jordo wrote:You may have read that last Tuesday there was a book launch held in conjunction with the Heritage Week celebrations up in Glasnevin Cemetery.
The book They Died at Pearse’s Side by Ray Bateson deals with the sixty or so Volunteers who died Easter Week 1916 or shortly after.
Ray left no stone unturned in his three year quest for exact information making comparisons between many different sources including BA records, newspaper accounts, eye witness statements and House of Commons debates etc., etc and bringing them all together in this fine book. It is really well worth a read and to give you a flavour of the ‘attitude’ which existed at the time here is a small extract.
An account taken from a letter dated 10th May 1916 from Gerard Fitzgibbon to William Hugh Blake:
…….. Three of their dispatch riders came pelting down on bicycles from Stephen’s Green, bringing dispatches to the Post Office, and we had twelve or fifteen men posted in windows and on the roof in front of the (Trinity) College They fired on the cyclist’s. Killed one, wounded another …………. The booty collected was three bicycles, five rifles, 400 rounds of ammunition & their dispatches, and of course the corpse. We planted him out later on to fertilise the Provost’s daffodils…….. The man who was killed was hit twice in the head, once in the lung from four shots fired ……. If they had not concentrated they would have bagged all three.
The lad who was killed, Gerald Keogh was 22 at the time of his death.
The City is a great place for meeting famous people, the week before the launch I was outside Arbour Hill Prison talking to Paddy O’Gorman and his little dog Snoop and who came along only our very own Farmboy After a long chat we parted company and Farmboy and myself visited the graves of the 1916 executed leaders and wondered whether this site was the original burial place. The book deals with this subject in great detail taken from the many accounts of the burials from witnesses.
Needless to say the British did not want the graves of the slain to become a shrine and access to the grave site was very limited, in fact the exact location was not revealed until 1918. Their puppets from 1922 on were not much better although a stained glass window was erected in the prison chapel in 1924 but an attempt to have the exact site officially recognised with a memorial was refused. It wasn’t until 1936 that a memorial was eventually erected and easier access was allowed to the general public.
The only Dun Laoghaire connection I have found so far concerns a lad named John Keely who was educated in CBS Eblana Avenue and taught Irish in the Glasthule Branch of the Gaelic League. His address at the time of his death is given at Main Street Rathfarnham but through the census I was able to trace him to 7.1 Castledawson Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin in the 1901 Census and at 1, Edmondstown Village Rathfarnham with his wife of two years in the 1911 census.
John lies buried in Z3 70N (North Section) Deansgrange Cemetery.
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