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Kathleen Lynn’s Diary – Who’s Who?

Who's Who - Male Combatants in the Easter Rising

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Possibly, Christopher Carruthers (or Crothers), a ‘boy’ in the Irish Citizens Army who was stationed at St Stephen’s Green during the Rising.

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Eamonn Ceannt was born in 1881. Ceannt joined the Sinn Fein in 1907, and was elected to its national council. In 1911, Sean MacDiarmada recruited him to the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and encouraged him to become a founding member of the Irish Volunteers.

During Easter Week, Ceannt’s battalion held the South Dublin Union and its outposts; this position saw some of the bloodiest fighting in the Rising. When Ceannt learned of Pearse’s order to surrender, he was reluctant to lay down arms. Ceannt was court-martialled at Richmond Barracks, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol on 8th May.

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Cornelius (Con) Colbert was born in 1888. He enrolled in Na Fianna Éireann, the national boy-scout organisation, and was elected to the provisional committee of the Irish Volunteers on their formation, in November 1913.

During Easter Week, he fought at Watkin's Brewery, Jameson's Distillery and Marrowbone Lane. As this position was by-passed by the cordon of British troops that gradually encircled the city centre, the garrison did little fighting, eventually surrendering on the Sunday following Easter. Colbert was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol on 8th May.

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James Connolly was born in Edinburgh, in 1868, to Irish parents. He moved to Dublin, in 1896, and became involved in the socialist movement. Connolly, with James Larkin, led the 1913 Lockout in Dublin. Lynn met Connolly during the Lock Out, and he would ask her to provide first aid training to the Irish Citizens Army.

A signatory of the Irish Proclamation, Connolly was stationed at the GPO, as Commandant General. During the Rising, Connolly suffered a serious injury to the ankle. Connolly was court-martialled and executed on 12th May 1916. Due to his injury he was unable to stand, and faced the firing squad seated in a chair.

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Sean Connolly was born in Dublin, in 1882. Connolly was active in the trade union movement, and a member of the Irish Citizen Army (ICA). An actor for the Abbey, he also starred in ICA productions. Connolly commanded an ICA contingent in the Dublin Castle area, on Easter Monday.

Connolly occupied City Hall, where he based his command; he was shot and killed by a British sniper, firing from the castle tower.

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William Halpin was born in 1887. He worked in the Dublin docks and was involved with the trade unions. During the Easter Rising, Halpin was part of the City Hall garrison. Halpin was injured but avoided capture by climbing into a chimney.

He was eventually captured and held in Richmond Barracks.

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Sean Heuston was born in Dublin, in 1891. He was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers, which eventually became the Irish Republican Brotherhood and Irish Republican Army. He was also involved in the Howth Gun-running.

In 1916, Heuston was Captain of a company that seized the key location of the Mendacity Institute, preventing British troops from linking up with other troops in the city centre.

He decided to surrender on the Wednesday of Easter Week. Heuston was court-martialled at Richmond Barracks, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 8th May.

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John MacBride was born in Westport, Co. Mayo, in 1865. He was an officer in the Boer army in South Africa. In 1903 he married Maud Gonne. The marriage did not last and they divorced, in 1906, and Gonne obtained legal custody of their son Seán. MacBride was elected to the supreme council of the IRB, in 1911.

During the 1916 Rising, he fell in with the 2nd battalion of Thomas MacDonagh and was appointed his second in command. Before surrendering he encouraged the men under his command to escape and take up the fight again later; he made no effort to escape.

MacBride was court-martialled on 4th May, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 5th May.

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Sean MacDiarmada was born in Corranmore, Co. Leitrim, in 1883. McDiarmada settled in Belfast, in 1905, where he joined the Gaelic League and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and sworn in as a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). MacDiarmada moved to Dublin, in 1907, where he met Tomas Clarke, and became a fulltime organizer for the IRB.

MacDiarmada had a leading role in planning the 1916 Rising; he was very secretive which contributed to the confusion over when the rising would take place. He was stationed in the General Post Office garrison. After the surrender, MacDiarmada was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 12th May.

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Thomas MacDonagh was born in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, in 1878. MacDonagh was drawn to the Nationalist movement through the Gaelic League. He moved to Dublin and became the headmaster of St. Enda’s School. He married Muriel Gifford, in 1912. MacDonagh was a member of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

MacDonagh commanded a force that occupied Jacob biscuit factory. He refused to surrender to the British, as he felt that Pearse was under duress when issued the order to surrender. Only after parleying with General Lowe did he finally agree to surrender. MacDonagh was court- martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 3rd May.

