When we appeared at Island Bridge Barracks, things got worse for us. Dublin’s nastiest were let loose from the stockades and the women were by far the worst. They looked like those who had been around during the French Revolution!
After the order for surrender came, we were marched to O’Connell Street and halted between Parnell’s statue and Nelson’s Pillar. Each volunteer laid his arms and ammunition in front of him. We were then eased off from our original positions to make room for further Volunteers.
That night we started making holes in the walls of buildings adjoining the GPO, leading along Henry Street. This proceeded until we observed the enemy at about 3 am – 4 am on Friday morning. At that point we were ordered to cease work.
At daybreak we were brought to the interior of the GPO to prepare for a siege. We erected a barricade of coal on the ground floor. The coal was carried, by relays of men, in Post Office sacks from the yard outside. This barricade was in case of attack.