Rosamond Jacob’s account of the Easter Rising: (25th April – 16th June 1916)

“The front of the Imperial Hotel is left but nothing whatever behind it. The post office especially was an appalling sight, heaps of stones inside and long crooked pieces of burnt metal and huge empty window holes and piles of stones and rubbish along the pavement before it. There were great crowds looking at it. Henry St is destroyed too, and Abbey St, and most of the streets leading out of Lower O’Connell St.”

NLI Call Number: MS 32582/29
Dates:  25th April – 16th June 1916

25th April. – It was only this morning we began to hear of the rising in Ath Cliath the day before, and we heard very little till the next day. I went to tea at Wm [William] St, Ben was to come but couldn’t, the trains being upset. All the rest of the week was a confused period of suspense and wild rumours. I went to the hotel nearly every day for news, and heard all sorts of rumours – one from Mary Gallagher, who had been in Dublin on Easter Monday and had the most fearfully sanguine rumours as facts, and never was a bit abashed, I don’t believe, when it was obvious that they weren’t true.  Miss C. [Colfer?] was there too a good deal, in very low spirits, naturally.  Ben came on Wednesday, and was just as I expected – what good would this do, and the country didn’t sympathise with it, etc etc.

Sunday 30th April.  Very fine day.  We all went to Traith Mhor [Tramore] by the 11 train and had lunch on the strand, and Ben paddled, and two very nice dogs came and talked to us, and B. dried his feet on one, and then we went up to the Dún ar Aill [g.s.] walk and sat there till it was time to catch the train.  We had Kitty in the bath chair, and T. and D. took several snapshots at different times. I never knew Nancy in such high spirits, or it seemed so; it was awful [sic], and it was such a gorgeous hot brilliant blue day too. Kitty hardly spoke at all, but they liked her, and I’m told Ben admired her greatly.  She is awfully pretty.  We had them all to tea, and then music after tea, including Huntingtower and Begone dull Care and Lord Ronald, and Mrs Power came and paid a visit. She had news of Townsend’s surrender, but nothing from Dublin. She had great stories of a Corkman, a friend of Ben’s, who stayed at the Metropole once while engaged on the new bridge.

1st May.  Another grand fine day. Ben came up early and took Nancy off, and returned Speeches from the dock, saying he had read it all. I went to the hotel after dinner and found them saying that it was all over town that the news of the surrender on Saturday evening was false. Miss K. was there still, and P.  Mrs Power was quite cheerful. I asked Miss K. and Letitia to tea, and went back to Wm St and visited there a bit. D. was gardening of course; she never seems to do anything else, and Nancy and Ben and I employed ourselves in making the rockery – fetching all the big white stones along the border in our hands or in the wheelbarrow and casting them in a heap. They were frightfully heavy. Miss K. and Letitia came, but the former was too distracted to stay long. She is a great personal friend of Connolly’s. Tash [Power] had plenty to say about Bell’s etc, but she went pretty early too.

2nd May. Kitty and I went down to William St a.d. [after dinner] and visited there, and had tea in the garden, but we were very poor company. T. was at home, gardening. They have lots of vegetables there. Marie came to tea and stayed some time talking, but I forget what she said. There were still no trains to Ath Cliath. The hotel bar has been ordered to be closed by whoever it is that commands the military here, I suppose as a punishment for harbouring Sinn Feiners and having disaffected views. Marie is very glad, but of course it is very bad for the hotel.  I developed 2 photos of Sunday; 1 of Kitty and a group, and they came out fairly good.

3rd May. This was the day Pearse, Clarke and MacDonagh were shot, at about 4 in the morning I believe, though it wasn’t known till Thursday. I think the fighting didn’t come to an end till this day or thereabouts; they said [sic] Pearse’s mother couldn’t come to see him on account of the heavy firing in the streets, and that was on Tuesday I suppose, but of course that may have been a lie. The papers said Pearse had a broken leg, but that was contradicted verbally afterwards by nearly everyone. I went down town in the afternoon and called to the hotel and found Miss K. had gone to Ath Cliath that morning.

Pearse’s Surrender, 29th April 1916. (Image courtesy of National Library of Ireland, NPA POLF234

4th May.  This morning I found a very short poem by Pearse in an old Irish Review – fórnocht do chonnaic thú, Kitty and I went up the road a little way b.d., her ankle is much better.  She didn’t say much all this time, but she read old Irish reviews constantly, and didn’t want anything else, and when she did speak it was very much to the purpose; as when she suddenly remarked this evening that she never would have thought that she could hate England more than she did before. She developed a sort of worship of Pearse that time he was here in February; he stayed the night at the hotel, but between his shyness and reserve and hers, Kitty had no intercourse with him, and now passionately regrets her lost opportunities.

