them with an abiding spirit of patriotism. It was here that their father, the liberal supporter of Parnell, had his business as a monumental sculptor, and it was in a room in this house that young Patrick took a solemn oath, together with the faithful Willie, to spend all his life's endeavour to attain the freedom of Ireland. Further down, past the railway station, that now bears Pearse's name, down a turning to the right, is Westland Row Christian Brothers' School where the young Pearses were pupils and where Patrick, for a short while, was a teacher. But we have passed at Westland Row corner a hall – formerly a cinema – now an Office called The Academy which in 1916 was the Ancient Concert Rooms where seventeen years before the poet W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory with the playwright Edward Martyn, the first President of Sinn Féin, founded the first truly Irish Art Theatre, the Irish Literary Theatre, the forerunner of The Abbey.
That was in 1899, when Pearse who saw the plays, was a 20-year old student at University, studying Law.
(1) - And as we approach the centenary commemoration.
(2) - James (Jim) Larkin (21 January 1876 – 30 January 1947) was an Irish trade union leader and socialist activist, born to Irish parents in Liverpool, England. He became a full-time trade union organiser in 1905. Perhaps best known for his role in the 1913 Dublin Lockout, "Big Jim" continues to occupy a significant place in Dublin's collective memory.
(3) - Brunswick Street is now Pearse Street.
Music: 'Fanny Power' - played by Séan Óg Potts, Cormac Breatnach and Niall Ó Callanáin.
Here we are now at the Canal and Boland's Mills. It was well chosen as a military outpost for as you will see, it commanded the approaches to Dublin from the South, the railway line and the main road from Dún Laoghaire, then known as Kingstown. (pause for continuation of music).
Music: 'Fanny Power' continues and ends.
Éamon de Valera, the Commandant, then a little known teacher of mathematics with little knowledge of soldiering, nevertheless proved himself a capable leader. Small bodies of volunteers were stationed along the canal, in Pembroke and Northumberland Roads, and he very cleverly drew enemy fire to the unoccupied part of the Mills by decking it with flags, to give the impression of a well-garrisoned headquarters.
We must however go further along the canal towards the main road, and tramway, to the City, all the way to Mount Street Bridge where the fiercest fighting of the week took place.
The redbrick office building on our right was then a row of houses, one of which belonged to the family of the playwright Denis Johnston. He was afterwards to relate how a group of young volunteers most courteously but firmly took over the house and having forced the family to evacuate, proceeded to fortify it and await an attack from the British Forces which, next day, would be marching towards the city from Kingstown, now Dún Laoghaire, to where they had been rushed by boat from England, most of them under the impression that they were really in France, about to fight the Germans as the First World War was then at its height.
A school hall and another building was manned just across the bridge and the contingent was commanded by Michael Malone, who was to be killed in action before the end of the week. The British attack came on the Tuesday - it was the Sherwood Foresters - but the handful of Volunteers, some of them firing their rifles for the first time, held them off day after day, in fact, half the casualties suffered by the British were inflicted here as the Tommies insisted on frontal charges across the Bridge in spite of the cross-fire. Eventually, the position was overrun, but the main garrison in Boland's Mills held out and with the last of the insurgents to surrender, led out by De Valera himself on the Saturday, under a white flag.
De Valera was, with the sixteen others, condemned to death but was reprieved because he was, in fact, an American Citizen by birth. His later career needs little mention, it is so well known. President of the first All-Ireland Dáil Éireann in 1918, an opponent of the 1922 Treaty, then headed his own party Fianna Fáil in 1926, eventually becoming head of Government and in due course, third President of the Republic of Ireland.
Before proceeding with our 1916 itinerary, let us cross over the Bridge to observe the simple stone monument erected to the small band of brave men who held the British Army at bay here and their Captain, Michael Malone, who did not survive the conflict. (pause for continuation of music).
Music: Mise Éire continues.
Seán Ó Riada's “Mise Éire” (4) symphony will take us now further along the canal, a walk which was the favourite one of the poet Paddy Kavanagh, to whom a seat is dedicated, and there he sits in bronze on his favourite seat along the canal bank, to our left.(pause for continuation of music).
