Frongach: Camp Training

The sentries were mostly over-age for war work. They carried shotguns. At night you could hear them call out each hour:

‘Number One. All is well!’

The prisoners were not idle day or night. We had Irish classes and Irish dancing. Each prisoner had a book to take down songs – and satires of the camp, of the recent Uprising and of those who were gone. There was a good artist with us, Liam O’Ryan who sketched the huts, interior and exterior.  

The North Camp (called the old distillery) adjoined the South Camp. In it there were also Irish prisoners although we were not allowed to see them except by special permission. Some of the men, from both camps, were released in August 1916. 

The men detained in the North Camp were mostly men who had been born in England. There was a logic to this.

One day a few such good Volunteers answered to their names at roll call. They were arrested and taken for draft into some English regiment. 

The remaining (English-born) Volunteers were ready for the next parade and when a man’s name was called out he refused to answer. 

They tried day after day without success. The prisoners remained masters of their situation.

… more later …


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