Tuesday 28 January 2020

The British soldier said 'he was a Devilero, all right'

Voices from The Rising

Eamon de Valera
Eamon de Valera

On Easter Monday, Volunteers under Eamon de Valera occupied Boland's Mill opposite Grand Canal Quay and a section of railway at the present-day Grand Canal Dock station.

They gave the following accounts to the Bureau of Military History.

In the whole garrison of, we'll say, 100 men...there were not more than 50 rifles...During the course of the fight someone contrived a means of inserting a couple of inferior shotguns into a metal rain-pipe and firing the triggers by means of a string
- Joseph O'Connor

A poor woman carrying some bread ventured across the bridge to be shot through the head by an enemy sniper from the direction of Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital
- Joseph Byrne

[By Thursday] Volunteers were beginning to feel the strain of constant firing and loss of sleep and were observed dozing in their positions - Peadar O'Mara Commandant de Valera arrived on the scene and wanted 20 men to carry out a bayonet charge...the charge was cancelled as there was not sufficient men to take part
- Seamus Kavanagh

We could not understand why [the surrender] should happen...The excitement in Boland's was terrible. What did we want to surrender for? Volunteers were shouting themselves hoarse...others were singing songs and some were openly crying
- Peadar O'Mara

[A soldier] asked me [the commandant's] name. I told him it was de Valera and he said, "He was a Devilero, all right"
- Seamus Kavanagh

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