herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

'They had a piece of paper pinned over their heart'

Voices from The Rising

Eamon de Valera was held at Kilmainham Gaol
Eamon de Valera was held at Kilmainham Gaol

Many rebels were held at Kilmainham Gaol after the Rising, some of whom later gave accounts, as did others on the British side.

We were brought over to Kilmainham Gaol, where some drunken soldiery of the Dublin Fusiliers immediately set upon us, kicking us, beating us and threatening us with bayonets...The Dublin Fusiliers were the worst of the lot. The English soldiers were mostly decent
- James Burke

The whitewashed cell walls were much smeared with blood - evidence of brutal treatment
- Diarmuid Lynch

With the dawn on Wednesday morning [May 3] I was awakened by volleys being fired. I instinctively knew what was happening
- Joseph O'Connor

May 8: Loud reports of shots at daybreak. We say prayers for whoever it was; heard terrible moans; then a small shot; then silence
- Rose McNamara

Tom Clarke, notwithstanding his age and frail constitution, expressed his willingness to go before his firing party without a blindfold...The others did not care whether they were blindfolded or not. Death did not seem to hold any terrors for them
- Sgt Michael Soughley, DMP

Pearse, MacDonagh and Clarke and indeed all who were executed died bravely. They were blindfolded in a passage and had a piece of paper pinned on their coats over their heart...They were shot at two different spots in the jail [which] could not be overlooked from any windows...Each firing party had 12 men, and the executions took place at 3.45am
- Alfred Bucknill, Dep Judge Advocate General

Promoted articles

Entertainment News