Music: Mise Éire continues.
The Volunteers and Citizen Army had not sufficient numbers to cover the other bridges along the canal, except further up at Portobello Bridge, just a few men. So we'll turn here at Baggot Street and continue our way towards the Shelbourne Hotel and the wide expanse of Stephen's Green.
(4) - Seán Ó Riada (1 August 1931 – 3 October 1971), was a composer and perhaps the single most influential figure in the revival of Irish traditional music during the 1960s. In 1959 he scored a documentary film by George Morrison called Mise Éire (I am Ireland). It is about the founding of the Republic of Ireland. It has repeatedly been used in other documentaries and is available on CD, together with other film music – "Saoirse" (1960) and An Tine Bheo (The Living Fire). The recording is conducted by Ó Riada himself. Mise Éire brought him national acclaim and allowed him to start a series of programmes on Irish radio called Our Musical Heritage. He died at the age of 41.
The Green was taken over on that Monday morning by the Citizen Army under the Chief-of-Staff, Michael Mallin and Countess Markievicz, his second in command. They commandeered motor cars to carry supplies but made the mistake of digging trenches in the Green itself where they were under fire from British Army units which had taken over some high buildings around, including the Shelbourne Hotel itself much to the consternation of the terrified guests, most of whom fled (pause for continuation of music).
Music: Mise Éire continues.
As we come into the Green, before us is the statue of Wolfe Tone, the 1798 Leader of the United Irishman, whose vision of an Irish Republic was to inspire the men of '16, especially that oft quoted proclamation of his Revolutionary intention “… to break the connection with England, the source of all our misfortunes, to assert the independence of my country, to unite the whole people of Ireland … to substitute the common name of Irishmen in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter …”(pause for continuation of music).
Music: Mise Éire continues.
Over a century these words remained a clarion call to Irish Nationalists, they are echoed in that Easter Week Proclamation, as Joyce Kilmer (5), the Irish American poet was to write:
Easter Week: read by Bosco Hogan
Lord Edward leaves his resting place
And Sarsfield's eyes are glad and fierce
See Emmet leap from troubled sleep
To grasp the hand of Patrick Pearse
Under fire from the British, Mallin took over the College of Surgeons on the other side of the Green, so we will wend our way towards it. On our way we pass the bust of the indomitable Countess of whom Yeats has written …
Easter 1916: extract read by Bosco Hogan
That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful
She rode to harriers?
But her sister, Eva Gore-Booth (6) wrote more kindly of her …
Comrades, to Con: read by Eithne Dempsey
The peaceful night that round me flows
Breaks through your iron prison doors
Free through the world your spirit goes
Forbidden hands are clasping yours
She [Countess Markievicz] joined both the Citizen Army and the Volunteers and had organised a group of young boys, rather like the boy scouts, the Fianna Éireann, some of whom acted as messengers during the Rising. She was sentenced to prison and on her release was elected to the first Dáil, and like so many of the women of Cumann na mBan (7), took the Republican side during the Civil War.
Michael Mallin was a Dubliner, and had experience of soldiering with the British Army in India but returned to his native city to join Connolly's Union and became Chief-of-Staff of the Citizen Army. He was executed with the other Leaders. The poetess Maeve Cavanagh (8) wrote of him …
read by Eithne Dempsey
No words you need
Your gallant tale to tell
History will shrine your deed
For Ireland's sake you fell
Not more you'd ask, I trow
Than this all men should know
Harcourt Street leads up to what was Harcourt Railway Station which was occupied by the rebel forces but later abandoned.
(5) - Joyce Kilmer (born as Alfred Joyce Kilmer; December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918). At the time of his deployment to Europe during World War I, Kilmer was considered the leading American Roman Catholic poet and lecturer of his generation, whom critics often compared to British contemporaries G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) and Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953). He enlisted in the New York National Guard and was deployed to France with the 69th Infantry Regiment (the famous "Fighting 69th") in 1917. He was killed by a sniper's bullet at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31.
