Thomas Clarke in GPO 1916

GPO Sackville Street Easter Wednesday 1916: 

‘There were barricades with armed Volunteers at the entrance.

I was asked my name and where I came from. I answered ‘Newry’.

One Volunteer brought me to another. ‘Here is one from Omeath,’ he said. 

The Omeath man was P Boyle who till then had been working in Liverpool and came over just for the Rising. He fought at the GPO and later was interned in England. Two decades later he drowned near Dublin.

I was taken in charge by Leo Henderson who gave me bread and tea, saying,

‘Take it now, God knows when you’ll get more.’

Shortly after that I was brought before the commander Thomas Clarke, a fellow Northerner. We were previously acquainted. 

‘Any news from the North?’ he asked. I said no. 

I think the old veteran knew as much as I did, but he never said a bad word about any man, nor condemned any county of the North. 

Now in action, he looked thirty years younger than his age and happy with it. You would imagine you were talking to him in his old shop in Parnell Street. 

He thanked me for getting through to the GPO. He would have been delighted and happy to have had hundreds of his own men from the Northern Counties which he loved so well.


… more later …


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