5th May. Wet day.  K. and I went down town in the morning to try and find Mrs Upton in Ballybricken, but failed, and I went on to the hotel. There was a rather nice looking young Corkman there named Donovan who had a lot to say, and told us the names of some of those shot the day before – Plunkett, Daly, O’Hanrahan, and William Pearse, but we heard them fully afterwards from S. Mathews, whom we visited, and who was quite communicative. I afterwards found out that Daly commanded at the Four Courts, and O’Hanrahan was a clerk at headquarters, which seems an insufficient reason for shooting him, but no one ever seemed to know why William Pearse should be shot except because he was his brother’s brother. Mrs Power is broken-hearted about Pearse; he must have had a great power of attracting and impressing people.  She was imitating him speaking to her the last time he was there, and conveyed his voice and manner rather well. I’ve called at Wm St and I got a lot of old Freedoms for Kitty to read from a Hermitage and Clarke’s prior prison recollections, which she did steadily for the next three days.  I was awfully [sic] glad of her company that week. This evening she suddenly remarked that she was going to change her historical character in the favourite book to Pearse, and did so, and afterwards she was talking about Scoil Eanna, and Pearse’s mother and sister, whom she says the boys liked very much.

6th May. Still wet.  I went down to Wm St a.d. and got more Freedoms for Kitty.  She read them all the evening.  D. and T. came up after tea and we played bridge.  It was either this day or Friday, I think, that Major MacBride was shot.

7th May. – Another wet day.  D. and T. came to dinner, and in the afternoon Kitty and I went down to the hotel. Mrs Power was lying down, and did not appear for some time, and Tash was rather bold, and said several things that shocked Kitty unnecessarily, I thought. They showed me two photos of them as children, Marie lovely, rather like the 5 year old photo of Ben, Kitty big and plump, with lots of curly hair, not very recognizable, and Tash very cute-looking, about 2 years old. Tash was telling me a lot about the Coolayna boys when the other two were out of the room – their names are Brendan, Vincent, Joe, George and Kevin.  Joe seems to be much the nicest. Mrs Power appeared presently, and said how well Kitty was looking, and we had tea. Then Marie and Letitia were going to walk in a May procession at the Cathedral, in white gowns and veils and blue mantles, and Kitty and I went to look on. We went up in the organ gallery, and stayed there an hour or more, listening to lovely music nearly all the time, except when a sermon on the Virgin was being preached.  It was 8.30 when we got home.

8th May. I went to town in the morning, and in the afternoon Kitty and I went to tea at Dorothea’s and she went on home. I think it was on Sunday we heard about Madame getting a life sentence, and somewhere at this time Major MacBride and Eamonn Ceannt were shot.

“The Times History of the War”, Volume VIII, page 459, published 1916. Internet Archive Book Image

9th May.  I had a note from Seamus this day.  Sheehy-Skeffington’s death was in the paper today – he was arrested on the 25th, taken to Portobello Barracks (I’m not certain which barracks it was) and shot without any form of trial, for being himself, I suppose. Dixon and McIntyre, 2 other newspaper editors, both thorough loyalists, were shot along with him, God knows why. I went to the hotel a.d., and found Mrs Power very cross with the police and generally worried. Kitty spoke with very becoming contempt of priests trying to make rebels surrender and of rebels who attended to them. After tea Tash and I went for a ride out the Tramore Road to Blackrock.  It was a lovely evening.  There was a slight flood across the road in one place as usual.

10th May. I went to dinner at Wm St, and was cruelly deceived by Dorothea, who had promised me fish, and gave me only a vegetarian imitation. She and I went out to visit R. Butler afterwards, and I slept at Wm St in order to have a bath in a decent bathroom.

12th May. – I went down to the hotel in the afternoon and spent a good while there. Had a loud conversation with Johnny Hill in Lady Lane coming home.  D. and T. came to tea and played bridge and we developed a film, better than the last one, though not up to much.

13th May.  I went to Ath Cliath by the 9.40 train to see people instead of trying to write to them. The fields were full of cowslips all the way up, and the furze was glorious, and the trees and bushes exquisite. I saw the news of Connolly and MacDiarmuda being shot in someone else’s paper in the train. I believe they had to try MacDiarmuda several times before they could prove he had been in the G.P.O. and signed the proclamation. Connolly was wounded in the leg and not able to stand. The Four Courts as seen from the tram was a testimonial to the bad shooting of the British army; lots of bullet holes feet away from the windows, above them, below them, and at the sides of them.  The block between O’Connell St and Beresford Place is smashed to bits, a few back walls left standing, but the fronts gone, and all up O’Connell St the same sort of thing was visible. I went out to Garville Rd and found Cousin D. [Deborah] fairly well, and had a sort of tea meal and an interview with Constance Haughton, who has come to live with D.  She is good-looking and agreeable. Cousin D. has a scarf round her face, and a depression in the side of her head where the operation was, but her face is not disfigured, as I had heard it was. I went to Moyne Rd then and found Mrs ff. M. [Madeline ffrench-Mullen] out, and heard from the maid that both Madeline and Douglas were in jail. Then I went to Grosvenor Place and found Mrs S.S. out.