(6) - Eva Selina Laura Gore-Booth (22 May 1870 – 30 June 1926) was an Irish poet and dramatist, and a committed suffragist, social worker and labour activist. She was born at Lissadell House, County Sligo, the younger sister of Constance Gore-Booth, later known as the Countess Markievicz.
(7) - Cumann na mBan is an Irish republican women's paramilitary organisation formed in Dublin on 2 April 1914, merging with and dissolving Inghinidhe na hÉireann, and in 1916 it became an auxiliary of the Irish Volunteers. Although it was otherwise an independent organisation, its executive was subordinate to that of the Volunteers.
(8) - Maeve Cavanagh was a member of the Irish Citizen Army (1913-1921) who took despatches from James Connolly to Waterford during Holy Week and Easter 1916. Connolly called her the Great Poetess of the Revolution.
But now we turn up Cuff Street, turn right and there some distance before us is a new building in red brick belonging to the Y.M.C.A (9). That is where Jacob's Factory used to stand; all that is left now of the original building is a row of archways to our left.
Thomas MacDonagh, the third signatory of the Proclamation, a playwright, poet and schoolmaster at Pearse's Scoil Éanna, was in command here with the second Volunteer Battalion. He was joined by Major John MacBride, the soldier from Mayo who had formed the Irish Brigade in South Africa to fight on the side of the Boers against the British in the Boer War at the turn of the century. Later he married Maud Gonne (10) but separate from her and it was of him that Yeats wrote …
Easter 1916: extract read by Bosco Hogan
This other man I have dreamed
A drunken vain glorious lout
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart
But the 'drunken vain glorious lout' proved himself a brave fighter that week, leading groups of Volunteers on various forays from MacDonagh's Headquarters, a form of urban guerrilla warfare he was familiar with in South Africa. He was sentenced to death and went bravely to his execution, a soldier to the end, saying that he was not afraid of the British, he had looked down the barrels of their guns before.
Fighting on the scale and fury of the Mount St. Bridge battle did not take place at Jacobs, sniping mostly and long range rifle fire. McDonagh was sentenced to death. He had been born in Cloughjordan in Co. Tipperary. The poet Francis Ledwidge (11) wrote of him, a fitting epitaph …
Lament for Thomas McDonagh: read by Bosco Hogan
He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky where he is lain
Nor voices of the sweeter birds
Above the wailing of the rain
But when the Dark Cow leaves the moor
And pastures poor with greedy weeds
Perhaps he'll hear her low at morn
Lifting her horn in pleasant meads
The 'Dark Cow' of the poem is of course Ireland, from the Irish 'Druimionn Donn' the silk of the kine. Quite a few of the patriotic women fought here at Jacob's Factory side by side with the men, members of Cumann na mBan, among them: Mrs. Kathleen Behan, then Mrs. Furlong, later to be the mother of Brendan Behan, the playwright (pause for continuation of music).
Music: Mise Éire continues.
Down now along Great St. George's Street, a longish enough walk to Dame Street, turn left and then across the street is the Olympia Theatre, then 'The Empire', which that week was to present a musical melange, titled 'Shall Us'. The Theatre of course closed and didn't open for many weeks afterwards. But at the top of a not too steep hill, we are at Dublin Castle.
(9) - On Aungier Street
(10) - Maud Gonne MacBride (21 December 1866 – 27 April 1953) was an English-born Irish revolutionary, suffragette and actress, best remembered for her turbulent relationship with the poet William Butler Yeats. Of Anglo-Irish stock and birth, she was won over to Irish nationalism by the plight of evicted people in the Land Wars. She also actively agitated for Home Rule.
(11) - Francis Edward Ledwidge (19 August 1887 – 31 July 1917) was an Irish war poet from County Meath. Sometimes known as the "poet of the blackbirds", he was killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I.
We are at Dublin Castle, centre of the British Administration in Ireland, where the first shots of the Rising were heard.
