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  • Document WS 4 DIARMUID LYNCH THE I.R.B.: Part 1 Some Recollections Comments Part 2 Distribution of CASEMENT PAMPHLET Part 3 Supplementary Statement on 'Easter Week' For The Bureau of Military History THE I.R.B. Some Recollections & Comments by DIARMUID LYNCH 1908. I returned to Ireland from the U.S. in 1907. A few years earlier, while State President of the Gaelic League of the State of New York, colleagues asked me to join the Clan-na-Gael. Prior thereto, however, the IRISH WORLD - the chief supporter in America of the Irish Parliamentary Party - protested in its "Gaelic Notes" that the Gaelic League in New York was dominated by the Clan-na-Gael. Such was not the case, though many of our men were members of it. I was not a member and desired to remain in a position to assert that I was not in case the IRISH WORLD should pursue that line of criticism. Accordingly, I declined the invitation to join. In the course of my Gae1ic League activities I had had many friendly contacts with Clan men and. explained my attitude in this matter to John Devoy who agreed with my decision. Shortly after I located in Dublin in 1908 Sean T. 0'Kelly "approached" me about the I.R.B., and inddue course I became a member of the Bartholomew Teeling Circle. I think it was somewhat earlier that I was requested by P.T. Daly. to "meet a few friends" who desired to have a chat about the Irish situation in New York The latter, to the best of my recollection, comprise John O'Hanlon Fred Allan and Daly himself. In after years I realised that my inquisitors on that occasion had been prominent members of the then Supreme Council Of the I.R.B. 1910. I moved from Dublin to Cork and in due course became attached to the Cork Circle. l9l1-12 Towards the end of 1911 I was selected as Divisional Centre for Munster on the Supreme Council. I was so notified by Sean O'Hegarty. I continued to act in that capacity until Easter Week, 1916. Later, on release from prison in June 1917, I resumed office as D.C. up to the date of my deportation to the United States in April 1918. The constitutional method of electing a Divisional Centre was that a provincial Convention comprising County and District Centres elected. by ballot a special committee of five, and the, latter in turn elected by ballot a Centre for the Division. Thus, these five were the only members in the province to whom the Divisional Centre was known as such. My predecessor as Divisional Centre for Munster was, I believe, Michael Crowe of Dublin. Before my period. of office Cathal Brugha - who as a representative of his firm travelled extensively - had a sort The I.R.B. -2- of roving commission to do I.R.B. organising. I was informed that he kept in contact with "Centres" in various and enrolled men as occasion offered. It was not a constitutional function of the Divisional Centre to enroll members; his duty was to keep in contact with County Centres and thus keep posted on the state of the Organisation in his Division. Recruiting for the individual Circles was the business of the respective local Centres - who had an intimate knowledge of men in their respective localities and, thus were the best judges of suitability for induction into the I.R.B. Even so, I did on occasiontake men into the organisation in places where no Circle existed - those whose names had been suggested to me by Centres elsewhere, or men whom I in the course of my visits had had opportunity to "size up". In many instances I attended Circle meetings - where a meeting coincided with the date of my business visit to the locality In such cases I acted in the capacity of an "organiser" and not as Divisional Centre. Periodically, I got reports from County Centres and District Centres with respect to other Circles and or groups in various parts of the respective Counties which I had no opportunity to visit in person; also of unattached. members here andthere. Local. Centres and even unattached members were definite focal points from which to do recruiting. But where neither existed the location of a likely prospect was more difficult than the proverbial "looking for a needle in a haystack" - the needle was in the stack but in those days of denationalisation there may not have been in a whole district a single man imbued with republican ideas! Even in cases where one was assured that a certain man wasa likely the official responsible for his induction had notaloneto be certain that such "prospect" entertained the republican viewpoint but that his probity end tact were beyond question. And, often when after tedious investigation a man was deemed fit in every respect the inquisitor found himself" "up against a stone wall" - that of religious scruples in the matter of- joining a "secret Organisation". This was a stumbling block in the matter of numerical progress. 1912-13 During these years I regularly attended meetings of the Supreme Council in Dublin. I was also a fairly regular attendant at meetings of the Coiste Gnotha of the Gaelic League - whereon I represented. the American Gaels since 1907. Supreme Council meetings at that time were largely devoted to reports on the state of the Organisation in the several Divisions, on publications; on suck events as the Wolfe Tone and Emmet commemorations; on possibilities for the advancement of the Irish Republican doctrine and, contrariwise defeatdenationalising schemes. As an outstanding instance of what may now seem to have been excellent material for the I.R.B. - of men in various parts of the country in 1912-3 who had Proved Themselves Al in very many respects - and yet were not as members, I may mention Terence MacSwiney. writing excellent articles for IRISH FREEDOM. Even so the consensus of opinion among my fellow members of the Cork Circle was that he was not to be "approached" with a view to membership in the IRB. - not in 1911-2 at any rate. My acquaintance with him at that time was only casual, and. I forget the actual reason for non-approach in his case; the religious ban may have. been the obstacle. The latter The I.R.B. -3- The latter, to my personal knowledge, prevented, many man from joining. Even some enrolled. members occasionally developed. uneasiness on that point. I believe it was to meet this situation that a visit to Ireland by the Rev. Denis O'Sullivan of Valentia was availed of in getting him to address the men of the Dublin District on the theological aspect. A "general meeting" of those was held in the Clontarf Town Hall for that purpose. This was during my membership of the S.C., but I was unable to be Present and forget the exact year. The only other "general meeting" of which I have any knowledge was that held in the Foresters Hall, Parnell Square, Dublin, ear1y in December 1913. addressed by Denis McCullough and myself. To the best of my recollection the purpose on this occasion was to emphasise the duty of I.R.B. men to cooperate to the fullest extent in the formation of Irish Volunteer Companies, and of choosing I.R.B. men as officers where possible. (The Irish Volunteer organisation had been formally, established some two weeks earlier). One feature of this meeting which stands out in my memory is that of Padraig Pearse occupying a seat in the rear of t the hall. It was probably his first appearance at any meeting of the I.R,B. (Le Roux relates the circumstances of his admission to the organisation earlier that year). I have no recollection of a meeting of the Supreme Council held in the early formative period of the Irish Volunteers, - that is prior to its formalestablishment - as mentioned by Le Roux. (Tom Clarke, p.125). I do, however, recollect informal talks with Tom Clarke bearing on that question, and was aware that the "Executive" was quietly suggesting and directing various developments from, the I.R.B. standpoint. Then, as prior thereto - 1912-3 - my visits to Dublin were but intermittent. 