WS0170

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  • ROINN COSANTA. BUREAU OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1913-21. STATEMENT BY WITNESS DOCUMENT NO. W.S. 170 Witness Peter Paul Galligan Identity Member of I.R.B. from 1907. Organiser of I.V. Captain of C/Coy. 2nd Battn. V/Comdt. Enniscorthy Bn. 1915-16. Subject (a) I.R.B. Dublin 1910. (b) I.V. Dublin, 1913-15. (c) I.V. Wexford - 1915 to Easter 1916. Conditions, if any, stipulated by Witness Nil File No. S.568 FormB.S.M.2 STATEMENT BY PETER PAUL GALLIGAN, 24, BUTTERFIELD DRIVE, RATHFARNHAM, DUBLIN. My mother was Secretary to the Land League in Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim, about the year 1880. I was born in Carrigallen. At an early age I went to school at St. Patrick's in Cavan. Irish was taught here but as a subject only. In my youthful days I often heard the old people in Carrigallen talking about the Fenians and Fenian Rising. This aroused my interest in Irish affairs. I was always a very keen student of Irish history. In 1907 I came to Dublin to serve my time to the drapery business. Shortly after arriving in the city I joined the Kickham's Football Club. The President of this Club was James (Buller) Ryan and through him I was intrbduced to the I.R.B. Ryan subsequently went to Australia before the Rebellion I joined the Henry Joy McCracken centre at 41 Parnell Square. This was either in 1910 or 1911. James Ryan was Centre. Other members of this centre were John Dick Stokes, Peter Daly, Paddy Walsh, Tom Hunter and a man name Joe Rogers. Tom Hunter was the last centre before the Rebellion. We had visits from members of the executive of the I.R.B. amongst whom were Bulmer Hobson, Gus Murphy, P.T. Daly and a Mr. Deakin. They gave us lectures on the work of the organisation, the work we were doing and expected to do. On joining we took the oath of the I.R.B. and paid a subscription - a small amount weekly or monthly towards ordinary expenses. Later we also paid a subscription towards an arms fund. At this time there were no drills or instructs ions in military subjects. We had lectures on historical subjects and on such persons as Emmet, Tone, etc. There were no arms at this time. On the formation of the Ulster (Carson) Volunteers in the north Volunteers were called from the different centres to form a class for military training. This class met in the Foresters' Hall, 41 Parnell Square. Amongst the members of this class I can recall Ned Daly, Maurice Collins, John O'Mahoney, Seamus O'Sullivan. 2. Our instructors were from the Fianma and included Sean Heuston, Con Colbert, Garry Holohan and a lad named Lonergan. We received instruction in drill, arms arill and signalling (semaphore). I cannot remember now if we had actual instructions in musketry or small arms. On the formation of the Irish Volunteers in November 1913, we were instructed to join immediately and to take control. Our class was distributed over the different units in the city area. I joined at Blackhall Place, but really we joined other units at the same time. As we had some previous military experience we were soon picked out to fill the key positions. On joining we took no oath but signed a register and were issued with a membership card. We paid a small weekly sum towards expenses. There were collections made for the purchase of uniforms, arms and equipment. At this stage there were no officers. Our instructors were ex-British Army men and they were doing the drilling and organisation, but our men of the I.R.B. were really in charge. We did our drills with dummy rifles as we had no arms at this time. We had rifle firing practice at Clonterf where there was a miniature range with .22 rifles. The Kickham Football Club had formed a company and did their drills there. We attended the Tons celebrations at Bodenstown in 1914. We marched to Kingsbridge and entrained there for Sallins. From Sallins we marched to the grave and from there back to Sallins. We were now organised in battalions. Tom Hunter was in charge of our battalion, the second I think it was. It was noticeable that the I.R.B. were well in control of the Volunteers now. On the 19th July all the city battalions were mobilised and under Capt. Monteith, who was instructor-in-chief, proceeded on a route march to Baldoyle. This was really a practice for the Howth gun-running. Sunday 26th July, we mobilised at Parnell Sq. This was a Brigade mobilisation and was about 800 strong. We marched direct to Howth. Through I.R.B. contacts I knew there was somethin 3. serious on, but did not know exactly what it was. On the way to Howth we halted. The Fianna boys brought up their handcarts which were full of oak batons and these were issued to selected men. On arrival at Howth we marched on to the quay. While we were stand-ing on the quay I saw a yacht coming into the harbour. She hove to at the point of the pier and made fast and the crew started handing out rifles to the Volunteers. The coastguards fired rockets to warn the authorities, but all rifles