A small body of the Citizen Army under Sean Connolly, an Abbey Theatre actor, moved down Dame Street to take it and in the attempt a policeman at the gate was shot dead. The insurgents did not know at that time that the Castle was, in fact undefended, but inside that morning also unknown to the attackers was Sir Matthew Nathan, the Irish Permanent Undersecretary. Connolly feeling that the deserted Castle yard looked too much like a trap, and that his men would walk into an ambush, withdrew his company and occupied the City Hall just there above the Castle Gates, and some buildings across the street. Nathan in the Castle 'phoned for help. British Forces soon arrived and a battle as fierce as that at Mount St. Bridge took place in which Sean Connolly, on the roof of the City Hall, was shot dead. He is remembered by Yeats in his not altogether accurate lines …
From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen - extract read by Bosco Hogan
Who was the first man shot that day?
The player Connolly
Close to the City Hall he died
Carriage and voice had he
He lacked the years that go with skill
But later might have been
A famous, brilliant figure
Before the painted scene
From mountain to mountain
Ride the fierce horsemen
There is no doubt that had Connolly and his group pressed on into the Castle, they would have captured the Undersecretary and all the communications at the centre of British rule in Ireland. The fighting here went on for two days but as the British strength grew the insurgents withdrew and crossed the Liffey to join up with the garrison at the Four Courts. In due course we will go by the Four Courts but now, our itinerary will lead us along towards Christ Church and down Thomas Street, past St. Audeons – the two St. Audeons – passing the historic corner where the young patriot Robert Emmet was hanged by the British in 1803. His last words to the Hanging Tribunal are famous, and indeed very much the inspiration of that week of Insurrection.
read by Bosco Hogan
'When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not 'til then, let my epitaph be written'
As Joan McDermott sings the ballad of Robert Emmet, let us continue, a long walk this time, or indeed take a convenient bus, or luas, to where the South Dublin Union stood, the furthest outpost of the insurgents in their plan of battle (pause for music).
Music: 'Bold Robert Emmet' is sung.
So here we are at the sprawling complex of St. James's Hospital which in 1916 was the South Dublin Union, selected by the insurgents to command the approaches to the City from the West, commanding as it did both the roadways and the railway line from Galway and the South. Here Éamonn Ceannt had his headquarters, but again his force was not large enough to occupy what was then also a sprawling complex of buildings, which had been set up originally as a workhouse for Dublin paupers. He stationed groups at Marrowbone Lane, Rose Distillery (no longer there), a brewery in Ardee Street and some houses in Cork Street. Fighting in this area was as fierce as that at Mount Street and bit by bit, the insurgents were forced back into the Union itself where hand to hand fighting took place in which Ceannt's second in command, Cathal Brugha, later to be Minister for Defence in the first Dáil Éireann, distinguished himself with extraordinary bravery, wounded many times in the fray. Ceannt held out despite continuous attacks by the British, which far outnumbered his forces, until the final surrender (pause for music).
Music: 'The Dublin Reel' - played by Séan Óg Potts and Niall Ó Callanáin.
Éamonn Ceannt was a lover of Irish music, played the uilleann pipes, had in fact played them in Rome for the Pope and was a teacher of Irish. Born in Ballymoe, Co. Galway, he spent most of his life in Dublin where he was an official in the Dublin Corporation. His name is fifth below the Proclamation, he was sentenced to death though the Court Martial agreed that he and his battalion had fought with a disciplined chivalry and his final words before going to his death have the ring of a brave and dedicated soldier.
read by Bosco Hogan
Ireland has shown she is a nation. In the years to come Ireland will honour those who risked all for her honour at Easter in 1916
With Ceannt and the fourth Battalion at the South Dublin Union was the young Con Colbert from Co. Limerick. He joined Fianna Éireann at the age of sixteen. Later he joined the Volunteers and that week found him commanding the outpost at Watkins Brewery in Ardee Street but apart from sniping, there was little action there as the British concentrated on the Union Headquarters and cut off his group from the main battle area. He was also sentenced to death with the other Leaders. When the British soldier affixed a paper target to his uniform at the execution, Colbert asked him to pin it higher, nearer the heart. As he wrote in his last letter to his sister, he wanted above all, to die well (pause for music).