1914. In January, 1914, Tomas Aghas and, myself went on a mission to the United States toraise money for the Gaelic League. On the outbreak of the War in Europe the Clan-na-Gael decided to raise a Fund for the Irish Volunteers; Tomas and myself necessarily brought our campaign to a close. He returned. home in September. I stayed on as I and a secret mission, viz., that of IRB envoy to biennial Convention of the Clan. In the latter capacity I had. no contact with the Convention proper, the regular procedure being: first the envoy consulted with the "RD" (Revolutionary Directory) which then comprised. John T. Keating of Chicago, John Devoy and Joseph McGarrity; next day to appear before and confer with the "Cornrnittee1on Foreign Relations". One of my duties was to report on Home Organisation". On stating its strength to be approximately 2,000 I recollect an outburst of amazement on the part of an American-born member of the Committee. He evidently, had. been under the impression from previous reports that we had a much larger membership - coupled. with the feeling that the heads of the Home Organisation were lax in recruiting. At any rate, my statement was based on returns made by the Divisional Centres at the meeting of the Council held prior to January 1914. At that time this particular committee-man - a veteran Clanhad no the conditions under which we at this side laboured. He probably had a recollection of a much earlier period when the Home Organisation included perhaps thousands remnant. of the very large IRB membership in the days of the earl Land League. of course, death had taken toll of that. remnant, and the great Majority of the survivors had been diverted. from their Republican allegiance by the overpowering growth of the Home Rule movement under Parnell and his successors. A percentage remained nominally IRB over many years but by 1913 only an odd man here and there belonged to an active Circle. Only the latter were included. in the 1913 computation. THE I.R.B. -4- 1914 Contd. On returning from the U.S. in November 1914 (via Liverpo1) I brought from the Clan-na-Gae1 for 12,000 for the Irish Volunteers, carefully secreted. I also brought for my personal use pistol and ammunition. These latter items I duly "declared," (on being questioned by the Customs inspector) lest a search of my person and belongings should bring the draft to light. The "firearms" were held by the Customs authorities, - against which I, as an American citizen, protested. Fortunate1y, I was not known to the officials in Britain as I had been to the police in Ireland.; I was informed that if I sent an application - signed by a "J.P." and a clergyman - to the Home Secretary, the articles would doubtless be forwarded to me in Ireland. In due course the pistol and ammunition reached me by post; they remained. in my possession for "Easter Week". Soon. after my arrival in Ireland I reported to the two available members of the "Executive" - Denis McCullough and Tom C1arke -, and was informed, of developments During my absence: the Split with Redmond, the gun-running at Howth and Kilcool, and on the report furnished by an "Advisory Committee' appointed for the purpose of drafting a plan for a fight in area. This plan wasdeemed to be only provisional; Tom was very critical of certain points. I did not read it, nor do I recollect the personnel of the which I understood included a considerable number of prominent Irish Volunteer officers. To my mind,, the drafting of military plans for an insurrection (which purpose was not perhaps stated to the committee) was necessarily of a secret nature and should accordingly be entrusted to a much smaller committee; that the latter should in the course of their deliberations have the closest contact with the I.R.B. Executive. I urged that the "Advisory Committee' should be dissolved; it was allowed to lapse.1915 Shortly thereafter, Pearse, Plunkett andCeannt cooperated in for an Insurrection. About the end of May, 1915, at a meeting Of the I.R.B. Executive (on which I functioned. as Acting-Secretary, - MacDiarmada being inprison) Pearse, Plunkett and Cennt were, on my motion, formally appointed a "Military Committee" (The cooperation of Clarke and MacDiarmada later in 1915, and the addition of Connolly and MacDonagh in 1916, is referred to elsewhere). The 1915 Divisinnal elections (IRB) were due a few months later.In the ordinary course Sean MacDiarmada would have 8uperised those in Connaught - which he represented on the Supreme Council. Due to his many activities in Dublin over previous years, plus his physical disability, he had been unable to give more than casual attention to the organisation. in that province. He was now in prison so it was agreed that I should visit the Division, attend to any necessary preliminaries there and conduct Tom Clarkefurnished me with the names of Centres and some prominent men in the province. First I went to Limerick for the Volunteer parade (May); thence partly by train and partly by bicycle, - never entering or leaving any town by train. My first official call was at Athenry where I met Larry Lardner. and Liam Mellows, - both of whom undertook to attend, to pre-election County Galway. Thence I proceeded to Castlebar, Westport, Newport, Ballina, Ballaghaderin, etc. The organisation in Mayo was at a very low ebb, except in Westport.One of the few contacts I had in County Sligo was the name and address of a schoolteacher who was deemed eligible for membership.I "Swore him in". Further electoral preliminaries were conducted by responsible parties whom I interviewed, and a date was set for the Divisional election at Claremorris. I attended the latter. One of the delegates present was elected Divisional Centre to replace MacDiarmada(whom Tom Clarkeand myself had agreed to nominate for co-option to the Supreme Council). Just as our work at Claremorris was in progress, a telegram The I.R.B. -5- telegram (pre-arranged Should a certain event arise) reached me at the hotel where we were in session; I took the night-goods trainthe only means available; reached Dublin next morning and Cork in the afternoon. Evidently, the police were ignorant of my whereabouts during those visits to Connaught - to which end I had taken pains. Contrary to the British Government attitude to American citizens generally, I was ordered in June 1915 to register as a "Friendly Alien". This meant that I should report to the police when leaving any "Proclaimed Area" andnagain when entering another. As I did not so register I was summoned to appear before a magistrate at Inns Quay Court. Tom Clarke was Of opinion that I should refuse to register; that deportation to the U.S. was certain to follow, and that this would afford the Clan material for anti-British propaganda. Under the then circumstances - with a fight in prospect - I preferred to register as ordered and remain in Ireland. I did So just before appearing in court; the charge against me was accordingly dismissed. Gaelic League Ard Fheis - Dundalk, July 1915 The non-political plank of the Gaelic League (by which it was understood that any person whether a Home Ruler, Orangeman, or Sinn Feiner shou1d not inject his particular political viewpoint into Gaelic League Branches, classes, ect. This was always respected. by the I.R.B. and by its members who held seats on the Coiste Gnotha. But, on this governing body of the League an element advocated lines of procedure with respect to the Board of Education and "Dublin Castle" (on matters affecting the language movement,, of course) which to many of us were objectionable. There was a multiplicity of such moves, and thus there was a growing divergence between what may be termed the "Right Wing" and the "Left Wing" over the years prior to 1915. When "Loft Wing" opposition to those methods was voiced, the Right deemed. it Sinn Feinism and "politics". The initial factor, however, Right Wing policy developed very definitely along Redmondite Party Lines, Which was at variance with that Of "Sinn Fein" - the term then generally used. for all national opponents of the Parliamentary Party. Dr. Douglas Hyde, the President, was in fact the leader of the Right Wing. I remember an the Ard Fheis 1913 at Galway: His rulings from the, chair were distinctly one-sided throughout the proceedings. Though I was able to follow the discussions my knowledge of Irish was too slight to enable me to partiolipate