Then I went up to the north side and walked up O’Connell St – which is practically destroyed on both sides from the bridge to the Pillar, only a few houses on the left corner of the quays left – and viewed the post office, just the bare walls left, no roof, floors or windows. There were little curls of smoke out of some of the heaps of ruins still, and bits of wall about 40 feet and 8 wide standing up here and there among them. The front of the Imperial Hotel is left but nothing whatever behind it. The post office especially was an appalling sight, heaps of stones inside and long crooked pieces of burnt metal and huge empty window holes and piles of stones and rubbish along the pavement before it. There were great crowds looking at it.  Henry St is destroyed too, and Abbey St, and most of the streets leading out of Lower O’Connell St.  I went on up north looking for Belvedere Avenue and found it with great difficulty, only to find that they had left No 5. So I walked all the way back to Stephen’s Green and went out Moyne Rd again and visited Mrs ff.M. and Pearl. As Douglas was not there, his mother had a chance to do all the talking, and she did. She said Douglas was in Richmond Barracks, slightly wounded but very cheerful, as all the prisoners seemed to be, and Madeline was in Mountjoy. She was in Stephen’s Green and the College of Surgeons during the rising, and he at the South Dublin Union, where Ceannt was in command. The house was searched by soldiers later on, but they got practically nothing. Mrs ff.M. was going to see Madeline on Monday morning, so I arranged to go with her. I went to Grosvenor Place again, and Mrs S.S. was still out, so I went home then.

The shell of the G.P.O. on Sackville Street Dublin in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising (Image courtesy of National Library of Ireland, KE121).

14th May. Fine sunny day. Cousin D. had a fainting fit in the morning from being too active the day before, and was pretty bad afterwards, so that C.H. had to call for a doctor. I went to Deilgenis [Dalkey] pretty early; saw the dispensary near Ball’s Bridge all over bullet marks and broken windows, and another house or two nearly as bad. By great luck, Lasairfhiona and all her family were in; and talked to me for nearly half an hour before they went to 12 mass. L. had a frightful experience during the rising, being arrested, with a Miss Keogh from Gorey, near Jacob’s factory by a party of soldiers, and taken to Trinity College (the soldiers there fired at them out of the windows as they approached, not knowing their own comrades) and there searched, confined in a separate room from Miss K. (who they were convinced was the Countess) and told a soldier was gone to inquire about her at the Castle and if her name was in the list of suspects there she was done for. After keeping her for 3 hours thus they let her go. The house was searched by soldiers, aided by a man from Scotland Yard, but they didn’t seem to find anything. Charlie was arrested and kept for a day or two and let go again, but still has to report himself to the police every day. While they were at mass I went down to St Anne’s but Lucy was at church and Mary minding a case somewhere, so I only saw Bruen. When I got back to Tubbermore Rd I talked to Miss Walsh till the others came back, and then they gave me a kind of a tea meal. They said that most of the week of the rising there were hordes of soldiers pouring in at Dunleary every day, with heavy artillery and aeroplanes and every possible sort of apparatus, and people were all the time coming into the shop to tell them about it. They think Eoin Mac Neill was right, and that there was a mistake somewhere. Mrs S. sat up all one night at the window watching the fire in the sky and listening to the guns, she said. She [Lasairfhiona] is suspended in her job and C. [Charlie Somers] thinks he has lost his. L. knew Pearse and MacDiarmuda and most of the leaders, she said – and I think Mrs Pearse. She and Charlie came with me when I was going, a long way beside the railway, along a little footpath, to Miss Walker’s shop in Dunleary (Máire Nic Shuibhlaigh) Mrs Stanley’s sister of whom Upton often told us, and I went in and visited her for a bit. She is tall and very thin and intense looking, just like an actress, with lovely curious amethyst and topaz rings, and hazel eyes. She talked of Upton and the revolt; said they did not surrender in the post office, but came out of it when it was all on fire and half destroyed, and got across some streets, and it is considered there were terms made which were afterwards suppressed and broken. I arranged to go see Mrs Stanley [Upton was to lodge with the Stanleys when he moved to Dublin] in Liffey St next day at 12.

It began to rain after I got back to town, and I went over to Brighton Square and had tea there. Emily Webb is much worse than she used to be; can’t walk at all now, and has a nurse to mind her. She sits in the little room that used to be the spare bedroom, and it was there we had tea. J.W. wanted to know were the rebels mad, or what possessed them? not knowing anything about their expectation of German help, or Mac Neill’s goings on. She showed me Iosagán agus Sgeulta eile, [sp.?] which she said gave her a great interest in Pearse, they were such delightful stories, and I read the beginning of Bairbre, and it certainly was. Chandlee came in after tea, looking more grown up than ever, and talked about the damage done to the College of Surgeons, and said St Enda’s was a very good school. I went to see Edith then, and found her

Image from page 41 of The Rebellion in Dublin, April 1916Dublin: Eason & Son, Boston Public Library, (Internet Archive Book Images.)