Music: 'The Lament for Limerick' - played by Cormac Breatnach
Music: 'The Lament for Limerick' continues
If we were to continue along the way and turn sharply right we would find ourselves, after a short walk, at Kilmainham Gaol. It is now a museum opened by President De Valera during the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Rising in 1966. The President said 'I do not know of any finer shrine than this old dungeon fortress in which there has been so much suffering and courage so that Ireland should be a nation'..
The men of 1798 were held there and the Fenian prisoners and Charles Stewart Parnell as well as the invincibles, and it was here that Pearse and many others found themselves awaiting court-martial. The heroic shadows of the past still haunt the gangways and the bare cells here and the high crumbling walls outside and it was against one of those dark crumbling walls in the prison yard that the Leaders were shot, including the wounded Connolly who was executed sitting on a crude kitchen chair. A simple plaque on the wall carries the names of all the fifteen of them. (pause for music).
Music: 'The Lament for Limerick' continues and ends.
Inside all the cells where the Leaders were held and where Pearse wrote his last poems and that heartfelt letter to his mother, and the display of photographs and documents, eloquent of Kilmainham's dark history. The cells stand empty now, equally eloquent of the oppressive past. One cell in particular demands a visit and a moment of contemplation and that is the cell where Grace Plunkett was held. On the wall a mural in coloured chalks, for all the world like a Russian icon of the Virgin. Grace was to have married Joseph Mary Plunkett that Easter week, but the call to arms intervened and Plunkett was condemned to death. A bare hour before the execution took place, they were married in the prison chapel, by the light of a single candle, surrounded by British soldiers standing guard with fixed bayonets, a strange Guard of Honour for that moment of sorrow which should have been one of joy. 'I married him', Grace said, 'so that I could carry his honoured name for life'.
Music: 'The Women of Ireland' played by Cormac Breatnach and Niall Ó Callanáin.
From Kilmainham it is not such a long stroll to take us to the Phoenix Park where on that Monday morning a group of Volunteers attempted to capture the Magazine Fort with its store of arms and ammunition. As chance would have it, the caretaker was absent and had taken the keys with him, so the group had to be content with putting it out of action with charges of gelignite.
Turning up Parkgate Street – if time permits – on our left is the Irish Army Headquarters, but also the mass grave of the executed Leaders in Arbour Hill. It is now a shrine with a simple cross in the centre of a limestone marble surround and a marble slab above the grave inscribed with the words of the Proclamation. Tall trees surround it and quiet reigns, a place of dead heroes whose ashes lie beneath – it should be remembered that treated as criminals by the British, they were buried in quicklime so that nothing remained. But the wind keens their passing as it stirs the trees and the silence there is as eloquent as Joyce Kilmer's lines …
'Easter Week' extract read by Bosco Hogan
There is no rope can strangle song
And not for long death takes its toll
No prison bars can dim the stars
Nor quicklime eat the living soul
A long walk before us now so better wait for a bus to take us along the Quays back towards the City Centre, and on our way we alight at the Four Courts, where the first Battalion of the Volunteers under Edward Daly fought. But we have passed another outpost on the way, across the Liffey on Usher's Island, and perhaps it will be sufficient to look across the river for nothing remains of The Mendicity Institute, except the old railings. An office block stands where, on that Monday, Seán Heuston and twelve Volunteers took over the building - others joined him in his march and eventually he had thirty men – and were almost immediately under fire from British Forces coming from the Royal Barracks – we passed that Barracks on our way only now it is Collins' Barracks (12), in memory of Michael Collins - But Heuston and his young group held out until the Wednesday, and under constant attack from the most superior British Forces, he surrendered to save what remained of the garrison.
Heuston, after whom the former Kingsbridge (Rail) Station is named, was a Dubliner. He was a clerk in the Great Southern Railway, a position which brought him to Limerick where he joined Constance Markievicz's Fianna, and later on his return to Dublin, the Volunteers. He soon found himself a Commandant in the Dublin Brigade and Director of Training. Before his execution in his last letter to his sister he wrote
read by Bosco Hogan
'Let there be no talk of foolish enterprises. I have no vain regrets'.