in the debates, 0r "appeal from the ruling of the Chair" - a very ordinary feature of American deliberative assemblies). So, I had to content myself with the pertinent query: "An tusa an Ard Fheis"?. During the greater part of 1914 I was absent in the United States. On my return I found that the cleavage between the two "wings" of the Coiste Gnotha had widened., Prior the IRB Executive had taken no official steps with regard to the election of the Coiste Gnotha, though our members on the latter body did to very limited extent. This in itself was proof that the IRB had. no wish to inject "politics" into the work of the Gaelic League. The "Right Wing' comprised men and women who had given veteran service to the language movement; all we bad previously sought was to keep them from pursuing tactics which savoured of "parliamentarianism' By the summer of 1915, however, when the stage was being secretly set for Insurrection against Britain, the time had come in my opinion when the "Left Wing" should control the Coiste Gnotha - not to use it for the propagation of Republicanism but to obviate the possibility of tactics contrary thereto. I discussed, this with my I.R.B. colleagues on the Coiste, and probably with Tom Clarke though I have no distinct recollection of such discussion The I.R.B. -6- 1915 Contd. discussion with the latter. Well in advance of the Ard. Fheis date c t . I communicated with prominent Gaelic Leaguers throughout the country - who were also I.R.B. men - urging that delegates favourable to our political views should. without fail be selected to attend at Dundalk. Colleagues on the Coiste next suggested. that we endeavpur to elect men. then in prison: Sean MacDiarmada,Earnan de Blaghd and, one other I think. It was their election would convey a salutary lesson to all concerned. Our delegate friends at Dundalk (not all IRB men) held a caucus meeting; the decision was unanimous with one exception. Nominations were made accordingly. As the result of the ballot was being announced and Sean MacDiarmadd's name appeared high on the list, An Craoibhin's uneasiness became apparent. When the election of prisoner was read Dr. Hyde swept his papers from the rostrum and left the Convention Hall. A delegation to him at his hotel brought back word that he had resigned from the presidency. This situation had not been sought or expected by us. But, had he given that as an ultimatum whenthe list of nominations was read, we would not have swerved fromour plan at that juncture in national affaire. The new Coiste was safe from the I.R.B.viewpoint O'Donovan Rossa Funeral Though a member of the Funeral Committee I had hardly any hand in the arrangements. Just then I had been busy with the Ard Fheis at Dundalk, whence we returned to Dublin a day or two prior to Sunday, August 1st. Meeting for Re-organisation of the Supreme Council This was held in Dublin either about the middle of July, 19l5, (before the G.L. Ard Fheis) or about the middle of August on my return from the Officers' Training Course, Dub1in/Wicklow,under "Ginger" O'Connell). There was not a full attendance elected Divisional Centres. Those present proceeded with the completion of the membership of the Supreme Council: Tom Clarke, Sean MacDiarmada, Padraig Pearse and Dr. MacCartan were co-opted. Robert Monteith Towards the end of August Monteith was ready to proceed to Germany - via. New York. Tom Clarke and I decided to give him L100 for his expenses; this sum was handed to him in Tom's shop. First meeting of the new Supreme Council This, I think, was held. in September. Denis Mcui1ough was elected president it noted, meant President of the Irish Republic virtually established, by the I.R.B.). sean MacDiarmada was re-elected Secretary, and Tom Clarke re-elected Treasurer. These three now comprised the "Executive". Denis McCullough was the elected representative of Ulster. The other Divisions were represented as follows: Leinster, sean Tobin; Munster, Diarmuid Lynch; Connaught, Alex. McCabe; South England, Dick Conno1ly North England, Joseph Gleeson; Scotland, Padraig Pearse and Dr. MacCartan - copoed. members in addition to Clarke and MacD. - completed the Council. I would say that all eleven were present, but am not certain. Casement pamphlet distribution - see separate statement. Ballyfeard, Via Cork, July 22. 1950. The Bureau of Military History, Ath Cliath A Chairde: The I.R.B. - Reoollections etc on reading over my copy of the above (original on file with you) I note that the opening words on P.7 - "The following month (October)" - should read "Later in September". Will you kindly make this correction. Mise le meas Diarmuid Lynch DIARMUID LYNCH The I.R.B. -7- 1915 contd. Landing Place for Cargo of Arms contd. The following month (October) I had a talk with Pearse. He desired that I secure the views of Tralee men and others in that part of Kerry as to the relative merits of Ventry Harbour and any other advantageous spots in that region for the landing of a cargo of arms and their expeditious distribution therefrom. I proceeded to there to the police under the "Order" and transacted some business in the ordinary course. "Retorted" again that I was leaving for Tralee (my insurance managership took me to all parts of Munster). The telegraph operators atCorkStation were usually IRB men, and they wereaware that the "G.man" on duty there always wired ahead to the police at my destination (Sean O'Hegarty, TommyO'Riordan, etc were able to decode his messages). So, on arrival at Tralee I again duly "reported". On presenting my Registration Book the constable on duty remarked: "Aren't you an Irishman?" to which I answered "yes". He continued: "Then what the blazes do you want to register for?" and handed back my book unendorsed.. I said "O.K." and left. As matters turned out later, I should have insisted on the usual endorsement to show that I had "reported". After some months I had wonder whether that R.I.C. man was really friendly and was afraid to acknowledge his own remissness when the matter of my non-registration at Tralee arose, or whether he had acted on orders and "put one over on me". My visit coincided with a meeting of the Tralee Volunteer. There I contacted Austin Stack andfew chief lieutenants. All favoured Fenit as the landing place - from which a light railway ran to Tralee. The local "G.men" kept peeping over the wall of the laneway, but that thing was commonplace and no notice was taken of them. Next afternoon I went on to Dingle from Ventry). One of my first calls was to the R.I.C. barrack (not for the purpose of"reporting" which was unnecessary at Dingle) where I canvassed. the men for Life Insurance. In the light real mission to that town,and especially light of actual happenings in the Tan war, that solicitation does seemironical! Then I contacted the I.R.B. Centre In the dusk of the evening he, accompanied. by two of his men, met me outside the town. sitting in the middle of a field we had our chat. They also favoured - pointing out that Ventry was some twenty miles from Tralee(where the necessarily large body of Volunteers needed for thefirst stage of transmission was located); that the conveyance of the cargo from Ventry through the bottle neck of the Dingle peninsula would be extremely hazardous as a small body of police posted there might bring the whole enterprise to disaster. The Centre at Listowel was equally convinced that Fenit was preferable to any other point on the Kerry coast. The result of my visit was promptly reported to Pearse; also to Clarke and MacDiarmada I have no recollection of the matter being discussed at any meeting of the Supreme Council. (Here I may remark that. it is certain James Connolly had no knowledge whatever of the expected cargo of arms from Germany until January 19th/2lst, 1916, - when it was agreed that he become a member of the Military Council). 