Easter Rising 1916: The Trials


Seán Enright

A pioneering study of the military trials of the Irish rebels following the Easter Rising. An engaging account of the rebellion drawing on recently released archives from the Public Records Office. Fascinating insight into the reactions of the British Government in dealing with the republican prisoners throughout the trials.

Buy the eBook > ISBN: 9781908928375 Categories: ,


This book, the companion to The Trials of Civilians by Military Courts: Ireland 1921, is a fascinating and comprehensive study of the trials during May 1916, following the Easter Rising. There were 160 trials conducted in a two-week period between the 2nd and 16th May 1916. During this period, of the 93 death sentences handed out, 15 were carried out, and nearly 2,000 men and women deported to England. It was not until the turn of this century that the Public Records Office released the trial records relating to the executed prisoners.

Written by an expert legal historian, this book offers an unsentimental reappraisal of the trials and the trial regime, and includes previously unpublished trial records of men such as Harry Boland, Desmond Fitzgerald, George Plunkett and William Partridge as well as many of the footsoldiers who were sentenced to death. The process of execution is also examined, bringing to light the dark occasions when executions were botched and covered up.

This powerful analysis of an uncomfortable moment in history when the rule of law gave way to political imperatives is seen through a variety of previously unpublished trial records and the systematic collating of accounts given by prisoners. The result is a fascinating insight into a little-known aspect of the 1916 Rebellion and its dramatic aftermath.

Table of Contents

  1. Buried in the Archives
  2. Rebellion and Surrender
  3. Trial and Punishment
  4. The Trial Regime
  5. Pre-Trial Process
  6. The Trials
  7. Post Trial – Confirmation, Promulgation and Execution
  8. Due Process
  9. The GPO
  10. P.H. Pearse
  11. Tom Clarke
  12. Joseph Plunkett
  13. George Plunkett
  14. Jack Plunkett
  15. William Pearse, J.J Walsh, John Dougherty (McGallogly), John McGarry
  16. Harry Boland
  17. Sean MacDiarmada
  18. James Connolly
  19. Desmond Fitzgerald
  20. The Four Courts
  21. Ned Daly
  22. O’Donovan and Shouldice
  23. James Dempsey
  24. The Mendicity
  25. J.J. Heuston, William O’Dea, Patrick Kelly, James Crenigan
  26. Jacobs Factory
  27. Thomas MacDonagh
  28. Michael O’Hanrahan
  29. John MacBride
  30. James Melinn
  31. The South Dublin Union
  32. Liam Cosgrave
  33. Eamonn Ceannt
  34. Con Colbert
  35. Philip Cosgrave
  36. Gerald Doyle
  37. William Corrigan
  38. James Burke
  39. Saint Stephen’s Green
  40. Countess Markievicz
  41. Michael Mallin
  42. William Partridge
  43. Boland’s Mill
  44. Ashbourne
  45. The Trials in the Provinces
  46. Thomas Kent
  47. Postscript

About the Author

Séan Enright was called to the Bar at Middle Temple (1982) and at King’s Inn (1993). He practiced at the Bar of London for many years and is now a Circuit Judge.

You may also like…