But we have stopped here at the Four Courts where the garrison was larger than Sean Heuston's and was able to man outposts in Church Street nearby, and as far as the North Circular Road. Like Heuston, Edward Daly's men were soon in action. Despite their small numbers, they captured the Linenhall Barracks and set it ablaze and the Bridewell Police Station. Artillery fire and persistent British attacks took its toll on the barricades in the streets around, but still Daly's men held out and did not give up until Pearse's order arrived to surrender on the Saturday evening. It was here that British troops committed atrocities, later admitted by their commander, killing innocent civilians in their houses as they tunnelled their way through to the Rebel Headquarters.
Edward Daly was a Limerick man, coming from a Republican background – his father fought with the Fenians – and his sister Kathleen had married Tom Clarke, the first signatory to the Proclamation and then with the Provisional Government at the G.P.O. He was put to trial with the other Leaders and with his brother-in-law, condemned to death, as Mairin Chevasse was to write …
read by Eithne Dempsey
I am Éire that calls
I, the sword bearer
Leave the plough standing
The embers uncovered
The cradle stilled
For I have called to you...
My gift is Death
Music: 'Mise Éire'continues
(12) - Collins Barracks are now the National Museum of Ireland Decorative Arts & History.
Music: 'Mise Éire'continues
The Four Courts and the surrounding houses were in ruins and indeed, as we walk down the Quays towards O'Connell Street - then called Sackville Street - we can imagine how the buildings on both sides of the river looked after that week of grim battle between the 1,600 men or so of the Irish Republican Forces - Volunteers, Hibernian Rifles and Citizen Army - and the far superior force of the British Empire with their artillery and armoured cars – some indeed hastily assembled in the Hammond Lane Foundery by Irish hands. Along this side on Bachelor's Walk, there were many buildings in ruins, especially at the corner just by O'Connell Bridge for it was here, to our left, that the G.P.O. garrison stationed snipers to engage the British who held the buildings opposite and had stationed artillery at Trinity College. The gunboat Helga, was at anchor past the Custom House and artillery had been landed on the Quays to shell the whole area of O'Connell Street, aiming at the G.P.O. and also at Liberty Hall. When the battle was over all the street from the O'Connell statue at the Gresham Hotel was in flaming ruins, but strangely enough, the old Abbey Theatre, the grey building with its front on Marlborough Street which Dubliners often called the 'Shabby Theatre' stood amid the devastation totally intact, only one pane of glass over the pit entrance broken. On the familiar yellow and black posters outside, two plays were advertised for that week. Yeats' 'Caitlín Ní Uallacháin', in which the central figure of Ireland declares, most appropriately … 'It is a hard service they take that follow me …' and with Kathleen there was a new play with the ominous title 'The Spancer of Death' which afterwards was never seen by an Irish audience. One of the cast, Sean Connolly, was dead and several other players and theatre staff were jailed for their service to the mythical Kathleen.
In the G.P.O. we will find Oliver Shepherd's fine bronze statue of the hero Cúchulainn, the symbol of that gesture of defiance against foreign domination, that was forever to change the destiny of Ireland, one remembers Yeats' lines …
The Death of Cuchulain – extract read by Bosco Hogan
'Are those things that men adore and love
Their sole reality?
What stood in the Post Office with Pearse and Connolly?
What comes out of the mountain where men first shed their blood?
Who thought Cuchulainn 'til it seemed he stood where they had stood?'
Under these Grecian pillars, Pearse in his green uniform, first President and Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Republic read the Proclamation of that Republic to a motley crowd, curious and more than a little mocking…
The 1916 Proclamation – extract read by Bosco Hogan
'The Provisional Government of the Irish Republic – To the People of Ireland – Irish men and Irish women in the name of God and the Dead Generations from which she receives her old tradition of Nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom'
That document is now part of our national heritage, comparable to Jefferson's Declaration of American Independence, and that of Lincoln at Gettysburg and indeed, that of the first Convention of the French Revolution. What happened in Easter week 1916 can be set out simply and factually: a Republic of Ireland was declared, an Irish flag was raised – the green flag with the golden letters The Irish Republic, side by side with the blue flag (13), the Plough and the Stars, and the tricolour; a Provisional Government was declared, and then defended in arms for a whole week of bloody battle.