1916 The I.R.B -8- Pearse's Secret Instructionsfor I.V. Comdts (IRB men) 1916. These Pearse gave to me early in January, 1916 at St. Enda's; I was to convey them orally to the Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Galway Commandants. He outlined, the positions which these Brigades were to occupy on the Volunteer manoeuvres which had been decided on for the Easter week-end, viz.: Cork to hold the County to the south of the Boggeragh mountains - left flank contacting the Kerry Brigade which was to extend eastwards from Tralee; Limerick was to contact the Kerry men on the south and those of Limerick - Clare - Galway to the north. Limerick, Clara and Galway were "to hold the line of the Shannon to Athlone". There was no immediate hurry for the transmission of these orders so on in Dublin for the scheduled Supreme Council meeting. Then the "ENEMY Alien" Order The I.R.B. -9- 1916 Contd. satisfied that Sean's colleagues on the then Military Council also knew. Having the fullest confidence in the five members thereof I pursued this question no further. And, when early in March I saw Connolly in conference with those whom I knew to be members of the Military Council, and coupled this with his previous impetuous outspokeness and threats regarding lone action by the Citizen Army - which bid fair to bring to disaster all the IRB plans for the Rising - the definite conclusion was not far to seek that his "arrest" in January was the deliberate act of the I.R.B. Military Council. When discussing Connolly's disappearance with Wi11iam O'Brien, in Richmond Barracks after the "Easter Week" surrender, he agreed with that conclusion, He told me that when speaking with James Connolly after his return on January 22nd, Connolly refused to say anything about his whereabouts during the previous few days. Committee on Telegraph-Telephone "Manholes" First meeting called by Sean MacDiarmada about theist of April - Andy Fitzpatrick, Sean Byrne, Dick Mulcahy and myself. Additional members later, - John Twamley and the brothers King. The report was compiled. by me and delivered to Sean MacD. on Monday of Holy Week. (other details given in my "Supplementary Statement on Easter Week"). Military Council - Co-option of Tomas MacDonagh See my "Supplementary Statement on Easter Week". "EASTER WEEK" - G.P.O. Area The Report on Operations in this area, compiled by me and ratified at a general meeting of the survivors of the Garrison in 1938, is in the hands of the G.P.O. Garrison Committee. A copy of it was handed to An Taoiseach a few years ago and I believe was deposited. by him in the National Library. This copy is, of course, available for the Bureau of Military History. 1917 Post "Easter Week" Reorganisation of the I.R.B. When the "Convict" prisoners were released frompentonville in June, 1917, Dr. MacCartan joinedus - at Holyhead, I think - and informed me (I was the only member of the pre-Easter Week Supreme Council among them) that a temporary Council had functioned. in our absence. The following Autumn the Supreme Council was regularly re-established - thanks to the preliminary work done by Michael Collins at Frongoch and during 1917 while Secretary of the National Aid Asscn. I forget the full personnel of the new S.C. So at the moment I will name only the members of the "Executive: sean McGarry (President), Michael Collins (Secretary), and Diarmuid Lynch (Treasurer). The "Easter Week" Proclamation had revealed. the continued existence till then of the I.R.B. as a functioning organisation. One of the post-Easter developments was That a few veteran members. (Cathal Brugha among them) decided that there was no further need for the secret The I,R.B. -10- secret organisation. (Commandant de Valera informed me immediately after, leaving Pentonville that he would discontinue membership, but gave no reason for his decision), Others who had participated in the Insurrection felt that while remaining in the I.R.B. they should no longer be subject to the old discipline. Those who desired, to relinquish membership ware, of course, at liberty to do so. But the new Supreme Council determined that the continuance of the I.R.B. was still essential; that an amended Constitution was necessary; that discipline would be rigidly enforced; that Whole-time organisers would be put in the fie1d. Draft of revised Constitution was drawn up by Tomas Aghas, Con Collins and myself. This was further revised. by Mick Collins and me. In due course it was ratified. by the S.C. (In the matter of this Constitution we find an instance of the oft-alleged knowledge by British officials of secret I.R.B. and other documents as at the time they were issued or were in effect; In "The Secret Societies of Ireland" by H.B.C. Pollard (published 1922) he includes what the cites as the "Constitution of the -11- de Valera who was, in which I stressed, the definite I.R.B. attitude - that we would fight against any backdown from the "Easter Week" Proclamation. He also wanted to hold to the latter and evidently had a plan to meet the situation. Those other members of the Committee who opposed the retrograde proposal IR.B. -12- I.R.B. organisation in Munster. 1912-1916 After a lapse of over 30 years I find, it impossible to recall fully the location and strength of the various Circles and groups in the province. I had all the information then of course - through County and District Centres. I give such details as I can recaal; these apply for the most part to 1912-13. I was absent in the U.S, during 1914. Then, personal business confined me chiefly to Dublin over 1915. When any special I.R.B. matters called me South at the latter period, efforts to transact business were camouflage to a large extent. Some of the names mentioned hereunder will serve for the securing of further particulars. As previously stated I reported. to the Clan-na-Gael Convention, 1914, that the strength of the "Home Organisation" (i.e. in Ireland, England and Scotland) was approximately 2,000. This figure probably represented the strength in Ireland alone by 1916. The Irish Volunteers after the Split with Redmond furnished not alone a favourable but a definite recruiting field for the I.R.B. But as active Volunteers were for the most part looked on by the I.R.B. as men who would participate in an Insurrection, when the right moment was revealed, there was no longer any necessity for a great increase in I.R.B. membership, especially as the great majority of Commandants aria senior officers of the Volunteers were a1ready members of the secretorganisation. KERRY I have no recollection of having ever attended. a Circle meeting in Kerry. Austin Stack was County Centre and I kept contact through I did however, on my own iniatiative swear in four men at Station Tim Ring, "T0S" O'Sullivan, W. Scaife and Alec. Smith. In the matter of selecting a landing place for arms cargo I interviewed men at Dingle and Listowel. Of the prominent Tralee men still living there, Eamonn O'Connor is the only one I can remember - I'm pretty certain he was IRB as well as Volunteer. CLARE There was a circle at Ennistymon, and one at Crusheen, - with groups at various places: Carrigaholt, Ennis,Kildysart, etc. I have a very happy recollection of thecircumstances under which I swore in a man at Carrigaholt - but that is not for the record. Whether Michael and Paddy Brennan were then members I cannot say for a certainty. Sean O Muirthille, Gaelic League Organiser, was in touch with the entire County. That he gave me information concerning certain districtsI'm certain but cannot recall details. There was what might be termed an unofficial Circle somewhere in the country beyond Ennistymon (I forget the name of the locality), which occupied a peculiar position The Centre was Tomas O'Loughlin, an old man of 70 or thereabouts, who held the strange idea of keeping his men apart from, any offiia1 contacts. Though this was irregular he was permitted to have his way. He was very secretive in all his talk and actions. With pleasure an incident in which he figured: At Ennistymon, 1915, I learned. from Sean 0 Muirthille that the local I.R.B. organisation in Munster, 1912 - 1916 -13- local Irish Volunteers were negotiating with the Redmond Volunteers (then defunct as an organisation) or the purchase of twenty Enfield Rifles, but had not the cash to complete the transaction. I went atraight. to Dublin O'Rahilly gave me the requisite L40. Returning, I put up at Sean O'Muirthille's Headquarters