Living History, — April 24, 2011 20:08 — 0 Comments
Sunday after Easter Day 1916
Next morning was Sunday and the bells were ringing to call the faithful. One old woman passing the Rotunda said,
‘God bless you, boys’. I thanked God for one kind person that morning. The office in charge came along, drunk again. He took the rifle from the sentry and went over to Henry Pearse who was close to the path. He cut the epaulet off his tunic with the bayonet. In the epaulet he found a small piece of paper which he read, then tore into fragments which he threw into Henry’s face. Henry told us afterwards that the note concerned the sending of rations to one of our outposts, which were served from the GPO garrison.
We surmised that the British officer had wanted one of us to protest against his treatment of Pearse and then the brute could use his gun.
At about twelve o’clock on that Sunday morning we were marched under escort, four deep of prisoners and four deep of enemy soldiers, down O’Connell Street. We went on to the Quays, past Kilmainham, Emmett Street and to the Island Bridge Barracks. During all that march we did not see even one person at a door or a window. All was silent except for the tramp of the feet of prisoners and their escort but we knew that there were hearts beating in sympathy – hearts of Dublin’s best.