were handed out and the Brigade reformed and started marching back to Dublin. The ammunition was put into the Fianna handcarts and those were placed in the rear of the Brigade. We halted at Raheny and here some police came along but did not interfere with us and after a short time we continued towards the city. When we reached a point about 600 yards from the junction of the tram lines and the Howth Road British soldiers (Scottish Borderers) were drawn across the road with bayonets fixed. We were halted when close up to them and Capt. Judge went forward and had a talk with the officers of the Borderers. One of the soldiers made an attack on Judge and a Volunteer named Burke, who went to Judge's assistance, got a bayonet stab in the knee. We next got instructions to break up and bring our rifles with us and make our way home as best we could. We who were members of the Kickham Club made our way to the Club-house and put our rifles there and went home. Following this incident a Brigade exercise was held in the Dublin Mountains. The 5th Fingal Battalion sttended this exercise. The whole Brigade marched to the mountains and back. At the time of the split in the Volunteers all companies of th Dublin Brigade were ordered to parade and a notice was read which asked all Volunteers who were prepared to stand by the executive of the Irish Volunteers to take a pace forward. Most of the men tock pace forward. Many of those who did not, did not take any further part in Volunteer activities after this. The Redmond or National Volunteers were now formed as a distinct organisation from the Irish Volunteers. We lost a large amount of rifles and equipment owing 4. to these deflections. I was now a member of G/Coy. 2nd Bn. Dublin Brigade. I was appcinted Capt. of G/Coy. with headquarters in the Iron Hall, Glasnevin. Paddy Walsh was appointed 1st Lieut. and Dick McKee was 2nd Lieut. We did our training at this Hall. The Company was very small. Monteith, Ned Daly and Tom Hunter were amongst the senior officers who visited us and gave us instructions. We did a lot of practice with the .22 rifle at Fairview. We also got instructions and some practice with revolvers. We had only a few service rifles in the company which was about 25 or 30 strong. We had a few Howth Mausers and some Lee Enfield rifles. The Enfields were either. bought or got from British soldiers who carried their rifles with them when proceeding on leave. We had to pay for the rifles out of our own pockets. The men at this time gave all their spare money towards this and the purchase of equipment. Training camps for officers and selected men were now started. Camps were on a whole-time basis and usually lasted a fortnight. I attended a camp on the Shannon near Athlone in Sept. 1915. Attending this camp were Terence McSwiney of Cork, Austin Stack, Dick Mulcahy, Dick Fitzgerald, Pierce McCann and Larry Lardner from Galway and Brennan from Roscommon. Capt. O'Connell was in charge of this camp. He was known as "Ginger" O'Connell and was afterwards a Colonel in the National Army. At the time of O'Donovan Roasa's funeral I was transferred to Thos. McDonagh's staff as a staff officer. McDonagh was then Director of Training. On the day of the funeral McDonagh established his H.Q. on Grattan Bridge in a cab and my orders were to keep a clear passage from Grattan Bridge to the city Hall. He placed a company of Volunteers at my disposal to do this and I lined the route with them. A Superintendent of the D.M.P. approached me in a furious temper. He wanted to know by what authority or right I had stopped the thoroughfare. I informed him I was acting on the orders of my Commanding Officer. He said he did not recognise my Commanding Officer. After a while he came down 5. with me to see McDonagh. We had an argument with McDonagh and he ordered me to putt him under arrest, which I did, and he was detained until the funeral passed. When the funeral had passed we became part of the rear guard. De Valera was in charge of the rear guard and I had to report to him. In this order we proceeded to Glasnevin. As Capt. of G/Coy. 2nd Bn. I attended the second convention of the Irish Volunteers. This was the first after the split. This convention was held in the Abbey Theatre on Sunday 13th October '15. The principal man was The O'Rahilly as Treasurer. The Centre Executive, with McNeill as President, was elected. It was then we learned the amount of money that America was subscribing and the possibility of arms being imported. The O'Rahilly stressed the need for intensified training and organisation. I was still on McDonagh's staff at this time. About this time a dispute had arisen between Brennan Whitmore who was O/C. Enniscorthy Bn. and the Brigade staff in Wexford, which resulted in Whitmore resigning from the command of the Battalion. The Enniscorthy Bn. was considered to be the finest unit in Co. Wexford and in addition it was located in a very strategic position and I was instructed by McDonagh to proceed there and take charge of advancad training