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Mallin was born, in 1874, in Dublin. He was active in socialist politics and was a member of the Socialist Party of Ireland in 1909. When James Connolly took command of the Irish Citizen Army in 1914, he appointed Mallin his chief-of-staff.

Mallin led the Citizen Army force that occupied St Stephen’s Green and the College of Surgeons. On Connolly’s orders, he surrendered along with his garrison on 30th April. Regarded as leader he was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 8th May.

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Joseph Plunkett was born in Dublin, in 1887. Plunkett bought the ailing newspaper, the Irish Review, and supported Arthur Griffith’s Sinn Féin and the workers, in the 1913 Lock-Out. In May 1915, Plunkett was appointed to the IRB Military Council, mainly due to his key position as director of military operations in the Irish Volunteers.

Plunkett was heavily involved in preparations for the Rising and displayed a talent for military operations. Although recovering from an operation on his glands, Plunkett still served with the headquarters garrison in the GPO. After the surrender, Plunkett was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol. On 4th May. The evening before his execution he married Grace Gifford.

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James Walsh was born Co. Cork in 1880. Walsh played a significant role in expanding the GAA throughout Co Cork. In 1912, Walsh formed a rifle club in Cork city, and when the Irish Volunteers were formed, he took a leading role in the organization. During the Rising, Walsh led a group of thirty Hibernian Rifles and served under James Connolly at the General Post Office.

Walsh was court-martialled and sentenced to death, but was later reprieved and imprisoned at Portland and Lewes prison.

Who's Who – Female Combatants in the 1916 Rising

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Born Kathleen Connolly in 1887, the sister of Sean Connolly. She was a member of the Irish Citizen Army, stationed at City Hall on Easter Monday. That evening, following the re-capture of City Hall, she was arrested and held in Ship Street Barracks, Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

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Bridget Brady was born in 1896, joined the Irish Citizen Army in 1913. Brady was stationed at City Hall on Easter Monday. That evening, following the re-capture of City Hall, she was arrested and held in Ship Street Barracks, Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

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Bridget Davies was a nurse and member of the Irish Citizen Army and was stationed at City Hall on Easter Monday. That evening, following the re-capture of City Hall, she was arrested and held in Ship Street Barracks, Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

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Madeleine ffrench-Mullen was born in 1880. She was involved in the Republican movement, and the 1913 Lock-Out. She joined the Irish Citizen Army, in 1913, where she met Dr Kathleen Lynn.

She and Lynn lived together from 1915 to ffrench-Mullen’s death, in 1944. She was a lieutenant in the Irish Citizens Army, and was stationed on Stephen’s Green. After the surrender she was arrested and held in Richmond Barracks, Mountjoy and Kilmainham Gaols.

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Grace Gifford was born in Dublin in 1888. After witnessing the deplorable conditions in the slums of Dublin, Gifford and her sisters began working with several groups, such as Daughters of Erin, to help improve the lives of the poor. Grace first met Joseph Plunkett at the opening of the St Enda's School; they planned to marry on the 23rd of April 1916.

Grace’s sister Murial Gifford was married to Plunkett’s friend, and fellow nationalist, Thomas MacDonagh. In the aftermath of the Easter Rising, when Plunkett learned that he was to be executed, he sought permission to marry Grace.

On the 3rd May 1916, at 6.00pm, Grace married Plunkett in Kilmainham Goal. He was executed the next day.

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Helen Gifford was born in Dublin in 1880. She was involved with the Irish Women's Franchise League, where she became part of the circle of Countess Markievicz. Gifford was a strong supporter of the labour movement, and a founding member of the Irish Citizen. Gifford served with the ICA at St Stephen's Green. After the surrender she was arrested and held in Kilmainham Gaol.

Helen’s sister Muriel Gifford had married Thomas MacDonagh, in 1912. Her sister Grace would marry Joseph Plunkett the day before his execution, in May 1916.

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Elizabeth Lynch was born in September 1895. Lynch worked for Countess Markievicz at her home, Surrey House. She was in the Irish Citizen Army and was stationed at City Hall.

That evening, following the re-capture of City Hall, she was arrested and held in Ship Street Barracks, Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

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Helena Molony was born in Dublin in 1884. She became involved in politics, in 1903, after hearing Maud Gonne speak. In 1913, she was treated by Kathleen Lynn and recuperated at her house; she introduced Lynn to the republican movement. Molony was involved in the preparations for the Rising, as organisers used the Irish Women Workers’ Union, where she worked, for meetings.

