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Dividing Line - Genealogical and Historical Research Service in County Louth, Ireland

1916

County Louth people who supported the Easter Rising.

On Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, styling itself the 'Provisional Government of the Irish Republic', proclaimed Irish independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The reading of the Proclamation by Pádraig Pearse outside the General Post Office in Dublin City marked the beginning of the Easter Rising.

Unlike the Ulster Covenant of 1912 there was no general public listing of signatures to support the Proclamation. Obviously, at the time, when Ireland was still under British Rule such an act would be illegal.

However, some of the signatures to the Proclamation had connections with County Louth and various groups also set out from the county to participate in the Rising.
 

The wording of the Proclamation of the Republic is as follows:
 

The PROCLAMATION OF
POBLACHT NA H EIREANN

__________________

THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
OF THE
IRISH REPUBLIC
TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND
 

        IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

            Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

            We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.

            The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

            Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.

            We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.

Signed on Behalf of the Provisional Government.

Thomas J. Clarke.
Sean MacDiarmada,
Thomas McDonagh,
P.H. Pearse,
Eamonn Ceannt,
James Connolly,
Joseph Plunkett.
 

When the Irish Volunteers were called on to take part in the Easter Rising groups of men from north and south County Louth set out for Dublin. Some managed to reach Dublin City but the majority, due to confused reports, returned home.
 

One of the main incidents in County Louth took place in Castlebellingham.

It is stated that a group from Dundalk set out on Sunday morning and some went as far as Slane, in County Meath, via Ardee (if so passing Gilbertstown Barracks) and Collon. They were followed by two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) men Sergeant Michael Wymes and Sergeant Connolly who were watching their movements. They were to meet a group from south County Louth and proceed to Tara in County Meath. Due to untrue reports about the Rising they returned for Dundalk on Monday morning via Dunleer and Castlebellingham. John McEntee who had been sent to Dublin for news caught up with the group at Lurgan Green, in Mooretown Townland, and stated that the Rising was on.

    While commandeering cars from persons returning from Fairyhouse races a Patrick McCormack was shot in the hand and he asked Sargeant Wymes to arrest John McEntee. However the Sergeant and two other RIC men who had arrived were taken prisoner by the Volunteers but later released and allowed return to Dundalk. The Volunteers set out for Dublin via Castlebellingham to Dunboyne in County Meath and some into County Dublin. But various reports and mishaps halted their advance to the city.

When passing through Castlebellingham Constable Charles Magee (of the Gilbertstown Barracks) was shot and a British Army officer, Second Lieutenant Robert Dunville of the Grenadier Guards, who was travelling from Belfast to Kingstown, was wounded. Those stated to be involved in this incident were later court martialled.

Among those from the County who were arrested for supporting the Rising in Dublin were:-

Prisoner

Address at time

Crime

Sentence/Prison

John (Sean) McEntee
 

Dundalk

The murdering of Charles Magee of RIC and attempted murder of Lt. Dunville at Castlebellingham .

Taking part in armed Rebellion in Ireland & waging war against the King.
 

Court martialled & sentenced to death. But sentence was commuted to penal servitude

Francis Martin

 

do

Court martialled & sentenced to death. But sentence was commuted to 10 years penal servitude
 

Denis Leahy

 

do

do
 

James Sally

 

do

Court martialled & sentenced to 10 years penal servitude. Sentence was commuted to 5 years.
 

Philip J. McMahon

Ardee (a native of County Kerry, son of former RIC man)
 

 

5 years penal servitude (2 years remitted)

Michael Reynolds

Skeaghmore, Dunleer

 

5 years penal servitude (2 years remitted)
 

John Quinn

Dundalk

 

3 years penal servitude
 

P. Casey

Castletown Road, Dundalk

 

Sent to Stafford Detention Barracks on 8 May 1916
 

JJ Waller

Maxwell’s Terrace, Dundalk
 

 

do

T. Sharkey

Dublin Street, Dundalk
 

 

do

J. Barrett

Dublin Street, Dundalk
 

 

do

P. Halpin

Byrne’s Row, Dundalk
 

 

do

John Butterly

Milltown Mills, Dunleer
 

 

Sent to Wakefield Prison on
1 June 1916

M. Butterly

do

 

do
 

Thomas Kelly

Grangebellew, Dunleer
 

 

do

J. Kelly

do

 

do
 

Joseph Layng

Dunleer

 

do
 

William Atkinson

3 New St., Dundalk

 

Sent to Wakefield on 12 May 1916
 

Arthur O’Neill

Hill St., Dundalk

 

do
 

Thomas Hamill

37 Broughton Street, Dundalk
 

 

do

Daniel Tuite

Castletown Road, Dundalk
 

 

do

Sam Hall

9 Jocelyn Street, Dundalk
 

 

do

Patrick Kerr

Castletown Road, Dundalk
 

 

do

Philip McQuillan,

Maxwell’s Row, Dundalk
 

 

do

John Finegan

21 St. Patrick’s Terrace, Dundalk
 

 

do

James Hanratty

Mill Street, Dundalk

 

do
 

Joseph McGuill

Bridge Street, Dundalk
 

 

do

Michael Donnelly

Carnally, Silverbridge
 

 

 

Patrick Donnelly

Carlingford

 

Send to Wandsworth Prison on
1 June 1916
 

Michael Ferguson

Castletown Cooley

 

do
 

James Hanlon

do

 

do
 

Thomas Burke

Drogheda

 

Sent to Wandsworth Prison on
 8 May 1916
 

Joseph Carr

do

 

Do (released 17 May 1916)
 

Joseph Finegan

do

 

do
 

Michael Harkin

do

 

do
 

Thomas Halpin

do

 

do
 

John Hastings

do

 

do
 

Michael Keenan

do

 

do
 

James Farrelly

Ardee

 

do
 

Thomas Mathews

Ardee

 

do
 

Thomas McCrave

Seatown, Dundalk

 

do
 

Thomas McTaggart

13 Church St., Dundalk
 

 

do

P. J. Berrill

Williamstown Place, Dundalk

 

Send to Knutsford Prison on
1 June 1916
 

Frank Necy

Chapel Lane, Dundalk
 

 

do

Felix O’Neill

Barrack Street, Dundalk
 

 

do

 


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Dividing Line - Genealogical and Historical Research Service in County Louth, Ireland

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© MP McConnon, MC Research, Seabank, Castlebellingham, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.
(Original updated 24 April 2008) Last update 04 July 2018.