a small hotel where Tomas O'Loughlin was also Staying, at the time. It was agreed. that the local IVs should. retain ten rifles. The other ten were to be Distributed at my discretion; these were brought to my bedroom and eventually went: 2 to Carrigaholt, 2 to Ennis, and 6 to Crusheen. Next morning, I learned. that old. Tomes on his own initiative and without saying a word to anybody had remained on guard all night on the stairs outside my room - he having been suspicious of a young R.I.C. man going home on leave who happened to stay at this hotel overnight. In Post-Easter days this would have seemed very trivial but back in l9l5 we were enthused and proud of the old man's spirit. Other collaboration during my visits to County Clare which; I recollect with pleasure was that of two clergymen. They were splendid. This incident of the Ennistymon rifles throws a light on the then dearth of arms among the Volunteers, and how essential the prospective "Aud" cargo was for the plans of the I.R.B. in 1916. Limerick I completely forget the strength of the I.R.B. in the Coun1y. Under the influence of the old veterans John Daly, whom I never missed an opportunity to call on (he was incapacitated in my day), and his active lieutenants Jim Leddin Colivet. etc., I am satisfied. that the organisation was fair1y strong in the city. I never attended a meeting of the Limerick Circle; none of my visits coincided with one. I recollect contacts with individuals and groups at Pallasgreen, Doon, etc. TIPPERARY Frank Drohan had, a Circle at Clonmel; William Benn one at Tipperary town; P.C.O'Mahony one at Cashel (of which one or more Rookwell students were members). I attended a meeting at Tipperary and one at Cashel, - about 15 members present at, each, not the full membership. There were, I believe, one group further north in the County, but I was never in those localities. WATERFORD Willie Walsh had a Circle at Waterford. City. I believe there. wire one or two groups elsewhere in the County; the facts have escaped. my memory. I.R.B. organisation in Munster, 1912-1916 CORK The Circle at Cork City - to which I was transferred. about 1910 - Was then in its infancy with a small membership which included: Sean O'Hegarty Centre), Thomas Barry, Tomas MacCurtain, Sean Murphy, Domnall Og O'Callaghan, Diarmaid. Fawsitt, Bob Langford, Tadgh Barry, Tommy O'Riordan, Tommy 0'Mahony, Sean O'Sullivan, Billy O'Shea. The latter w85 the only man of the organisation of former years(which had. faded. out) now attached to the re-organised Circle. Quite a number of city men then living had belonged. to the I.R.B. but for one reason or another they were not now deemed up to standard. The Circle made considerable progress over 1912-16 but my contacts during the later years were few. the County the only Circles I recollect were at Cobh and Iti1lstreet. There were groups at Kinsale, Fermoy, Glanworth, Mitchelstown, Skibbereen and Tracton. I swore in men in some of these places. Diarmuid Lynch DIARMUID LYNCH March, 1947. Witness Florence O'Donoghue 2 May 1947. CASEMENT PAMPHLET The Distribution of, 1915 The story of this item of I.R.B. activity during the First World War is given herewith in detail as requested. by the Bureau of Military History. The difficulty envisaged by the I.R.B.. in 1915, in what nowadays seems such a simple matter, throws a light on pre- "Easter Week" conditions. As in other matters, a way was found. to circumvent the extreme watchfulness of British Government officials in Ireland. The pamphlet comprised a series of arti1ea written annonymously by Sir Roger Casement some years earlier. The outbreak of the 1914 war brought Casement's ideas realm of "Practical politics". The series was published in the Gaelic American, New York (the official organ of the Clan-na-Gael) in1914, and, then reproduced. by it in pamphlet form. Subsequently it ran in "Irish Freedom, Dublin. The Supreme Council, prior to my return from the U.S. in November 1914, ordered. a large edition printed by the Enniscorthy Echo - the editor, sub-editor and most of. the staff of were I.R.B. men. Then printed, the pamphlets were placed temporarily in Larry de Lacey's house. Soon afterwards a raid was made thereon by the R.I.C. for the purpose of arresting Sean O'Hegarty (head of the I.R.B. in Cork Who had been dismissed. from the Post Office there because of his national activities, and who was then staying with de Lacey) in connection with the posting in the Enniscorty area of leaflets controverting some British propaganda. Reference to these natters in the Enniscorthy Echo, April 19, 1930, the that the stock of pamphlets escaped of the police. They were promptly transferred. to a friendly farmer's place "somewhere in Wexford.", and there they remained for many months. At a meeting of the Supreme Council Spring of 1915 the difficulty of advantageous distribution was stressed - circulation by "Sinn Feiners" (which term included I.R.B. men) might defeat its purpose, viz., an impartial study of them. Though important, this matter of distribution was not urgent; the meeting passed on to other items on the agenda At a later meeting I mentioned a plan for getting them into the hands of each County, Urban, and Rural Councillor and to professional men throughout the country; the job was left in my heads. Among the leading seed merchants in Dublin, Cork, etc. were staunch "Unionists" whom the British Government officials would never dream of associating with the dissemination of documents savouring of "disloyalty" or contrary to the "Defence of the Realm Regulations". This and the fact that the season was at hand, for the issuance of their bulb catalogues (about the size of the Casement pamphlet) suggested the scheme. "Allis fair in love and war". so I decided to have sets of envelopes imprinted with the name and address of one seed firm in each of six centres, - Dublin, Galway, Tralee, Cork. Waterford, Dundalk, and of a concern in Belfast engaged in a different. but extensively advertised. line. I was, of course, fairly certain that in due course all these firms would. be interrogated sharply by Dublin Castle; also that they would receive indignant protests from pro-British element among their customers. Even so, Casement Pamphlet -2- I was fully satisfied. that eventually no injury would result from the ruse - other than the momentarilly outraged. feelings of those whose names had been thus used. Anyway, the stratagem gave the best assurance of hoodwinking the Post Office In the execution of good national work. The lists of Councillors were not available, except those in Co. Cork (which were given in Guy's Directory). We therefore had one of our members in the Local Government Board headquarters write the secretary of each Council for the names and addresses. The latter were promptly turned me. The next step was to ascertain the total number to be covered from respective. centres, added. to which was a large number of professional men grouped likewise. Suitable envelopes having been procured, the imprinting done by James Connolly at Liberty Hall. The addresses were typed. by the staff of one of our men. Next., the requsite bundles Were delivered at four addresses to await the pamphlets. We were now ready to bring the pamphlets from Wexford. I arranged with William Sears, editor of the Enniscorthy Echo, to have an escort of IRB men meet me at Ferns, and then guide us to the cache. Joe Dunn, a taxi driver and IRB man, arranged for the taxi. We started. from Dublin in the early afternoon. Half way to Ferns, with time to spare, we stopped. for a roadside snack. Soon a large motorcar hove in sight. As it came abreast. of us Joe pretended. be working at The driver of the car - whose passenger was a British Naval officer - asked if he could be of help - an offer which Joe graciously declined. as he had "only a little engine trouble". We were to meet that ear again. Further on we stopped at a hotel "tourist" being shown to the "coffee room" and Joe to the kitchen. Reaching Ferns at dusk, our escort met us as arranged - seumas Doyle, P. Keegan and M. davis - which was fortunate. A heavy fog had set in, and as one of them directed