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Saturday 19 August 2017

Ronan held off Sherwood Foresters at Mount Street Bridge

Rebel Stories

William Ronan
William Ronan

William Ronan (Rownan) was born in 1888 in Dublin to parents Michael and Ellen Rownan, who were originally from Kilkenny.

He was the eldest of three brothers, including Thomas and Michael Jnr. William grew up in the Longford Street area and became a lithographic printer.

He joined the Volunteers in August 1914 and was a member of the C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, under Simon Donnelly at the time of the Rising.

On Easter Monday Lieutenant Michael Malone led a group of Volunteers to the Mount Street Bridge area, taking up positions at 25 Northumberland Road, Clanwilliam House, a local parochial hall and St Stephen's School.

William was positioned in Clanwilliam House, on the city side of the bridge, under the command of George Reynolds for the duration of what became known as the Battle of Mount Street.

On Monday afternoon the Volunteers fired on members of the Home Defence Force, who were returning from manoeuvres, killing a number of them.

On Wednesday a large contingent of British troops, including the inexperienced Sherwood Forresters, marched to Northumberland Road, eventually clearing the parochial hall and No. 25.

Ronan and his colleagues held them at the bridge, inflicting casualties, until Clanwilliam House was set alight.

William was one of four survivors that managed to escape, including Jimmy Doyle and brothers Thomas and James Walsh. George Reynolds, Richard Murphy and Paddy Doyle died when engulfed in the flames of the burning building. William was subsequently arrested and held at Frongoch internment camp until August 1916.

He later married Rose Mulally and had three children. William Ronan died in 1965. He is survived by his daughter.

Details submitted by Robert Dooley (great-grandson)

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