An interesting and sometimes overlooked event on the first two days in the G.P.O., is the attempt ordered by Joseph Plunkett to establish wireless communication with the outside world in Europe and America. A group of Volunteers took over the Marconi Wireless School across the road at Abbey Street and managed to get some abandoned equipment to work and on the Monday night they hoisted an antenna on the roof of The Dublin Bread Company building just over there, now a branch of the Allied Irish Bank (14), that building with the strange dome like structure on the roof. Connolly composed a message to tell the world, in morse code, that an Irish Republic had been declared. The message was picked up by ships at sea and indeed, the first news of the Rising may very well have reached America this way as the British had imposed a censorship on all news from Ireland from the beginning of the week, and of course, there was a war-time censorship in operation as well.
The Provisional Government consisted of the seven men who signed the Proclamation and when they met in the G.P.O., as battle was joined all over the city, the old Fenian Tom Clarke, presided. He had known jail and exile in America but he returned to Dublin in 1908 and opened a little tobacconist shop in Parnell Street – then Great Britain Street – from which he watched the resurgence of that Nationalist spirit which all knew, resided in him and men like him, who had sacrificed youth and wealth for what seemed to many, the lost cause of Irish freedom. He had never despaired and never doubted but that the day would come.
Connolly was the most active of the Leaders. His Headquarters was across the street in the Imperial Hotel – now Clerys (15) – over which the Workers' flag flew, the Plough and the Stars. His continuing daring led to his being wounded but he continued to command from a stretcher bed in the foyer of the Post Office. Pearse, the scholar, sat at a small table writing, he edited the only newspaper published in Dublin that week, The Irish War News. He was calm and confident as the rifle fire intensified right down the street outside and the building itself caught fire. His brother Willie was always close by as was the quiet reassuring presence of the elderly Tom Clarke, Seán MacDiarmada and Joseph Mary Plunkett. The garrison, hard pressed by the British shelling and machine gun fire, eventually decided to evacuate the building and make a dash for Moore Street. It was in this last foray that the O'Rahilly - who was initially against the Rising but joined the others with the right comment that since he had helped to wind the clock he'd stay to see it strike – was shot dead as he dashed across Henry Street to the last outpost in the little houses across the way.
Music: 'Dear Irish boy' performed by Seán Óg Potts.
Seán MacDiarmada came from Leitrim, but it was in Belfast where he had a job as a humble tram-conductor that he joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood; and later he became an organiser for Sinn Féin and the Manager of 'Irish Freedom', a monthly magazine. He suffered an attack of polio in 1912 and walked with the aid of a stick, but that did not prevent him joining the Volunteers and becoming a member of the Provisional Government. Of him the poet Priest Monsignor de Brún (16) wrote …
read by Bosco Hogan
'Yet from the dead appears one with calm brow
And lovely features who though weak of frame
Possessed a heart of fire
I see his face
And whisper softly Seán Mac Diarmada's name'
Music: 'Dear Irish boy' conitnues and ends.
Moore Street then, as now, is a famous Dublin landmark with rows of stalls piled high with fruit and vegetables and echoing to the cries of the eloquent vendors. The British Forces were all around when the G.P.O. garrison made a dash for the safety of the houses they had occupied there, tunnelling from house to house as enemy fire swept the narrow street. It was here that Pearse decided to surrender,
read by Bosco Hogan
'in order to prevent further slaughter of Dublin citizens and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered …'
A brave member of Cumann na mBan, Kathleen O'Farrell (17), carrying a white flag went down Moore Street, oblivious of the firing still in progress to bring Pearse's message of a ceasefire to General Lowe at his Headquarters in Parnell Street. The General demanded an unconditional surrender and so, in due course, as the guns fell silent, Pearse himself, still accompanied by Miss. O'Farrell, proceeded down the devastated street to the railing of the Rotunda Hospital and tendered his sword. Someone took a photograph of the moment, often reproduced in the history books (18).