surprisingly sympathetic towards the rising; though of course she condemns hatred and Germany. She began talking of it of her own accord. She said Pearse was an unpractical idealist and used to be always talking of all he learned from his angelic little boys, but from her account I think it possible that he did it to tease her. She says Mrs P. is the “usual sort of Irish mother” – query, like Mrs Somers, Mrs Power. She came with me to Grosvenor Place, and we found Mrs S.S. in at last, but just on the point of going out with her uncle, Father Eugene Sheehy, to interview some English journalists in Clare St. She said Dillon was helping her and being very decent to her about it, but there had to be an inquest, and a lot of things done, to bring it home to them in the face of Asquith’s attitude.  She looked badly, and was all in black. I went with her to Clare St, Fr Sheehy didn’t speak a word the whole way, and looked cross but I believe he is really nice. She said Owen had behaved really well, and took comfort in the Lament for Owen Roe which he adores, and wants someone to write a poem about his father. She says Kettle is upset by it, and considered he was ashamed to meet her “in this dirty uniform,” and her brother Eugene, also in the army, was actually on guard somewhere in Dublin during the rebellion, and she won’t see him or speak to him. She says Connolly’s leg was gangrened and he would have died in a day or two anyway.  She knows his wife very well.

15th May.  I went round to Grosvenor Place immediately after breakfast and visited Mrs S.S. and Owen at theirs. It was Owen’s 7th birthday, and Cousin D. had given me 2/6 for him.  He went off to school presently. Mrs S.S. is leaving that house at once; the landlord is turning her out, but she would have gone anyhow. I asked her to come to Tráith Mhór to us with Owen, and she said she might send him, but didn’t know if she would be able to come herself. Her father in law seems to making himself very disagreeable to her and there may be danger of his trying to take Owen from her. I went on to meet Mrs ff.M. at the Pillar, and we went to Mountjoy and found a merry party of visitors in the waiting room, two or three girls whose names I didn’t hear sitting on a table, Mrs Seán M’Garry (the cheerfullest of all), Mrs Sean Connolly, whose husband was killed in the Post Office – she was quieter than the others – and Miss O’Rahilly, a plain square-built woman in black, who talked Irish to Mrs Ashe, and a rather handsome young priest named O’Brien. They all talked together and one or two (including the priest, of course) got in to see their friends, and at 11.30 I had to go away, having arranged to meet Mrs Stanley at twelve.

“After the insurrection,” held by UCD Library Special Collections. © Unknown. Digital content: © University College Dublin, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin.

I went to Keogh Bros in Dorset St first to look for photographs, but they had none ready, and those they were preparing would be 1/6 each. I found Mrs Stanley in Liffey St, over the Gaelic Press, and her father, Mr Walker, in the office downstairs, a handsome old man with white hair and bushy eyebrows.  Mrs Stanley is rather pretty, with hazel – or perhaps brown eyes – clear, very pale skin, and very red lips; she is shorter than her sister, and more friendly and talkative. She told me how she and ‘Joe’ and ‘Jim’ went from place to place during the rising, and Joe was subsequently arrested, and she showed me the cat Becky, a very pretty brown and white half Persian. Then I went to Whelan’s for Pearse’s last pamphlets, but the girl behind the counter seemed rather shocked at being expected to keep it. Then I walked miles to Baggot St, to the Irish bookshop, and failed to get Iosagán there, and went back to the Vegetarian for dinner. Then I went out to Harold’s Cross and found J.W. and Miss White both out, and went on to Rathfarnham, intending to try Scoil Éanna. I took two turnings out of my head, and they were both right.  After that I asked the way twice, and after what seemed like about two miles walk along lovely [sic] sunny or shady roads with a stream falling over little weirs beside them most of the way, I reached a bluish grey stone gateway with lions on the centre gateposts and trees and hedges inside hiding all but a little bit of avenue with hens on it, and a little lodge on the right, and The Hermitage on the gateposts. No mention of Scoil Éanna at all. There were lovely young beech boughs over the gate, and I think yews inside. I hadn’t the nerve to go in – or the time, indeed, so I went back, and got a view of the top of the house over the wall round the corner; with trees hiding a good deal of it. The roads about there are lovely [sic], and looked their best on such a gorgeous May day.  I met Bessie in the tram going back. I called on Emily Webb and went back to Garville Rd and had a brief interview with D.W., who was in bed, and deafer than ever.  Then I went to the train, for once finding a tram going to Kingsbridge.  The country looked divine all the way down, with the fresh warm green fields and trees and furze and cowslips and daisies, but it got dark presently.  I got home about 10.45 and found a very interesting letter from Tony [Farrington] waiting for me.

16th May. – Another splendid fine hot day. D. and I went to visit Grace Bell a.d. and her garden was a dream in the hot sunshine, especially the tulips. She has a very engaging Pekingese puppy named Chang, about 3 months old, who bites your hand all the time and has no nose, and tries to look like a lion. I went down to the hotel after tea. Mrs Power was in bed sick. It seems W. Walsh is out of jail.  I told them all I had heard in Ath Cliath, and Tash came for a ride with me out the Sugarloaf road, and told me a lot of things about the Coolayna boys and her drastic methods of dealing with them. Brendan and Vincent are so mean and so mad about smoking that they will sell each other cigarettes at enormous prices if either has none at the moment. Darkey came with us and enjoyed himself highly.

17th May.  – I went to town in the morning. Mr Farrington came to stay for two days with Dorothea, and he and she and Tom came up and visited us in the afternoon. Mr F. was very pleasant and talkative, and Aunt H. took a great fancy to him, including his appearance.

