herald

Monday 5 December 2016

'I had a Sam Browne, a revolver and ammunition'

Voices from The Rising

Helena Molony
Helena Molony

A NUMBER of female participants in the Rising later provided accounts of their experiences to the Bureau of Military History. While most of the women saw their roles confined to medical and other support duties, some saw frontline action.

We went right up to the Castle gate...it appeared that the men behind Sean Connolly did not really know they were to go through...on the flash the gates were closed...It breaks my heart...we should have captured the Under-Secretary, who was having lunch in the Castle. We went into the City Hall and at once manned it
- Helena Molony, Irish Citizen Army

We noticed Sean Connolly coming towards us [on the roof of City Hall]...We suddenly saw him fall, mortally wounded by a sniper's bullet...First aid was useless, he died almost immediately
- Dr Kathleen Lynn, Irish Citizen Army

One of the [Gresham Hotel] guests was collecting money for the purpose of making a presentation to the [British Army] snipers on the roof...I said 'Are you asking me to reward these Englishmen who are shooting our own men down?...I won't give you a penny. You should be ashamed for asking
- Eileen Costello, Gaelic League

The woman had no uniform...I had an Irish tweed costume, with a Sam Browne [belt]. I had my own revolver and ammunition - Helena Molony

I was brought into the Post Office and I saw Mr Pearse...I said to him I wanted to be in the field but that I felt the rebellion was a frightful mistake...He asked me would I like to go to the kitchen
- Louise Gavan Duffy, Cumann na mBan

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