in the unit. There was a battalion in Enniscorthy and units in Ferns, Wexford and New Ross. The latter were not up to Bn. strength. Sean Kennedy was Capt. of New Ross Coy. and a man named Murphy was the O/C. in Wexford. Seamus Doyle was the Brigade Adjutant. The dispute referred to was one of a trivial nature and arose over the right of volunteers to attend dances. Whitmore held they had no right to attend dances and should spend their money instead on the purchase of arms and equipment. He was for taking disciplinary action. The men did not agree with this and it ended in Whitmore's resignation. I accepted a post in Bolger's Drapery establishment in Ennis-corthy. This was about November 1915, On proceeding to Enniscorthy 6. I was given a letter of introduxtion to Seamus Rafter who was now appointed to succeed whitmore as 0/C. Enniscorthy Battn. This was signed by Bulmer Hobson who was Secretary to the Executive Council of the Volunteers. On arrival I reported to Rafter and immediately started an N.C.O. training class which was held in a place called "Antwerp". This was the headqrs. of the Volunteers. This class was attended by about 20 selected men from the Battalion. I did all the instruction. At the end of the course Capt. O'Connell (Ginger) came down from headqrs. and inspected the class and examined them in field exercises. He afterwards sent me a copy of his report which I still have. The report was excellent and complimented me on the efficiency of the men. Most of this class were afterwards promoted to commissioned rank in the Volunteers during the Rising in Enniscorthy. I was now appointed Vice Comdt. of the Battn. and from this on I took part in all exercises, night marches and general training of the battalion. In March 1916 Pearse visited us and gave an impressive lecture on "Emmet". All stood up while he read what he called "Emmet's Gospel" which was Emmet's declaration of faith in Irish independenc A guard of honour for Pearse was provided by the Enniscorthy Battn. that night. Activities within the Battn. were normal up to Holy Week excep that training was of an intensified nature. On Good Friday of Holy Week Captain O'Connell arrived in Enniscorthy and sent for Seamus Doyle, Seamus Rafter and myself. He told us that he had been appointed by the Vol. Executive to take charge of Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny areas, but that he refused to take over the command and would take no part in the forthcoming rising and, further, that it would be our own responsibility whatever action we took. He left Enniscorthy that night and as far as I know went to a doctor's house in Carlow where he remained until he was arrested by the police after the "surrender". This happened on Good Friday as far as I can remember. Doyle, Rafter and myself were aware at 7. this time that the Rising was to start on Easter Sunday. I learned this from Doyle. As a result of O'Connell's action we were left without instruct-ions and could take no further action and on Easter Saturday there was an air of indecision prevailing amongst the officers owing to this lack of instruction. I decided to proceed to Dublin and find Out the position exactly. I arrived in Dublin late on Easter Saturday night and put up at O'Mahony's Hotel in Gardiner St. On Sunday morning I contacted some of the officers of ray old battalion and was told by them that the mobilisation had been cancelled and that all was off fo±' the present. I read McNeill's countermanding order in the "Sunday Independent". Monday morning I went to Dalkey and late that evening I learned that the Rising had started. I came back to the city and reported to an outpost in O'Connell St. at the old Tramway Offices. To my surprise the Officer i/c. there was Brennan Whitmore. He sent an officer with me to the hqrs. at the G.P.O. While proceeding to the G.P.O. I noticed a tramcar overturned at the corner of Earl St. and a dead horse lying in O'Connell St. Otherwise things were normal except that looting was taking place in the northern end of O'Connell St. and there was a large number of signtseers around. At the G.P.O. I saw Connolly, Pearse and Plunkett. I reported to them and after a discussion amongst themselves, Connolly said to me that they had enough men in Dublin and that it would be better for me to join my unit in Wexford. After a talk with Plunkett and Pears in which I could hear the word mountains being used Connolly instructed me to go back to Wexford as quickly as I could and to mobilise the Enniscorthy Bn. and to hold the railway line to prevent troops from coming through from Wexford as ho expected that they would be landed there. He said to reserve our ammunition and not to waste it on attacking barracks or such like. He instructed that I he supplied with a good bicycle. He then detailed an orderly to take me to the canteen to get something to eat before leaving for 8. Wexford. In the canteen I was supplied with two buns and tea by Desmond Fitzgerald who was in charge there. Joe Duffy and another volunteer