Joe along abye-routethe number of, four-cross roads we came to - with right and left turnings - Eceded anything either Joe or myself had ever experienced. Arriving at the spot we found that it was "Oulartleigh. House" belonging, to Thomas Murphy who extensive threshing mill business. the number of farmers etc present was embarrassing; this occasioned a long delay before we could load the potato sacksin which the pamphlets had been packed. They filled. the back of the taxi. It was 2 a.m. when Arklow on the return journey - with the fog growing more and more dense. Just past the town we came to a cross road, and neitherJoe nor myself knew which we should take for Dublin - and AnthonyMacke was waiting up at his home on side of the city to take delivery of our precious load! As we wondered how or where we could get our direction we deemed ourselves fortunate to see a lightnot far away and to this we drove, Imagine our surprise tofind. it shone not private residence but from that British Naval officer's car. The chauffer or informed us that we were on the wrong road; that we should have turned left at the cross. Just then a Coastguard, armed with carbine, hopped. over the wall and plied. us with questions - we had the front windows open: Where are you going? Where did you come from?, etc, all of whichJoe answered quite calmly. Then he placed his band on the handle, of the rear door, but instead of openingb it he asked: "Anybody in the rear"? to which Joe replied "No". Fortunatelyfor us, and for all concerned, the fog had made the windows opaque. Had that Coastguard opened the door and rear Casement Pamphlet -3- piled with burlap bags conining bulky material, certain it is that further investigation would ensue - with the alternative of shooting our way out. Great was our relief when our inquisitor concluded without more ado that we were "law-abiding" travellers; he obligingly told us that the road. straight ahead. was impassable for a car; that we should go back to the cross and turn to the right. We felt doubly grateful then as had shooting started we would unquestionably have driven straight ahead from our waiting position - to almost certain disaster on the rocks. (The presence of that Coastguard convinced us that the building near by was a "Coastguard station' but "Nada" in the enniscorthy echo refers to it as Kynock's Ammunition factory. It is now the Arklow Pottery Work.). When a few miles along the Dublin road one of our lamps gave out. while Joe was in the act. of re-charging wit1 carbide we noticed an approaching bright glow behind us - evidently from a strong electric light which could have been none else than that of the car we parted from at Kynock's. Our "guilty consciences" convinced, us that the British officials had on Second thoughts decided to investigate us further - folk who at that hour of the morning didn't know the road to Dublin. Our first, thought was to pull to the side of the road, get inside the fence and be ready for eventualities. Butin the next few seconds. Joe got the lamp alight and decided to "give them a run for it". Off we tore through the fog at an uncomfortably high speed; it was impossible to see clearly more than a length or two ahead. When nearing bends it seemed that only a miracle, could save us from crashing.. Joe was, however equal to the task. He admitted never having experience1d a moredifficult one. That powerful naval car could, I'm sure, have caught up with us. Instead, over a stretch of miles he kept about 150 yards to the rear, taking advantage &oubt1esa of getting the lay of from us. Our guess was that we would be trailed all the way to Dublin, but, no, - at certain cross we turned left and he continued straight on towards Wicklow. Another sigh of relief, and yet another twinge of misgiving: "Would that naval men telephone the Bray and Dublin police to be on the lookout for a "suspicious car".? It was daylight when we reached Bray, and, apart from the last mentonned. possibility it would be too risky to be seen unloading such sacks from a new taxi so early in the morning - at the house of a "sinn Feiner". So, at my suggestion, Joe made a detour and headed through the Dublin mountains for Rathfarnham and St. Enda's college. In the avenue ther1e We secreted the sacks among the shrubbery. Joe cleaned out his taxi the best he could. and. set out for Dublin. I went the college to talk with Padraig Pearse. I found. him already dressed; be came with me to see the sacks. He thought they could be hidden to better advantage so we dragged,them to a thicker patch. I told. him I would have a grocer's van call for then as early as possible, and h remarked that he would inform his lodge keeper, Miceal Mac Ruaidhri (?. Though I knew the old man to be one of the best, Idemurred, whereon Pearse remarked: "Oh, I must tell Miceal; if he should come across them during the day an rea1isedthat I bad not trusted him with my knowledge of their whereabouts he'd never forgive me". The sacks reached. the houses where the envelopes were in, readiness. There the members of each household and. other helpers got the material ready for mailing (letter post). An All-Ireland Final at Croke Park was imminent. I advised IRB men in the Provinces to meet me after the match, at a central location, where suitcases containing bundles were ready or them. These were to be handed in at the Casement Pamphlets -4- the respective Post Offices exactly at 6 p.m. the following Thursday - not earlier and not later. Thus, should. the contents by some mischance be discovered at any one Post Office, the probability was that those posted elsewhere would be delivered to the addressees before the authorities could issue a warning. The area covered from Dublin was the and this delivery almost came to grief at the post office. The young lad, entrusted. with the posting reached. the front office of the G.P.O. promptly at 6 o'clock, only to find that bulk post should be handed. in at the rear platform. To get to the back was buta matter of a minute or two but when he got there it was, of course, after six and six was the closing time for such deliveries; the postman. on duty refused. to accept them. The boy, however, had. "an old head on young shoulders"; he pleaded the excuse that a pal. met him on the way to the G.P.O. and insisted on his having a drink; that if the postman did not take his letters from him he would. lose his Job. The plea succeeded. Early that Thursday I left' for Cork. Next day I visited Kinsale on business and called. on an Urban Councillor who was well disposed. to "Sinn Fein". He expressed his astonishment that he should have received by the morning post from a "Unionist" firm- in Cork city a very ably written pamphlet entitled "Ireland, Germany and the Freedom of the Seas", and that colleagues of his also received copies. He was much impressed by the contents but simply could not understand bow or why it should have come from such a firm. The news was most welcome to me, - it was proof that the ruse worked. satisfactorilyat Cork. I offered a possible "explanation" of the envelope and quickly went on to discuss my personal business. Later it became evident that Cork was not the only efficient centre; deliveries were duly made from all the others. Then the fun began. Special orders were issued immediately by postal headquarters that thereafter items of bilk postage should be Opened and examined. on receipt at any poet office. This information was conveyed to us by I.R.B. men in the Dublin GPO. White, Tomkins and Courage of Belfast offered, a Reward of for information giving the name of the party who had thusused its name. NicholasHardy Co, Durdalk offered 100 likewise. But though al least 40 individuals knew the man who had directed the job at various stages, their loyalty to the cause of Irish Independence was proof against any "reward", Diarmuid Lynch DIARMUID LYNCH March 25, 1947. Witness Florence O'Donoghue 2 May 1947. Supplementary Statement by DIARMUID LYNCH On "EASTER WEEK". 