18th May.  – Fine day. Tom got a permit to go motoring, and took Mr F. and D. and me to Woodstown via Carraig Fada, being stopped 3 times on the way by peelers who wanted to see the permit. The furze was glorious, and there were violets on the banks, and lots of primroses, but the mountains were dim. T. took the motor round by road to the Woodstown side of Carraig Fada and met us in the lane as we walked across, and we went to look at the giant’s grave. A lark flew up out of the field as we went across it, and a minute later I saw its nest close to my foot – a lovely little neat pocket of dried grass with 4 little brown eggs in it. We came down the steep road that comes out at Ballyglan, and left the motor there and went down to the south end.  I paddled, the tide being on the point of going out, and it was lovely and warm.

Then we went up by degrees into the wood, and there were flowers everywhere, primroses and cowslips near the well, and woodruff and woodsorrel and a few primroses and masses[sic] of bluebells, first under the beech trees and then down the slope where the hazel bushes begin, with clumps of big ferns among them and a fine blaze of furze up above.  We went round to the end of the head, where the broom grows, and lots of furze, and sat there for a bit. It was very hot and still and brilliant, and there was a girl gathering in the cows in the fields behind Fasnocht strand. Mr F. admired the places when he was asked, and seemed to enjoy himself pretty well. We came back through the field between the wood and where the haunted house used to be, and I never saw a more heavenly meadow. It was full of cowslips, and primroses growing right out in the middle of it, and buttercups beginning. We came back by the road to the motor and went back by the ordinary road, meeting no peelers.

20th May. – Aunt Bessie came this day to spend the weekend at William St, and I was there in the afternoon. Mr F. went home on Friday. Tony has been asked to spend another year at Mertola and has decided to do so. He thinks the climate is doing him good, but very slowly.

21st May. – The daylight saving act came into force this day, and it was a very dull cloudy day and did not show it off to advantage. I went down to the Metropole and went for a ride with Letitia and Darkey, in the morning. We went to Greanaigh Castle, where she had never been before, and explored it thoroughly. She was greatly interested. Then we went on along the road some distance, and it came on dropping rain. It was a comfortless sort of day altogether. Darkey enjoyed himself highly and was very good. Letitia was telling me how Mr Donovan argues with Kitty about the sexes, he seems to despise women very much, or to let on to. Tash does not bother herself to argue with him. He lives at the hotel, and teaches at Waterpark. They showed me some snapshots he took of them after we got back to the hotel. Mrs Power was away, up at Coolayna for a week or two. Aunt Bessie and D. and T came to tea, and Aunt B. was very entertaining, and told us all about Leo. Aunt H. came in too.

22nd May.  I went to town b.d. [before dinner] and visited Eileen and Hilda in the afternoon. Hilda looks thin and worn, but is as vivacious as ever, and takes George very coolly.  She is to stay there for a while and then go home.

24th May. – Dorothea and T. and I all went to tea at the Walpole’s and had a lot of discussion afterwards about conscientious objectors and how much the State has a right to argue and ask of you – it was very interesting. Mr Boadle is lest of a pacifist than Mr Walpole. They were talking about the daylight saving act too, and Katie read Benjamin Franklin’s letter to the Paris newspaper aloud to us. We had a little acrostics before we went; Annie was there, but she went away before that.

25th May. – Fine warm day. Letitia and I went to Woodstown in the afternoon, none of them were ever there. Darkey came too, and enjoyed himself enormously. We left the bicycles at the Cottage and walked down to the south end and so into the wood. The primroses were nearly gone, but the bluebells were if possible more splendid than ever. Tash was greatly impressed, and picked an armful of them for Kitty, also some cowslips. Darkey ran about and explored and sat on us when we sat down, and got much scolded. I was telling Tash the story of An Máthair, and of course she admired it greatly. We went on to the end of Knockavelish and back, and had to come home practically at once. Darkey went chasing seagulls out on the mud, the tide being out, and got great exercise. Tash admired the whole place greatly, and thought the cottage would do nicely for Kitty to be sent for a rest cure in the summer. We came home to tea, and every dog living on the road had to rush out of his house to attack Darkey and T. came to tea and we played bridge.

26th May. – Gaelic League committee in the evening to discuss whether or not to have the Oireachtas. Fr Dowley had asked leave of the police to call the committee, and got well merited rebukes for doing so. Everyone wanted the Oireachtas except him and P. de Brett, and except those two everyone had twice the Sinn Fein spirit they used to have, except those who were always all right. W. Walsh was there; I was talking to him afterwards and he said he was starved in the jail and lost a stone of weight. He also told us of some murders he saw committed by the soldiers in Dublin. Fr Dowley told how Pearse had said to him in February that nothing but blood would save the country – he means well but he has no backbone whatever, and an awful habit of acting without consulting the committee. Fr Cullinane sat on him a good deal, and was very sound about the Oireachtas but unfortunately he is going away to Dún Garbháin immediately. Miss Doyle had Pearse’s letter to his mother in full, got from someone in Dublin.