were either coming off or going on duty and we had our cakes and tea together. While there I noticed a British soldier in uniform, apparently a prisoner, engaged in carrying up supplies from the kitchen. It was about 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning at this time. The orderly now took me to the street door and the officer i/c there Gearoid O'Sullivan, gave me a good bicycle from the stores in the G.P.O. I started straight away for Enniscorthy. It was just breaking day as I left the G.P.O. Connolly had told me not to go back thro' Wicklow, but to make a detour as he believed that Dublin was being surrounded. When I got to the Parnell Monument I looked back and I noticed that there were two flags flying from the masts on the front of the G.P.O. As far as I can remember there was a green flag at the corner of the G.P.O. adjoining Henry St. and the tricolour of today was flying at the other end (Abbey St.). The flags were more central than at the extreme ends. I left by the N.C.R. and travelle via Mulhuddart and Maynooth. I did not come in contact with any Volunteer posts in my way out of the city. At Maynooth I saw troop trains proceeding towards the city. I travelled all day and late that night I arrived at some place in Co. Carlow the name of which I cannot remember. I got a bed in a hotel there and stayed the night. Next morning - Wednesday - I proceeded to Wexford and late that evening when nearing Enniscorthy I contacted a Volunteer from the town to was delivering bread. I told him that I could not go into the town and instructed him to tal the officers to come out and meet me that I had instructions from Connolly for them. I met the officers that evening and conveyed to them Connolly's instructions and they decided to act on it. The Battalion was mobilised at about 2 a.m. on the following (Thursday morning and was about 100 strong when mobilisation was completed. Wt had about 20 service rifles and about 2,000 rds. of .303 ammunition for same. We took over the "Athenaeum" which was a Town Club and 9. made this our headquarters. Bob Brennan had come over from Wexford and he stayed with us and became one of the driving forces during the period. Sean Etchingham joined us from Gorey. Michael de Lacey who was teaching in his own school in the town also joined us bring-ing with him his typewriter and he typed all our proclamations, instructions, orders and suchlike for us. I was put in charge of field operations and placed a screen of outposts around the town. We also put guards on the banks and lacked and took up the keys of all publichouses In the allocation of duties Sean Etchingham was put in charge of recruiting and recruits. Large numbers of men were presenting themselves to join ua and the feeding of these men was one of our biggest problems. Doyle was the senior officer and was recognised as O/C. Food, bedding and clothing were commandeered from the local shops in the town. A receipt was given in all cases for articles commandeered. It was admitted in all cases afterwards that there was no undue command-eering and no one was victimised on account of his political leaning The police (R.I.C.) in the town were put off duty and confined to their barracks. We established our own police and town patrols. A party of men were detailed to demolish a bridge on the rail-way line below Wexford with explosives. This was a failure, the party being surprised by the R.I.C. and two of them taken prisoners: This action was undertaken on receipt of information that there was a troop train with steam up at Wexford awaiting the arrival of a troop ship in the harbour there. This was actually true, but for some reason the troop ship was directed to Waterford instead of Wexford and the same troops were marching against us from Waterford when the surrender order arrived on Sunday night. During the latter end of 1915 and early 1916 the Enniscorthy Battn. had decided to start making pikeheads owing to the shortage of other arms. The pikes were made on the "98 pattern and fitted with 6 ft. shafts. They were put in a well concealed dump beside 10. the home of Pat Keegan who lived in the town. He was in charge of the production of those weapons and it was a source of amazement to all when they were handed out, as only a very few were ware that they had been made. Pat Keegan deserves great credit for. this. A mobilisation order to mobilise his company was sent to Sean Kennedy at New. Ross. He failed to do this and a second order was sent to him. Kennedy's father met the man who carried the orders and told him that if he did not leave the town he would shoot him. New Ross never officially mobilised, but as far as I can remember a number of men reported to Enniscorthy. Ferns mobilised and sent in a full quota of men, small, of course. Wexford. also sent in some men. We took over a number of cars which were returned to the owners after the surrender. After we had mobilised on Thursday morning Father Murphy and Father Goad came to out headqrs. This was early in the morning. Father