1916 This record, Covering certain petty details in addition to important ones, is made at the special request of my nephew and nieces of Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow. The record of operations in the GPO area during Easter Week, 1916, now on file in Dublin. was compiled in 1937 from some 165 individual reports submitted. to me by surviving members of the Garrison, - Supplemented by my personal recollections,It was specially condensed for an allotted space in a book then under consideration, The first draft was read and commented on at a special meeting of the Garrison members; the revised statement was read at a later meeting and(with a few slight corrections) was adopted as correct. Those day-by-day reports comprise an intetet1ng and valuable collection, even though - as might be expected after a lapse of more than a score of years many are Inaccurate in certain details. I have edited these to some extent (in red ink) on the individual reports, Having had inside knowledge of many pre-Easter Week developments and of incidents which had a bearing on the historical, I have in a preface to the Record sketched the historical background. Other recollections of mine over thet period were published in the Gaelio American (New York) of April 9, 1921. I may also remark that comments on various other aspects and incidents are among my personal papers. The Declaration of Independence issued on Easter Monday, 1916 had appended to it the names of the sevenwho, on its proclamation, became the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic. I venture to say that few, if any other than myself, had definitely known prior to that Easter Monday. that these particula seven mencomprised the "Military Committes" (or "Military Council"), - the body most intimately responsible for the Rising. In fact, very few knew that this body existed. The "Military Committee" originally comprised Padraic Pears., Joseph Plunkett and Eamonn Ceannt. They were So appoined in the Summer of 1915 On my motion at a meeting of the I.R.B. Executive (Denis McCullough. Tom Clarke and myself). I was then actingsecretaryof. the "Executive", - as substitute for Sean MacDermott who was then in prison. The three appointees (Or perhaps only two of them) were, present on that occasion, though neither of them was a member of the supreme Council IRB. Shortly after MacDermett's release I was informed the he and Tom Clarke were co-operating as ex-officio members of that "Committee" - which from that time forward may be termed "The Military Council" (the title applied in the post. - Easter Period.) In the Autumn of 1915, those of the representatives, I.R.B. elected (Or.re-e1ected) during the months preceding,who were availablemet in Dublin to complete the personnel of the Supreme Council in accordance with the Constitution, i.e. to co-optt four members. On this occasion it was my privelege to move that Supplementary Statement - D.L.(2) the Co-option of a man a member of the "S.C". - Padraic Pearse. He Was so chosen. (The other three were: Tom Clarke, Sean MacDermott and Dr. MacCartan). The last meeting of this Supreme Council was held in January, 1916. In LeRoux's Life of Tom Clarke (p.l80 - 1) Having mentioned Le Roux I have to remark that he made misstatements about the IRB in this work:certain citations of me in his Life of pearse arealso incorrect there appears a statement of mine respecting two decisions arrived thereat: (a) that we"fight at the earliest date possible and that the S.c!s" meeting be held on Easter Sunday" which are qivencoivectly It was after this January meeting of the S.O. that James Connolly was co-opted a member of the Military Council, Thomas MacDonagh was co-opted the seventh member of this Council in mid-April 1916. Quite a few individuals have, I understand,. conveyed the impression that they Knew prior to Holy Week 1916. that an insurrection was being planned and that the date was fixed for Easter Sunday. I feel compelled to comment on such claims -in justice to the memory of the men who comprised the MilitaryCouncil: From early in March, 1916, other and more pressing engagements kept Sean MacDermott from attending to his routine duties as Business Manager of Nationality. At his request I substituted for him in that position. When absenting himself from the office (12 D'Olier street) he invariably told me where I could find him during the day in case I should wish to consult him. On one Occasion I went to Mrs. Houlihan's 77 Amiens St., to confer. with him. This, lady knew me well as a close friend of Clarke and MacDermott; she had no hesitation in directing me to the room in which Sean was. I had no doubt Supplementary, Statement - D.L. (3) attendance during the previous month at meetings of the military Committee; furthermore, that I recognized the importof his recent instructions to secure and report to him as soon as possible the exact location, of each telegraph and telephone manhole in the city His worried look disappeared, and When I related to him how when I made that motion at meeting of the S.C, naming Easter Sunday as the date of the next session I felt that that particular Council. would next again meet. he smiled that smile so characteristic of the sean whom his friends loved (The "manhole" report accompanied by sketches had been banded to him by me two days earlier, i.e. on Monday of HolyWeek). I also remarked that whi1 I had the right to question himself or Tom Clarke on the progress of their plans.I deemed it fitting not to do so; that he on his part was entirely right in not having given me the definite information earler; that the closer the secret was kept the better the prospect for a successful launching. He then told me that Tom MacDonagh had been co-opted a member of the military Committee the previous Week Here is another matter Of which I have happy recollections: As stated, I had previously been satisfied in my ownmi d that the Rising would start on Easter that as a result the publication of "Nations1ity' would cease with the issue of April 22nd. As acting business manager I draped and had "set up" an appeal to occupy the last page -headed "SPREAD THE LIGHT" - urging readers to secure new subscribers. My idea was that if during the course of Holy week the British authorities should happen to note any suspicious activities, the APPEAL. for new subscribers may act as a counter - balance to allay such suspicions. It could do no harm anyway. Just as sean was about to leave the office on Monday morning. April 17 I showed the press proof to him without comment. His OnlyComment Was asmile. I now assured him (on Wednesday) that at the time I understood and appreciated his reticence, and he laughed heartily onb ing reminded of the incident. Insert Poragkaphs (see attactied) I venture to assert that the other members of the Military Council had been equally secretive up to the Holy Week; to think otherwise wouldbe a reflection on the probity and commonsense Prior to that many men had of course, Dean assigned duties which the leaders deemed essential preliminaries to the success of their plan. But, any guess on the part of such assignees as to the main purpose underlying such work or the data on which it was to become effective, should not now be Cunstrued as equivalent to definite official. information in those respects. This comment also applies to the decision of the supreme Council IRB: that we should defend ourselves to the utmost against any attempt by the British authorities to deprive us of our arms. While drafting memos. I decided to check up on my conviction regarding the manner in which the Military Council guarded its secres: I wrote on May 1l 1938, to commandant Eamon de Valera (An Taoiseach) requesting him to let me know the date on which he was officially informed that the Rising was fixed for Easter Sunday. He replied through his Bersonal Secretary to the effect that he as Commandant of the 3rd Battalion, Irish Volunteers, received his first information that an Insurrection was scheduled for Easter Sunday through a message in code (which code was arranged some months earlier) delivered to him on Spy Wednesday by Joseph Sweeney (then a student at St.Enda's). With reforence to the conclusionrea hed by me regarding Easter Sunday I had in mind one other important matter; I forget whether