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Rising in the Union Exhibition Online Part 2


Easter Week 1916 throughout the City


Easter Monday April 24th

11.00- 11.40am           Over 1,000 members of the Irish Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army and Cumann Na mBan assemble in various locations around Dublin.  They then occupy various strategic buildings in the city:

General Post Office (the G.P.O), on Sackville Street (now O’Connell street): under the command of Patrick Pearse, James Connolly and Thomas Clarke

St. Stephen’s Green: under the command of Michael Mallin, with Countess Markievicz as his second in command

Jacob’s Biscuit Factory: under the command of Commandant Thomas Mac Donagh

Boland’s Mill and Bakery: under the command of Commandant Éamonn De Valera

25 Northumberland Road: under the command of Lieutenant Malone

Clanwilliam House: under the command of Section Commander George Reynolds

(for the following Dublin 8 locations, see the Dublin 8 timeline)

Marrowbone Lane Distillery: under the command of Captain Séan Murphy

Roe’s Distillery: under the command of Captain Thomas McCarthy

Mendicity Institute: under the command of Captain Séan Heuston

Watkin’s Brewery: under the command of Captain Con Colbert

South Dublin Union: under the command of Commandant Éamonn Ceannt

12.30pm                      The rebels take the G.P.O. with little resistance and establish it as their headquarters. The Tricolour is flown from the roof and Patrick Pearse reads the Proclamation of Independence, the island of Ireland is declared a Republic at the front of the building.

Lunch hour                  The Four Courts is occupied by the rebels, under the command of Commandant Edward Daly. The rebels at Dublin castle hesitate, not knowing that it has very few soldiers on duty, as many of the British Forces are at horse racing in Fairyhouse. They take Dublin City Hall instead, under the command of Captain Séan Connolly.

Carrying weapons with no ammunition, the veteran defence forces, coming from Kingstown harbour, march into an ambush at Northumberland Road. Though they are dressed in uniform and carry weapons, they have no ammunition, and are therefore effectively unarmed. Dubliners react with anger, and run out to help the wounded soldiers. Pearse issues an order to all rebels, that no unarmed person is to be fired on, whether in uniform or not.


Tuesday 25th April

General Lowe and 1000 of the 25th Infantry Reserve Brigade enters Dublin at Kingsbridge Station from the Curragh army camp.  He becomes head of all Royal armed forces operating in the city. Immediately, he creates a cordon running from the Kingsbridge Station to Dublin Castle and on to Trinity College, affectively cutting off rebel positions north and south of the city (though communication would still be possible).

Early Morning              The British soldiers based in the Shelburne Hotel on St. Stephen’s Green, open fire with a machine gun on the rebels (mostly Irish Citizen Army soldiers) based in the park. Commandant Michael Mallin realises their poor location, and orders the garrison to fall back to the College of Surgeons.

City Hall is taken by the Royal Forces.

Late evening                British gun boat, the Helga, positioned on the river Liffey, opens fire at Boland’s Mill & Bakery.

Nightfall                      The rebels occupy the Imperial and Metropole Hotel near the G.P.O. Martial law is declared by the British.


Wednesday 26th April

Morning                       The Helga now shells Liberty Hall.  British soldiers in the Gresham Hotel fire on the G.P.O.

Lack of food is becoming an increasing problem for both the rebels and the citizens of Dublin.

Afternoon                    The rebels located at the junction of Mount Street Bridge attack British reinforcements coming from Kingstown harbour (now Dún Laoghaire).  Two thirds of British causalities for the entire week would happen at this battle against 17 Volunteers.

After intense fighting Dublin Fusiliers take the Mendicity, and then lay siege to the Four Courts.


Thursday 27th April

Morning                       British forces continuously bombard Sackville Street; the street and the surrounding areas are in ruins. The Four Courts is also under fire.

Evening                       James Connolly is wounded; a ricocheting bullet shatters his ankle. A number of businesses on Sackville Street, have exploded, and the street is now in flames.


Friday 28th April

British troops continue their artillery barrage of Sackville Street, but the rebels hold out in Boland’s Mill & Bakery, the College of Surgeons, Jacob’s Biscuit Factory and the Four Courts. Sackville Street, including the G.P.O., is in flames and ruins.

The North King Street Massacre takes place. Fifteen civilians were shot or bayoneted to death by soldiers from the South Staffordshire Regiment. 

Late evening                The leaders of the Rising (Clarke, Pearse, Connolly, Plunkett and Mac Diarmada) leave a burning G.P.O. The badly injured James Connolly gives command to twenty year old Séan McLoughlin, who leads the escape to Moore Street; it is the first time they see the damage done to the city outside of what they can see from the post office.  Shocked by the loss of life, they begin to contemplate surrender.


Saturday 29th April

Having discussed the situation, the leaders of the Rising decide to surrender, to prevent the loss of any further civilian life.

Asked by Pearse if she was willing to meet with the British, Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell bravely steps out onto Moore Street, holding a white flag, and walks to the British barricade, to discuss the terms of surrender.

3.30 pm                       Accompanied by Nurse O’Farrell, Patrick Pearse then meets with Brigadier General Lowe of the British forces, an unconditional surrender is agreed and Nurse O’Farrell is given notes signed by Pearse to distribute throughout positions requesting units to stand down and surrender.

7pm                             Commandant Daly, at the Four Courts, surrenders.


Sunday 30th April

Commandant Éamonn De Valera at Boland’s Mill and Bakery, Commandant Thomas Mac Donagh at Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, Commandant Éamonn Ceannt at the South Dublin Union and Commandant Michael Mallin at St. Stephen’s Green all surrender upon receiving Pearse’s orders

Over 3,000 rebels were arrested, including 79 women (77 of whom were held at Richmond Barracks in Inchicore); not all of these individuals actually took part in the Rising.

With 490 people dead, the majority civilians, the Rising of Easter week 1916 was over- but the fight for Irish independence was only just beginning.

 See Part 1 here

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