Murphy was anxious to join us. He asked what our prospects of success were. I told him that the arms ship had been sunk and that we were only carrying out our orders and I believed there was no hope of success. I asked him to give us his blessing which he did. He then left us. All during the period we were under arms we had an intelligence system working and from railway workers we learned that a consign-ment of ammunition had left Waterford for a guard which was on Kynock's Munitions Fectory at Arklow. We knew that it had not reached Arklow and we searched all stations between Wexford and Arklow but failed to find it. We took control of the railway statlo at Enniscorthy and removed the line at strategic points. Roads were blocked by trees as far as Ferns and down as far as Wexford. Some by-roads were left open for communication purposes. There was no shortage of food. There was a branch of the Cumann na mBan in the town and nothing but admiration and apprecia-tion is due to those girls together with some local girls who joined them. They took over the commissariat completely and attended to all the men's wants, working both day and night with very little sleep or rest in a most unselfish manner. A special tribute is due to Miss Brown, Miss Peg King, Miss Chrissie Moran and many others whose names I cannot remember now, who untiringly and unselfishly worked so hard during that eventful week. I should have mentioned earlier that all of our officers and most of the men were in uniform. By Saturday morning information reached us that the British garrison at Arklow were preparing to move against us. I decided to establish a strong outpost at Ferns. This would act as a buffer and take the first onslaught of the enemy and give ample warning and time for deployment of the Enniscorthy garrison. An outpost of picked men was established there and I took charge personally. I was convinced that the first attack would come in that region. We took over the R.I.C. Bks. which had been vacated by the police and also the local national school as billets. The barricading of the roads was extended and advanced posts of scouts were established. We were to fight a delaying action here in order to give the garrison in Enniscorthy time to prepare for an attack. Ferns was occupied by daylight on Sunday morning by the Vols. Some time in the afternoon one of our cycle patrols sent in word that a District Inspector and Sergt. of the R.I.C. had arrived under a flag of truce with a copy of Pearse's order for surrender. I direct-ed him to be taken to the local hotel where I interviewed him. I verified that they had a copy of the surrender order. As well as I can remember this was typed, Pearse's signature being typed also. It was addressed to the 0/C. Enniscorthy Volunteers. I sent them under armed escort in their own car to Enniscorthy. The escort travelled in a second car. The O/C. Enniscorthy refused to accept the surrender order until it was verified and he himself (Seamus Doyle) with Capt. Etchingham were escorted to Wexford Military Barracks where they were given a pass to see Pearse at Arbour Hill Prison. They proceeded to Dublin under escort and were taken to Pearse's cell at Arbour Hill. Pearse werified the order to surrender or disband. 12. They returned to Enniscorthy on Monday. I received a dispatch at Ferns from the O/C. (Seamus Doyle) that the surrender had been verified and to return to Enniscorthy at once with all my men. We immediately made preparation. for the evacuation of Ferns. We got cars from Enniscorthy and took all personnel and arms back to the town. I was anxious to see that everything in Ferns was left in the same condition as we had found it and for this reason mine was the last car to leave. Unfortunately the driver of our car had only a few days experience of driving and on reaching a junction on the road back, instead of taking the right road, went across a ditch and we dropped eight or nine feat into a farmyard. I was not hurt, but one of the Cumann. na mBan girls who was in the par with us was badly injured. The others had only minor injuries. The injured girl was unconscious and we sent back to Ferns for a priest and doctor and put her in the farmhouse. I remained until the priest and doctor arrived. I then travelled oh to Enniscorthy and arrived at our hqrs about 8 a.m. in the morning. When we got there everyone had left, the unit having disbanded. Pearse's instruction had been either to surrender or disband. An undertaking had been given to the British Authorities that all officers would surrender themselves which they did. One of the girls - Chrissie Moran - told me that there was a house belonging to her brother-in-law in the town which was vacant and that the driver and I could get a bed there. We were badly in need of rest and sleep at this time. The driver and I went to this house and entered by the back door. We found the beds and I lay down as I was without undressing. At this stage I was nearly exhausted for want of sleep. I did not awaken until