or not I mentioned. it to Sean MacD. It was This: Early In January, 1916, padrig Pearse had entrusted to me secret instructions for oral delivcry to the Commandants I.V.. in the South, setting forth the areas which their Battalions should occupy at Easter. These Instructions were open to but one construction. Eventually, Circumstances Over which we Had no control necessitated the cancellation of my misseion; the instructions were, however. delivered later by some other messenger. Details of the foregoing matters have been set forth elsewhere by me. (Article "set up" by An Cossanioir but not published). Supplementary statement - D.L. (4) The first meeting of what I may term the "Committee on Manholes", summoned by Seen MacDermott. was held in the office of the Gaelic League, 25 Parnell Square early in April. He desired me to elicit fromthe other men present - Andy Fitzpstr1ok and Sean Byrne (outdoor service men of the post Office Engineering Staff) and Dick Mulcahy (a clerk in the GPO annex). Considerable information was available impromptu; during the next two weeks these men and others (including John Twamley and, king) whose names had been glean to me, surveyed the entire field and reported definitely the exactposi ion of each manhole. My report was handed to Sean MacD, on Monday of Holy Week (to the best of recollection) - a separate sheet for each Battalion area, accompanied by sketches showing the exact locations. We also had a supply of duplicate "keys" made with which the manhole covers could be lifted, and. provided for each battalion a set of demolition tools. This. squipment was stored temporarily in the rooms of the Keating Branch of the Gaelic League; it was distributed on Good. Friday to addresses selectod by the respective commandants. On Good Friday while MacDermott and myself lunched at the Red Bank Resaurant (as we frequently did) sean handed back to me the sketches for the Four Courts. Jacobs, South Dublin Union. and Bolands areas for delivery to the respective Commandants. That afternoon I handed them in person to Ned Daly at the Red. Bank (where he and Piaras Beaslaoi) also had lunch, to Tomes MacDonagh at the Princess Restaurant, Grafton Street; to Commandant Eamonn Ceannt at his office, Lord Edward Street; and to Eamon do Valera at His home. Sean informed me that Connolly retained those for the north section of the city, Stephen's Green, and the castle environment; that he would distribute these. (mac Donagh got those for the Telephone Hdgre) My last contacts with tin job wore: (a) when Captain Jim O'Neill and myself mad up a "necklace" of gelignite in Liberty Hall Easter Monday morning - for use in the manhole in front of the Dame Street entrance to the Castle, (b) when Andy Fitzpatrick told, me justbefore the Headquarters Battalion left Liberty Hall for the G.P.O. that. he was off to demolish the Mires at a certain point on thenorth side, and (c) when John Twamley reported to me in the GPO that he had severed the wires between Dublin and Dun Laoghaire. On the investment of the Post Office the first job in which I participated (with Tom Clarke and others) was the smashing of the door and glass partition which separated the Public Office from the Primary Sorting Office (the latter extended to Henry Street). Next came the manning and barricading of the front and side windows of thin room, - Of which I was O/C during the week., About 12.45 p.m. Tuesday a bodyguard, for padraic Pearse Top.5 ordered out, This comprised a squad under Capt. George Plunkett and about an equal number under me. We accompanied Pare to the centre of O'Connell Street opposite. the main entrance to the GPO. where, standing on an Improvised elevation, he read the manifesto to the citizens of Dublin to the assembled Citizens. Abevt 1.15.PM the Lancers arrived. - as described in the official statement of operations in the GPO area. When quiet again reigned inside. the building I suggested to Tom Clarke that we take a lock "through the letters whichhad been "sorted" into pigepn-hole marked R.I.C.Headquartets", Tom smilingly agreed. They afforded Interesting reading, - for the most part communications from D.ls Transmitting detailed reports of R.L.O. sergeants on the strength armament, activities over theprevious week, etc of the IrishV Volunteers Supplementary statement - D.E. Volunteers in their respective districts. We chuckled at the fact that all their spying was now. in vain and that neither they nor their superiors realised the imminence of the climax. The entire content of the sorting tables and the pigeon-holes was then dumped into waste paper baskets and stored away (a needless. operation, as events turned out). On the latter detail I remember Liam Pedlar participating. On Tuesday afternoon, Lawrence's shop diagonally across from the GPO Par from P.V was set ablaze by rooters; a large orowd of onlookers had assembled in O'Connell Street. I caned General Connolly's attention to the danger that threatened our position at the corner of Earl Street. He again ordered George Plunkett and myself each to take a squad of men and endeavour, to stop the fire from spreading and compel the looters to cease. Just as we got. across, the Fire Brigade arrived. To enable the fire engines to get close to the burning building our men raised the. wires which had been strung across O'Connell Street that morning. A man and woman perched on the top of the building seemed intent on jumping to the street to avoid the flames; we had to resort. to pistel fire Over the heads of the crowd to force them back and enable the firemen get to work. Wednesday morning: General Connollyordered me to. take men and borethrough the south wall of the GPO at the Henry Street end and then continue through the adjacent buildings until contact was effected with FrankHenderson's men who were operating from the Coliseum towards us. Thedesired. contact was soon made. Returning to General Connolly I reported formally, Though my contacts with him had not been on. the same infomateplane as with the other members of the Military Council (now the provisional. Government of the IrishRepublic). I was aware that he had learned my status in the IRB. so I now (though only one. of his Captains in the GPO) ventured a pleasantry: We captured three English Generals"said I, and after a moment's.pause I added: "We, got them in the, waxworks". A f1oker of a smile lit ken eyes of his as I quickly turned and moved off to my post. Twenty-one years later I was interested to learn the sequel to the foregoing: whed sifting data, for. the record of the GPO area I had a talk with Captain Jim O'Neill Who had been one of Connolly's Right-hand-men in the Citizen Army, Relating his personal recollections of Connolly be touched On Connolly's sense of humour (a quality he was not generally credited with), and I in turn told him of the Waxwork's story. This brought to O'Neill's recollection how Connolly had come to him and his assistants in the "armoury" (located in the General Sorting Office) that Wednesday and said: "Well, boys, "tis all overt we Just bagged three of their Generals" pausing for effect., he added: "We captured them in the Waxworks". Of the men in my section at the outset only a few were previously known to me; I soon came to know all of them. Several of the continents that reached the GPO after its occupation, (including the Maynooth men) were assigned to my post (the right hand ground floor abutting O'Connelland Henry Streets). only to be withdrawn - Wholly or partially - soon afterwards It became difficult to keep trackof the personnel or to know exactly who was stationed. at each particular. point at any given time. Accordingly, onWednesday IHad the names not alone in my section but throughout the building listed; each wasgiven a particular number which ho was to retain during the fight. What became of that list I know not, - probably it was burned with the GPO itself. Perhaps 'tis as well. It would have been an awkward document to fall into the hands of the British at the surrender. Yet if available in after years it would have been both interesting and useful; it would have simplified the work of the "Garriso