27th May.  – I went to the hotel in the evening and read some more Iosagán and Bairbre with Kitty and Tash, and spent a good while talking. Mrs P. was expected home the following Monday.

28th May. – Upton turned up in the afternoon, and spent the evening telling us about the rising etc. Dorothea had a sort of neuralgic toothache all the evening, and she and Tom went home very soon after tea. Upton said the voting at the last council meeting was 6 to 4 for the rising next day; the 4 being Mac Neill, O’Rahilly, MacBride and Clarke.  He seemed to agree with them himself.

29th May.  I went down to Wm St a.d. as Dorothea was having visitors – Eileen and Hilda.  They very sensibly left George at home. The conversation seemed to me nearly all about butchers and meat; I think D. was fed up with it, though Eileen always amuses her.

31st May.  It was this day the big naval battle near the Sgaggerat [sic] was, and also it was this day it came out that Mac Neill was sentenced to imprisonment for life. I think that was by far the most monstrous sentence of all.  I may as well write down all the sentences now while I have them.

Shot.  – P.H. Pearse, T.J. Clarke, T. MacDonnchadh, J. Plunkett, E. Ceannt, J. Connolly, Sean MacDiarmuda, Liam Pearse, E. Daly, M. O’Hanrachain, Major MacBride, C. Colbert, M. Mallin, J.J. Heuston, T. Kent.

Life Sentences. – Countess Markiewicz, Eoin MacNeill, E. deValera, H. O’Hanrachain, T. Ashe, Austen Stack.

10 years.  J. Lynch, T. Bevan, T. Walsh, F. Lynch, B.A., W. Tobin, M. Marvyn, D. O’Callaghan, P.E. Sweeney, Desmond Fitzgerald, P. M’Nestry, P. Clancy, G. Irvine, John Doherty, J.J. Walsh, James Melinn, J.J. Reid, John Williams, Francis Fahy, Frank Lawless, James Lawless, Frank Drennan, Colgan O’Loaghaire (Muigh Eó), John Tomkins (Locha gCarmain), Patrick Fahy (Gaillaimh), Wm Partrige T.C. (Dublin), Thomas Hunter, Wm. Cosgrave, Richard Davys.

8 years. Sean McGarry, James O’Suilleabhainn.

5 years. – Vincent Poole, Wm P. Corrigan, Harry J. Boland, Gerald Crofts, C. O’Donovan, John Shouldice, Timothy Brosnan [Ciarraidhe), Peter Gallighan (Wexford).

3 years. – Piaras Beaslai, Joseph McGinnis, Edmund Duggan, John Mcardle, John Dourney, James Burke, James Morrissey, Maurice Brennan, Gerard Doyle, Charles Bevan, John O’Brien, Patrick Fogarty, John Faulkner, Michael Brady, James Dempsey, George Levins, John F. Cullen, J. Dorrington, W. O’Dea, P. Kelly, Michael Scully, Connor McGinley, *John Carrick, Chris Carrick, Patk Fury, Thos. Fury, Fredk. Fury, Patk Flanagan, Michael Toole, Joseph Rowley, Michael Hehir, Wm Corcoran, L. Corcoran, Michael Higgins, James Loughlin, Joseph Burke (Oranmore from *), John Corcoran, Michael Fleming, Wm Hussey (Galway).

1 year. – J. Crenigan, Wm. Derrington.

Women deported. – Helena Molony, Brighid Ni Foghludha, M. Parolles, Nellie Ryan, – Carney (Belfast).

I met Miss Mc Carthy and a friend of hers (Miss Foley, a young girl, very pretty, with fine red hair) at the 12 train and walked with them to White’s café and had lunch there, and Miss Mc C. told me all about the Dún Garbháin men who were arrested. G.L. Oireachtas committee a.t. [after tea], Stiophán Bairead was there, says the Oireachtas will be held, but it would be much more convenient for headquarters to hold it here than in Áth Cliath. Brett and Dowley still adverse, P.W. Kenny very deep and impressive. Fr D. had been told by “Head O’Connor” that the Oireachtas probably wd not be allowed; so of course that was final, to him. He, Miss D. and Kenny were appointed to go and interview Hetreed. The head Volunteers were there to the number of 7 or 8 and other young men I don’t know, who spoke very [sic] well.

3rd June.  Dorothea and T. and I went to Cill Chainnaigh [Kilkenny] to visit Upton, by invitation. There was a very drunk man on the train who made love to D., praising her shoes and hands, I think, and calling her the lily of the west. He also praised my cap.  We went into another carriage at last, he was so voluble.  Upton met us and took us through John Stand over the bridge to where the Kenealys live, Mrs Kenealy being the owner of the Kilkenny Journal. We went into a lovely garden with old walls with ferns and grass on them, and vegetables and white pinks and a tennis court.  The end wall was part of the old wall of the city. Presently a tall handsome blond, very well dressed, came along and was introduced to us as Conn Kenealy, and he immediately began to play tennis with Tom. We sat on a stone seat cut out of the wall and Upton told me how he had once entertained Cornelius Colbert in that garden, and how J.J. Heuston was a railway clerk at Kingsbridge and he knew him well.  He had a lot to say about various things. There was a white rabbit in a hutch, belonging to a young Kenealy. Mrs K. came out presently; a big mistressful looking woman, and in course of time tea was served, and Miss Kenealy came out – a very [sic] handsome girl, in the height of fashion, with earrings and a grand coiffure, and a thoroughly hard conventional appearance and manner – just the elegant capable West Briton, like Lily O’Meara. We had a very good tea, and Mr Kenealy let the rabbit out, and the dog chased it, and it rained a little. Then a cousin named Florrie came and sat for a while, and was abused before her face to us (being deaf) in a horrid way.  In course of time we went into the house and Upton came to the station with us and so home, but he travelled in a different compartment (just like him) walked home with me and said he would come up the next evening which he did not do – also just like him.