I heard knock-ing the door. The driver, who was down in the kitchen at the time, came and told me that a military patrol were carrying out a house-to-house search. I got up. It was well advanced in the day, Tuesday. The surrender of the officers had taken place in the afternoon of the previous day. The people next door shouted to the military that there was no one there and they went away without searching the house where we were. 13. Miss Moran brought us food that evening and she suggested we should get out of the town. She brought me civilian clothes into which I changed and gave her my uniform and that night the driver and I left Enniscorthy on bicycles. The following evening we arrived in Carlow without incident. I went to a family named Murphy whom I knew and stayed there for a couple of days and then travelled on to Mullingar and from there to Cavan arriving there on either the Friday or Saturday following the surrender. On the unit disbanding in Enniscorthy each man took what armament he had home with him and placed it in hiding. On the Monday night following my arrival in Cavan the house was surrounded by R.I.C. and I was arrested. They said they were charging me with being an officer in charge of rebel troops in Enniscorthy. I was taken by car to Cavan and from there by rail to Broadstone Station, Dublin, where a military escort took me over and brought me to Arbour Hill. From there I was transferred to Richmond Barracks via Kingsbridge and Kilmainham. On reaching there I was put into a barrack room. This was on Tuesday. There was a large number of volunteers there many of whom I knew - Barney Mellows, Partridge, Con Donovan and many others. We slept on the floor. Sanitary arrangements were very bad. We were issued with a couple of blankets. Food was reasonable and we were allowed to write letters. Each evening men were getting notified at their courtsmartial and supplied with a copy of the charge against them. Some day the following week I was notified about my courtmartial. I got my charge read out to me and a copy was given me. I was brought before a court of three military officers and charged with being an officer in charge of an armed rebellion which waged war against His Majesty the King at Enniscorthy. The Sergt. of the R.I.C. who came with the flag of truce was the one who gave evidence against me. He stated he found me at Ferns in the Co. Wexford in uniform and armed with a rifle and revolver. In answer I said that the charge was correct and that I was proud of having fought for my country and the only 14. regret 1 had was that we had not succeeded. 1 was then taken to Kilmainham Jail and placed in a cell on the top wing. After a couple of days there an officer came to my cell and informed me, by reading from a document, that the findings of my courtmartia1 was "sentenced to death". I was them taken down and placed in one of the condemned cells beside the execution yard. A few days afterwards another officer came to this cell and informed me that my sentence had been reduced. from death to penal servitude for five years. While in the condemned cell we asked for a priest and they sent for one. Father Sylvester from Church St. came and heard our confessions. He informed me that he thought there would not be any more executions. I was next taken to Mountjoy Prison and placed in a cell there. We were put into prison clothes which were dirty and verminous. Bedding was supplied to us. Food was of the prison fare but not too bad. We were given exercise in the ring but no contact was allowed with other prisoners. After about a week we Were transferred to Dartmoor Prison. In our party were Eoin MacNeill, Sean McEntee and Teddy Brosnan from Kerry. We travelled by B. & I. boat from the North Wall to Liverpool and from there to London and on to Dartmoor. Our escort was a detachment of the Dublin Fusiliers. They were good fellows and treated us well. While in Kilmainham we had several talks with, our guards who were belonging to some English regiment. One N.C.O. told us that all the executions took place with the executed men sitting on boxes. It the case of Connolly he said he was shot sitting in a chair. Connolly he said, was not handcuffed or tied on account of his being wounded. When sitting in the chair Connolly was grasping. one of the back supports of the chair with his left hand. On being shot Connolly fell forward bringing this 'ring' or back support of the chair in his hand. I saw the chair without the 'ring' in a room in Kilmainham Jail. I do not remember whether this N.C.O. said if it was Connolly's 15. right or left hand that grasped the chair. One of the men of the Dublin Fusiliers who was escorting us to Dartmoor told Brosnan and me that he was on fatigue duty in Arbour Hill Prison when the ambulance brought in Connolly's body. This man stated that when Connolly was buried he was grasping the 'ring' of the chair in his hand. The escort were very decent and treated us well and bought refreshment for us, the officer in charge giving a £1 for this