Then as the noise of battle was stilled, except for some distant firing, the G.P.O. garrison marched out into Upper O'Connell Street, not the motley frightened body the British expected to see, but a disciplined Army, rank upon rank, lining up along the deserted roadway and at the order, laying down their rifles and standing at ease. They had fought gallantly, they stood proudly, their duty done. (pause for continuation of music).
Music: Mise Éire continues.
Slowly, all over the City the sound of gunfire died away, the odd crack of snipers' bullets coming less and less. Smoke billowed high from the burning buildings, the only movement that of the fire brigades and the ambulances and the armoured cars followed by the khaki uniforms of the British, bayonets fixed and at the ready, came from side streets and occupied buildings, line after line as far as an eye could see.
Above the G.P.O. amid the flames and the black smoke of the battle, the flags still flew, the green of the Republic and the green, white and orange of the tricolour, destined to be the flag of a new hope and the battles of another day, not all that far into the future. (pause for continuation of music).
Music: Mise Éire continues.
Along the ruined streets the rebel Army stood defeated, and yet in a strange way victorious. Some would die before the firing squads in the first weeks of May, fifteen in all; the rest would find themselves in British concentration camps: some lay dead in the devastated centres of the week long battles. So that one recalls the words of Yeats' 'Caitlín Ní Uallacháin', words that should have been heard from the Abbey Theatre stage that very week, spoken here by the actress, the late Siobhán McKenna (19) …
Extract from Kathleen Ní Houlihan:
'It is a hard service they take and help me
Many that are red-cheeked now will be pale-cheeked
Many that have been free to walk the hills and the bogs and the rushes
Will be sent to walk hard streets in far countries.
Many a good plan will be broken, many that have gathered money will not stay to spend it
Many a child will be born and there will be no father at its christening to give it a name
They that have red cheeks will have pale cheeks for my sake
And for all that, they will think they are well paid
They shall be remembered forever
They shall be alive forever
They shall be speaking forever
The people shall hear them forever'
(13) - Correction: in fact, it was green during the rising. It did not change colours until after the 1930s.
(14) - In fact, it is now the Bank of Ireland.
(15) - Clery's ceased trading as of the 12th June 2015.
(16) - Monsignor Pádraig de Brún (1889 – 1960) was an Irish clergyman, mathematician, poet, and classical scholar, who served as President of University College Galway.
(17) - Correction: in fact, it was Elizabeth O'Farrell.
(18) - although Ms. Farrell's part-image - which is visible alongside Pearse - was airbrushed out of later photographs.
(19) - Siobhán McKenna was born on May 24, 1923 in Belfast, Northern Ireland . She was an actress, and known for her many Film roles on the international scene such as in 'King of Kings' (1961) and 'Of Human Bondage' (1964) and 'Doctor Zhivago' (1965). She was married to actor Denis O'Dea. She died on November 16, 1986 in Dublin, Ireland.
Our final destination will be the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, with its sculpted swans, from the legend of the 'Children of Lir'. It was to the North of the Square that Pearse had edited 'An Claíomh Solais' at the Head Office of The Gaelic League, now Coláiste Mhuire (18) , and it was in that same building that Tom Clarke called a meeting of the Irish Republican Brotherhood which decided, at the outbreak of the 1914 war, to strike for Irish Freedom. At the South end, just down from the Garden, at the Rotunda buildings, where in 1913 at a historic meeting, the Irish Volunteers were founded.
So we end our itinerary in the quietude of the Garden, recalling the events of that Easter week and their aftermath, as Yeats termed it … 'all that delirium of the brave' and what better way to part from those memories, haunted by the heroic dead, then to recall that same poet's elegiac lines from Easter 1916.
Music: Mise Éire continues and ends.
Read by Bosco Hogan
'We know their dream
Enough to know they dreamed and are dead
And what if excess of love bewildered them 'til they died
I write it out in a verse
McDonagh and MacBride and Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be
Wherever green is worn are changed
A terrible beauty is born'
(18) - Coláiste Mhuire is now a Primary Irish-speaking school.