4th June. Dorothea and Tom came to dinner and tea, and bridge after tea.  They also had photos to develop which came out better than usual – D. in her wedding dress on two plates, one of which came out very good, and a rather uninteresting film.

5th June. – Visited R. Butler b.d. and went to the Metropole in the afternoon.  Marie received me and gave me tea, and Kitty didn’t appear for ages, being in the bar. Then Tash came in, very rowdy, and begged me to go with her to ‘Maritana’ by the Boscurians [?], only 10d to the second circle, so I did.  She had great account of the bearfighting that goes on at Henry Bell’s; putting each other into the bin, tying legs together and so forth. We were first but 2 in the 2nd circle, but it soon filled up, and a lot of the men smoked, being corrupted by cinematograph habits. The opera was much shortened, and only about 8 actors altogether, 2 of whom were lodging at the Metropole. Maritana was very pretty, with dark hair and a slim figure and a fine voice; Don Jose was tall and wellmade, with a narrow face and a little brown beard and long brown curls, dressed mostly in brown velvet; he also had a very good voice, better I think than Don Cesar, though Turn on old Time was almost the best part of the whole thing. Lazarillo was a slim elegant pretty dark haired boy, and sang deliciously, but Don Cesar, though he sang well, was a fright, very stout, with the face of a fat baby, and always badly dressed, mostly in red velvet which didn’t suit with his light brown hair. In Happy Moments was exquisite, but it seems to me they played sillier tricks with the ends of verses than is usually done, and none of them were very good actors.  The Marquise and Marquis were left out altogether.  The King was fairly good.

6th June. – News of Kitchener’s drowning in the Hampshire this day. It seemed a pity that so many others had to be drowned too, instead of him being got rid of somehow by himself.

7th June. – We packed to go to Tráith Mhór, and I went to Jennings in the morning and he found nothing to do. Aunt H. and Mamma went by train and the rest of us by motor, as D. and T. both thought it too cold for Mamma to motor. She was afraid to venture against their opinion, but by the time she got to Traith Mhor she disagreed with them altogether. We were in the No 1 house this time, the first time since 1912. Mamma and I went for a little walk down to the sea before tea, and after tea I went up along the Doneraile and home by Love Lane, and saw a fine red sunset. There was a new cat, Kitty’s kitten, nearly grown up but very shy; a sort of greyish tortoiseshell.

8th June.  Fine day, but not too warm.  D. and T. and I went out the cliff road to Guillamean cove b.d. and sat there till 2 priests came wanting to bathe and we had to go away. The sea was lovely colours, and the cliff roses all out and the liverwort and sea pinks all down the cliffs. Mrs Power and Marie came out by the 4.15 train, and went with me to an auction at Tivoli Terrace which was just over however. Then we went down to the sea and looked at it, but it was cold and windy then and we soon came back.  Mrs P. talked all the time and Marie hardly said anything, and when they were going Mamma happened to ask Mrs P. how old was Kitty, and neither Mrs P. nor Marie could tell her.  They went by the 8 train.

9th June.  Showery uncertain day. I got a card from Mrs Sheehy-Skeffington saying she and Owen would come the next Thursday, and she hoped to be able to stay a few days herself. The photo of T. Clarke that I ordered from Keogh Bros. came this day too. We had a great discussion on jealousy this evening; Dorothea has a great horror of it and seems to think you can always stop caring about a person if they stop caring for you – or in fact, whenever you like.  She doesn’t seem to think that one ever has a right even to feel jealous, and apparently thinks you can feel just as you like always.  I don’t believe she knows what jealousy is, and I don’t believe she has ever had much reason to know.

10th June.  – Dorothea and I took a walk round the esplanade and up the lane in the morning, meeting several dogs. There were more dogs at Tráith Mhór this year than ever; and one little grey creature came and sat in the front garden every day dying for Smutty to come out; and looking perfectly burnt up with patient passion. There was a lovely collie too, and a nice smooth burly black dog and a great black Newfoundland, etc etc. I went into town by the 2.50, and got some roses at home and took them down to the Metropole to Mrs Power.  She was getting things ready for a large crowd expected next day on account of some ordination ceremony, and was glad to have the roses.  She said she had got 14 people to stay the weekend with her entirely on account of being closed by the military. She had a photo album of the rebellion with one photo of the front page of the War News, and there was “If Germany conquered England” in full.  Also portraits of Heuston and MacDiarmuda, which I had not seen before.  I spent a good while there and learned that the Oireachtas is to be in Áth Cliath after all, owing to Fr Dowley telling the Oireachtas committee that the bishop was against having it here (what he never told us) and generally discouraging them by his well known methods. We did very wrong to let him go there in our name; we might have known he would misrepresent us.  It was really Sean Matthews I learned this from, as the Powers only know the bare fact.  Mrs P. had a story of a milkgirl gloating over Kitchener’s death to a shocked customer; she imitates people very well. I got my bicycle and rode out; it was a very pleasant ride with hardly any wind.