purpose. They sang songs mostly rebel ones throughout the journey. On the journey over MacNeill in the course of conversation told me he had a difficult time from his arrest and while in Arbour Hill Prison. He was guarded, he said, by men with fixed bayonets and was paraded in front of the men who were digging the graves for the executed leaders in the yard of Arbour Hill Prison. This, he said, was an attempt to frighten him into writing a confession which they were trying to force him to do. He said writing material was placed in his cell for that purpose. They seemed satisfied that he was doing this when they saw him writing in his cell, but all he left behind him were some written notes on Irish History. He did not discuss the Rising or his issuing of the countermanding order or any phase prior to or during the Rebellion. On arrival in Dartmoor Prison we were allotted to cells in the order - T. Brosnan, S. MacEntee, 0. MacNeill and myself. My convict No. was Q.216. We were issued with convict clothes which included a jacket, knickers, long stockings, leggings and nailed boots, shoes, cap and a smock for wet days. All were stamped with the broad arrow which was the Government brand for prison materials. We were kept in single cells, no intercourse was allowed, but we were kept separate from the ordinary criminals. We were housed in the west wing of the prison. The heating system was antiquated and seemed to be there from the time the prison was built. No heat reached the cells. Bedding consisted of a mattress placed on the cell boards which was only three inches from the concrete floors. 16. Two blankets in the summer, three in winter, and a bedspread. The mattress was a very poor one. Food was ordinary prison diet and on most days was very poor. No food was allowed to be sent into us. We were allowed one letter in and one out, I think, every three months. We had exercise around the ring in the morning before work, but no intercourse. We worked in the shops making mail bags, but no conversation or smoking was allowed while at this. We had a haircut and a bath once per week. Our cells were on the top or third floor. De Valera was on the second floor. Torn Ashe and Partridge were on the ground floor. In the opposite cell to De Valera there was a huge big man called Phil McMahon. This man was well over 6 ft. in height and made in proportion and was always hungry as the prison food was insufficient for him. On the other De Valera was a small eater. De Valera some-how discovered that MacMahon had insufficient food and one morning as we were lined up in the doors of our cells prior to proceeding to work, De Valera threw a small loaf of bread across to MacMahon. He was spotted by the warder and put back in his cell and later taken before the Governor. He pleaded that as the bread was his and he did not require it he had the right to give it to any man who required more food. He was placed in the punishment cells for three days on bread and water. As far as I know he was the first man to get this punishment and this, and his fight for his fellow prisoners, to my mind, marked him out as our future leader. De Valera continued to fight for better conditions for us prisoners and as a result he and Desmond Fitzgerald were transferred to another prison, I think it was Parkhurst in the Isle of Wight. Our greatest hardship was the insufficient lighting of the cells. There was only a small gas lamp lit from the outside of the cell and the light coming in through a 'muffed' pane of glass. It was nearly impossible to read with this light and during the winter months the cold was so severe that if you wished to read, you could only do so by wrapping the blankets around your feet and legs. It 17. was under such conditions that I read and reread the first two books of Carlile's "History of the French Revolution". On Sunday morning we had Mass but on receiving Holy Communion you got no breakfast and continued your fast until 12 a.m. when dinner and breakfast were served together. The cold was so severe that we all developed acute lumbago which, in many cases, we still suffer from. It was, I think, before Christmas 1916 we were trans-ferred to Lewes Jail in handcuffs. Here conditions were the same except that we were allowed to talk and associate during exercises and this was the first time we could speak to our pals and tell our stories to one another and compare notes on the rebellion. The prisoners from Portland joined us here also. Before leaving Dartmoor De Valera returned to us and we were all glad to see him again. After a time things became very monotonous and De Valera, who was now recognised as leader, decided that the time had come to demand political treatment or release. He put this in writing to the Governor and had interviews with representatives of the Prison Board. Ultimately it was turned down and it was then he issued an order for the men to refuse work. We were locked in our cells and the men commenced as a protest to smash the glass in the windows and the cell furniture. After about ten days we were broken into small parties and again sent back to penal prisons, some to Dartmoor, some to Portland and I with others to Parkhurst. In transit we were handcuffed in parties of six or eight to a long chain by the right hand. Before leaving Lewes each man promised he would not work and this was strictly observed in all prisons. We were refused exercise and it was amusing to see them during the day lying on their mattresses outside the cell doors in the corridors, reading a religious book which was supplied by the Prison Chaplain. Before leaving Lewes I had been for some time in the prison hospital and I was placed under medical treatment in my cell on reaching Parkhurst. 