From Wednesday on, Liberty Hall, the G.P.O. and other buildings in Sackville Street came under artillery and incendiary fire, mostly from the gunboat Helga at anchor in the Liffey. Soon most buildings between the G.P.O and Clery’s department store and the Liffey were in flames.
On Thursday, James Connolly was seriously wounded. Confined to a stretcher, he continued to direct operations, but by Friday evening the G.P.O. was on fire. It was decided to evacuate the garrison.
Inside the G.P.O. - From Joseph Plunkett’s field book on Easter Monday, 1916
… a small number (described
as “about twenty”) succeeded
in advancing as far as
the G.P.O. but on our
opening fire they retired
in confusion leaving
a few casualties.
Simultaneously with our operation
positions were successfully
taken up in the front and
rear of Dublin Castle
and troops in that stronghold
prevented from coming out
Request by Patrick Pearse to the administrator at the Roman Catholic church in Marlborough Street for a priest to come to the G.P.O. and hear the confessions of members of the garrison. This request was made on Monday afternoon or evening sometime after the occupation of the G.PO.
Notes were taken by the visiting priest, Fr. John Flanagan, of messages to be sent on behalf of the Irish Volunteers to their relatives.
Captain Seán Connolly, 1882-1916, leader of the Irish Citizen Army force in Dublin’s City Hall.
Seán Connolly worked as a dispatch clerk with Eason’s stationers. A talented actor, he had trained with the Inghinidhe na hÉireann acting class and performed with the Abbey Theatre and the I.C.A. Liberty Players.
Ned Daly and his 1st Battalion were assigned to hold the Four Courts (courts of law) and the surrounding area between the Liffey and North Brunswick Street.
Commandant Daly is said to have shown great concern for local civilians. He took over Monks’s bakery and arranged for the distribution of bread to the surrounding community.
Ned Daly was tried by court-martial, and executed by firing squad on Thursday 4 May.
Seán Heuston joined the Irish Volunteers soon after their formation in November 1913, eventually becoming a captain in Ned Daly’s 1st Battalion. He was assigned command at the Mendicity Institution on Easter Monday, to control the route between the Royal Barracks and the Four Courts for some hours, so that Commandant Ned Daly and the remainder of the 1st Battalion would have time to settle in at the Four Courts. In the event, Heuston and his force of less than 30 men held out for over two days. Surrounded and in a hopeless situation, Heuston surrendered on Wednesday to save the lives of his men.
Seán Heuston was tried by court-martial and sentenced to death. He was executed on 8 May 1916. He was the youngest of those executed after the Easter Rising.
The South Dublin Union was in a strategic position as it overlooked Kingsbridge (now Heuston) railway station to the north and controlled the route from Richmond Barracks and the Royal Hospital (military headquarters) leading to the city centre. The main cluster of buildings opened onto James’s Street. Éamonn Ceannt established his headquarters in the night nurses’ home.
By Tuesday evening it was clear that neither Watkins’ brewery nor Roe’s distillery had much strategic significance. As a result, Captain Colbert took his company to join Captain Séamus Murphy in Jameson’s Distillery. Captain McCarthy abandoned Roe’s distillery and some members of the company joined the garrison at Jameson’s instead. The original number of twenty-one had expanded considerably with the addition of the two companies from the other outposts, members of Cumann na mBan, and men who were late in arriving.
The Jameson’s garrison had sight of certain positions within the South Dublin Union and made some small contribution to the action. The garrison also incommoded military traffic to some extent, but played little part in determining the outcome of the Rising.
The main action for the Jacob’s garrison was sniping at Portobello Barracks and other military positions which were overlooked by the two towers. Jacob’s was by-passed by the main action as Brigadier-General Lowe decided to concentrate on the G.P.O. and the Four Courts which he considered the more strategically important of the positions held by the insurgents.
J. & T. Davy’s public house at the junction of South Richmond Street and Charlemont Mall.
Michael Mallin sent a small party of Irish Citizen Army under Sergeant Joe Doyle to occupy and delay the advance of troops from Portobello Barracks (now Cathal Brugha Barracks) some hundreds of yards across the Grand Canal to the south. Doyle and his men were dislodged later that day.
British soldiers inspecting a car on Mount Street Bridge in May 1916.
Mount Street Bridge was one of the major engagements of the Easter Rising. Over two hundred British soldiers and officers were killed or injured, as successive waves of soldiers failed to make it across the bridge under fire from members of the Irish Volunteers in Clanwilliam House overlooking the bridge.
Thomas Ashe, 1885-1917
Born in Lispole, Co. Kerry, Thomas Ashe qualified as a teacher and was principal of Corduff National School, Lusk, Co. Dublin. Ashe was a member of the IRB and the Irish Volunteers, becoming brigade commandant shortly before the Rising. Following the general surrender, he was tried by court-martial and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life.
Thomas Ashe died in the Mater Hospital on 25 September 1917, as a result of forcible feeding while on hunger strike in Mountjoy Prison, where he was serving a sentence for sedition.
News from Meath reached the G.P.O. and was recorded by Joseph Plunkett in his field notebook, 26 April 1916.
Garriston [Garristown] Police Barracks
taken. No Guns or arms!
PO [Post Office] wrecked. 40 IRA
under Commandant Ashe (5th Brigade [i.e. Battalion])
moving on Railway N[orth] of
Finglas. News from N[avan]
says 200 IRA moving
On Saturday, news of the general surrender in Dublin reached Enniscorthy. The Volunteers required that the surrender be confirmed. The following day the British escorted Captain Seamus Doyle and Captain Seán R. Etchingham to Dublin to consult Pearse in Arbor Hill. On Monday, 1 May 1916, the Enniscorthy Volunteers surrendered unconditionally. While a number of the officers were sentenced to death, all had their sentences commuted.
This photograph was taken before the surrender in Wexford, on Monday, 1 May 1916.
Liam Mellows, 1892-1922, leader of the Irish Volunteers in Co. Galway
Liam Mellows was born in England and reared by his grandparents in Co. Wexford. Socialist and radical in outlook, he joined Fianna Éireann and the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and was a member of the provisional committee of the Irish Volunteers. He contributed greatly to the development of both Fianna Éireann and the Irish Volunteers in areas outside of the capital.
Front page of the Connacht Tribune, with a report on the Rising in Co. Galway.
The Connact Tribune newspaper reported “strange, serious and portentious [sic] happenings in Dublin”, and on the initially successful attack by a force of Irish Volunteers at Oranmore on Tuesday, 25 April 1916, where they captured six members of the Royal Irish Constabulary, but were then routed by a large force with superior fire power.
Noel Kissane, Carol Maddock, National Library of Ireland.