Voices from the Easter Rising


Ruán O’Donnell & Mícheál Ó hAodha (Eds)

March 2016

Voices from the Easter Rising is an anthology of extraordinary testimonies and first-hand accounts of how the Easter Rising of 1916 was experienced by people from all backgrounds, drawing from previously unpublished letters, diaries, memoirs, statements from the Bureau of Military History, and contemporary publications. These accounts fill the gaps within the Easter Rising narrative with fascinating accounts from Dublin and around the country.


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Voices from the Easter Rising is a vivid collection of dramatic eyewitness accounts of the events of Easter Week 1916, which detail how the Rising unfolded in Dublin and in a range of other Irish cities, towns and villages. Extraordinary first-hand testimonies from the ranks of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army, Cumann na mBan, the British Army, members of the public and civil servants reveal how, in the streets of Dublin and around the country, the lives of its citizens were changed forever.

Drawn from previously unpublished letters, diaries, memoirs, statements from the Bureau of Military History and contemporary publications, these moving narratives undercut divides of nation, rank and gender, and provide an invaluable insight into this period of conflict. They also provide the reader with a direct and immediate portrayal of the actions and emotions of the revolutionaries and the forces they raged against. Giving voice once more to the protagonists beyond the pantheon of martyrs, for those seeking an accurate understanding of how the events of Easter Week actually took place, this is essential reading.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Bureau of Military History eyewitness accounts
Chapter 2 – From The GPO and the Easter Rising by Keith Jeffery
Chapter 3 – From The World Upturning: Elsie Henry’s Wartime Diaries
Chapter 4 – From Deputy Judge Advocate Sir Alfred Bucknill on courts martial
Chapter 5 – From the Norway family in The Sinn Fein Rebellion as they Saw It
Chapter 6 – From Robert Brennan autobiography Allegiance (1950)
Chapter 7 – From O Gaora, On The Run: Diary of a Irish Republican
Chapter 8 – From Frank Robbins, a 1916 veteran and later historian of the organization
Chapter 9 – From Des Ryan, aide to Patrick Pearse
Chapter 10 – From Frank De Burca on action around O’Connell Street
Chapter 11 – Eamon Price on the north inner city
Chapter 12 – J.J. Scollan’s Hibernian Rifles, an armed element of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (Irish American Alliance)
Chapter 13 – From Máire Nic Siubhlaigh’s The Splendid Years
Chapter 14 – The dramatic mission of Nora Connolly O’Brien from Liberty Hall to East Tyrone
Chapter 15 – Annie Mannion, Assistant Matron of the South Dublin Union, which was the centre of heavy fighting in Easter Week
Chapter 16 – Volunteers and Cumann na mBan testimonies: Maeve McGarry, Aine Ceannt and Aine O’Rahilly

Outside Dublin
Chapter 17 – Frank Gaskin relates how he joined the Republican Movement in Liverpool before returning to Ireland to participate in the Howth and Kilcoole gunrunnings of 1914
Chapter 18 – Chief of Staff, Eoin MacNeill
Chapter 19 – Sean McNamara describes the confusing situation in Clare
Chapter 20 – Tim O’Shea notes the contemporary position in Limerick city and county
Chapter 21 – Aftermath of the loss of the Aud arms ship is relayed by Eamon O’Shea
Chapter 22 – Situation in Cork recalled by PJ Murphy, Robert Langford and Con Ahern
Chapter 23 – Louth, a link to those who partially mobilized in Ulster, is recalled by Frank Martin
Chapter 24 – Wexford witnessed considerable republican activity, captured by leading commander Bob Brennan

About the Author

Dr Ruán O’Donnell is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Limerick. His most recent books, Special Category: The IRA in English Prisons Parts 1 and 2 (IAP/Merrion, 2012, 2015) are amongst his many noteworthy publications.

Dr Mícheál Ó hAodha works at the University of Limerick where he is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of History. With Ruán O’Donnell he was co-editor of The Irish Volunteers 1913-1915 (Merrion, 2013).