11th June.  Fine sunny day with a strong cold wind. T., D. and I went for a walk out the cliffs in the morning, to a very good imitation of the Dane’s Rock, beyond the Metal Man. I went out on it and had a great view of the coast, and I never saw so much wild flowers in bloom on those coasts; sea pinks and trefoil and liverwort and bladder campion and lots of wild roses. When you got down the cliffs out of the wind it was roasting [sic] hot.  When we got back we found Edwin and his family had been paying a visit. I don’t remember what we did in the afternoon.

Tues. 13 June. – Fine hot day or at least afternoon. Tom took us for a motor drive out that road behind the back strand and around someway back the Kill St Lawrence Rd and across the switchback to the old Tramore Rd, and so home. It was a glorious afternoon; there is still a lot of furze out, and hawthorn, and all the wild roses.

Mon. 12 June. Tom took us out the cliff road in the motor b.d., and we went down through the fields to the back of the amphitheatre. The wild flowers were gorgeous, but the amphitheatre looks very different there to what it does from the side, and not half so imposing. In the afternoon Dorothea and I went to visit Mabel and had tea there, and she took us to the railway garden, which is beautiful, with the foxgloves and roses coming out, and gave us a lot of flowers. It was a fine hot afternoon then; the morning had been rather chilly.

[Days out of order]

Tuesday continued. – Annie and Kitty both came out by the 4.15 train; I met them and we went down and sat on the esplanade for a while.  Kitty was ill on Sunday; a kind of very bad headache, like the brain fever coming back, and she was to go up to Coolayna on Wednesday to stay there with Tash. Tash was only to stay a week, but Kitty a fortnight at least. They were going into Dublin some day, to visit friends and try to get photos etc. K. was much disappointed to find that Mrs S.S. was not coming till Thursday, so she wouldn’t see her. K. went by the 7 train, but Annie stayed till the 9.30.  We went out and walked on the strand for a long time, and she told me a lot of things.

14th June.  I went up to Midvale in the afternoon, and found no one but Bernard in. He conducted me down to the Dún ar aill [Doneraile] walk, where Mrs Finnegan and Dorothy were, and I sat there a while playing cocks with D.  B. was rather a nuisance except when he was over the wall in the coastguard’s little firing hut, looking for cartridge cases. I told D. and him about Owen, and invited them to come down and see him any day. Jessie is away at Halstead and will be till the end of the month, so Mrs Finnegan is minding them. Mabel came to tea and we talked about books all the evening and rather bored Tom I think, as they were the Miss Yonge style of books.

Mrs. F.S. Skeffington [and son]. (Image from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington. DC.20540USA)
16th June.   A lovely fine hot day. T. was going into town in the motor, and I went with him and stayed at home for a bit, then went down to the hotel with some roses etc and across to the station. Darkey came with me. What was my horror to see Owen come out of the train with a shrimp net in his hand. Mrs S.S. had a black hat and coat, and looked terribly like her photo in the papers till she took off them and her pince nez at the hotel. Mrs P. received us and gave us dinner in the little dining room, plus Marie, who didn’t come in for a good while. Mrs P. was talking about the court martial, which was of course a hopeless fraud, no civil evidence being admitted, nor Mrs S.S.’s solicitor allowed to speak a word.  I was very glad to hear her say, when Mrs P. asked was there no chance of her getting any compensation, that she couldn’t possibly take any if it was offered. Owen made an excellent dinner and didn’t speak a word. Tom came in a little while after we had begun. Afterwards we had tea in 6 while he went for the motor, and we went out to Traith Mhor. Very soon after we got there Mrs S.S. and Owen and I went for a walk down to the strand and found the tide in, and had to go along the little ledge to the stones. We sat on the rocks there and talked, and Owen climbed about.  The sea was a splendid colour. I don’t remember what we talked about except Christian names; hers is [sic] Johanna, and she says she used to be called Joan once.

[There are a lot of pencil marks on this last entry, looks like perhaps the entry was written over this in pen.]

Last page is a copy of a letter from the Bishop of Limerick to the Tipperary Board of Guardians, 23 June 1916, which thanks the Tipperary Union for their resolution supporting the bishop in his condemnation of Maxwell.

Featured Image: Abbey Street and Sackville Street (O’Connell Street) shelled, rubble remains. May 1916.  (Image courtesy of National Library of Ireland, KE 119)

Note: Transcription of 1916 Diaries by Dr. Emma Radley. Edited by Dr. Clara Cullen (UCD).