Citizen Army men and women gathered at Liberty Hall on Easter Sunday for the final mobilisation before the Rising. Here Connolly gave each a last opportunity of drawing back. No one availed themselves of this chance. ‘I never doubted ye!’ Connolly told them, his face shining
R.M Fox- From ‘Dublins Fighting Story’
This may well be of interest to many of our readers.
I inherited the 1916 bug from my father, without a doubt. Even today, only hours before writing this, I was standing on Northumberland Road like a Japanese tourist only moments in Times Square. I’m still amazed that for such a short historical event, there seems to be an endless amount of research and new finds related to Easter Week 1916.
The week is one of personalities. Like Winifred Carney, the suffragette and secretary to James Connolly, who would find her place in Irish history as the ‘Typist with a Webley’. Returning to Northumberland Road, perhaps no man on the republican side was to leave such a deadly mark on the week as Michael Malone, hiding out with a small group of men (and a moveable store dummy too!) in 25 Northumberland Road. Ultimately he and one other man, James Grace, would hold the spot. Who could forget to mention Sean Connolly of the Irish Citizen Army? An Abbey actor of great reknown, who had taken the lead role only a week previously in ‘Under Which Flag?’,a play penned by none other than James Connolly. Siblings of Sean, both male and female, would join him in the insurrection.
The week is also one of great tragedy. There is the heartbreaking story of one of the Sherwood Foresters being taken aback to see his own family in Dublin, having fled Britain for fear of Zeppelin raids. He would never make it past 25 Northumberland Road.
One must really see the sites to appreciate them. Even today, I learned this to be most true. When you look from Clanwilliam House down the street towards number 25, you get a clear sense of the Volunteers line of fire. Likewise, I can remember as a young lad being taken to see the Royal College of Surgeons and being amazed by the bulletholes still littering the front of the building.
This tour is one I’ve been told often enough to get myself along to. Carried out by the authors of one of my favourite studies of the week, for €12 you’re promised about two hours worth of a wander around some of the keysites of the 1916 Rising.
Of coure, one can not take everything in in two hours, for instance some of the Sackville Street lancers who fell under fire are buried at Grangegorman cemetry. The Rising has left us with historical sites all over Dublin worthy of visiting.
As a city centre tour however, the reputation of this one is one that, to me, renders Saturday morning worthy of an alarm clock.
….if you know me at all, that’s a huge achievement.
Saturday 20th February 2010
Meeting at 10 am at the International Bar, 23 Wicklow Street.