18. Here we were placed in cells interspersed with the ordinary English criminals. By a strange coincidence I found that the occupant of the next well to mine was a man named McMahon who had been sentenced to be hung for the 'tunnel murder' in England. I found McMahon to be a charming fellow, very courteous and cheerful and in great sympathy with us Irish. He had all the prison news and the second day he presented me with a pencil and notepaper to write notes, a thing it was impossible to get in a penal prison. We were in Parkhurst some weeks when McMahon slipped me a note into nr cell informing me that we were soon to be released. The next day I was measured for a suit, shirt and shoes. McMahon asked me would we kick up a row when leaving and I said "No, we will leave singing 'God save Ireland'". He said "Wherever I am I will sing it with you". We were taken down next morning and paraded before the Governor who told us we were being sent to London for our release. He said he had been associated a long time with Irishmen in the British Army and he always found them sensible. He hoped we were going to be sensible also and not create any disturbance on leaving the Prison. We were marched across the square. As we started moving away we started singing "God save Ireland" and the last sight I saw was McMahon at the cell window also singing, true to his word. We were placed on a local train at Parkhurst which was a centre for prisoners of war. Most of our fellows were talking in Irish. A British officer was talking to a girl friend close by. She asked him what prisoners we were. He said "Germans". She came over to us and asked us if we were Germans. We said "Austrians". She returned to the officer and said "I knew you were wrong". At London a bus met us at the station. We were still escorted by warders. As the bus left the station two stones were thrown into it and some men got splinters of glass. We were called "Murderers". We got into Pentonville Prison on a Saturday night, I think. Sunday we were fitted out with clothes. We wandered around the prison grounds and found Roger Casement's grave where we knelt and said a prayer for one of the greatest of Ireland's leaders. 19. Next morning we were officially released and sent by special bus to Euston Station where we got a special train to Holyhead an arrived in Dublin the following morning. As we came into Dublin Bay we all got on deck and started to sing our old marching songs "Kelly, the Boy from Killann", "Steady Boys and Step together" and "The Soldier's Song". This annoyed some British soldiers who were on board and an incident was only prevented by the soldiers being sent down below. At Westland Row we got a tumultuous reception from the people. We were taken in wagonettes to a breakfast and reception in Maloney's Hotel in Gardiner St. Later in the day we signed an official appeal for the Republic which was prepared. This was at the offices of the white Gross in Exchequer St. This was being taken by Dr. McCartan to Russia. When we had left Dublin for Dartmoor the people seemed to be getting sympathetic towards us; now they seemed to be wholehear tedly with us. One of our comrade prisoners was Gerard Crofts, noted singer of Irish airs at concerts before 1916. He fought in the South Dublin Union. He suffered from some form of skin disease and was released on medical grounds at an early date from Lewes Prison. While in Dartmoor and Lewes Prisons he was in charge of the choir and his singing of the "Ave Maria" on Sundays is one of the happiest memories that I retain - his rendering was so beautiful and sympathetic. During the period in Dartmoor and Lewes Prisons quite an amount of original poetry was written by different prisoners, especially Sean Etchingham. Etchingham composed some very humerous poems which contributed very strongly to keeping our morale at a very high standard. One of these was "A Toast for St. Patrick's Day, 1917". Burke, whom I mentioned in connection with the 20. Howth Gun Running incident, also composed some fine pieces of poetry, the best of which was, I think, "This Freedom" "Always be with us Men to give Their lives That this our country live, Lest perchance, that they may stray, Then Great God, guide us night and day". Signed: Paue Canipa Date: 17th December 1948 Witness: Manherd Harry Comdt 17 Dec 48