On Easter Monday she was stationed at City Hall. That evening, following the re-capture of City Hall, she was arrested and held in Ship Street Barracks, Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

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Annie Norgrove, sister of Emily, was stationed at City Hall on Easter Monday 1916. That evening, following the re-capture of City Hall, she was arrested and held in Ship Street Barracks, Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

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Emily Norgrove was born in November 1897. She served with the Irish Citizen Army and took part in the capture of City Hall, with her sister Annie, on Easter Monday. That evening, following the re-capture of City Hall, she was arrested and held in Ship Street Barracks, Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

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Elizabeth O’ Farrell was born in Dublin in 1884. On Easter Sunday 1916 O’ Farrell was entrusted to deliver the official order to units in Galway that the Rising would take place on Easter Monday. On her return to Dublin she was stationed at the GPO. O’ Farrell was chosen to accompany Pearse when he delivered his surrender to General Lowe, and to deliver the orders to surrender to the outposts around the city.

Although General Lowe had promised O’Farrell that she would not be, she was arrested, and spent one night in Kilmainham Gaol before being released on Lowe’s orders.

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Mary Perolz was born in Limerick in 1874. She joined the Citizen Army at its inception and had huge admiration for Connolly, Mallin and Countess Markievicz. Perolz carried the order for the Rising to Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Tipperary.

On her return to Dublin, she reported to Liberty Hall, and was tasked with delivering messages and guns. Perolz was arrested on 2nd May, and held in Richmond Barracks, Mountjoy and Kilmainham Gaols.

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Born Josephine Cranny in Dublin in 1858, she married George Nobel Plunkett, a papal count, in 1884. They had a large family, including Joseph Plunkett. Countess Plunkett was heavily involved in the Easter Rising. She was arrested after the Rising and held in Richmond Barracks, Mountjoy and Kilmainham Gaols.

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Jane Shanahan joined the Irish Citizens Army in 1913, and was stationed at City Hall on Easter Monday. That evening, following the re-capture of City Hall, she was arrested and held in Ship Street Barracks, Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

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Catherine Tretson was a member of the Cumann na mBan-Central Branch, and a nurse. During Easter Week she was stationed at the GPO. Following the surrender, she was arrested and held in Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol.

Who's Who – Others

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Born Thomas Francis Bibby in Bagenalstown in 1877, Bibby took his vows in 1895 and was ordained in 1902. He joined the Capuchin community of St. Mary of the Angels, on Church Street. He was involved in the Gaelic League, and fluent in the Irish language.

In Easter week, the Irish Volunteers occupied several positions in the immediate vicinity of his community. He attended to those who were wounded or dying. After the order was given to surrender, he arranged an overnight truce to facilitate the removal of the injured. After the rising, Bibby visited the prisoners to offer solace, confessions, and helped send messages to their families. Bibby administered Last Rites to eight rebels before they were executed.

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Lynn variously refers to Dora Carleton, Canon Carleton and the Carletons. They seem to have been friends of hers outside the Nationalist movement, and generally disapproving of her involvement in the Easter Rising.

Canon Carleton may be James George Carleton who was curate of St Stephen’s Dublin, from 1897-1905, and then, Prebendary of Rathmichael, in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

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Father Columbus was born Daniel Murphy in Cork in 1888. He entered the Capuchin Novitiate, in August 1898. In 1916, Father Columbus was assigned to the Church Street Capuchin Friary.

He played an important role in bringing about a cessation in hostilities. After the surrender, there was much confusion as to whether the Rising was over, so Father Columbus visited Padraig Pearse, in Arbour Detention Barracks, to ask him to rewrite the surrender note, in order to prevent further losses of life. Columbus visited Kilmainham to minister to the prisoners, before their executions.

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It has not been possible to identify who this is.

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Jane is Lynn’s maid at her home in Rathmines, Dublin.

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Nan Lynn was the elder sister of Kathleen. The two were close but Nan did not support Kathleen’s involvement in the 1916 Rising. Nan and her father both visited Kathleen during her imprisonment, following the Rising.

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Robert Lynn was a Church of Ireland Rector, and father of Kathleen Lynn. Kathleen’s radicalism and political activity was not supported by her family and her father refused to let her return home after the events of 1916. The estrangement between them was made up before Robert’s death in 1923.

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Possibly Dr Kathleen Maguire, a colleague of Lynn’s, who had been involved with her in the Irish Suffrage movement. The two would later work together in founding St Ultan’s hospital.

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There are frequent references in Lynn’s diary to Mlle; it has not been possible to identify who this is, but it is clearly a close friend of Lynn’s.

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A Protestant Chaplin who visits Lynn in Kilmainham. This may be James Alexander Pearson who, from 1913, was curate of St James’ Church, Dublin.

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Lizzie Smartt appears frequently in the entries, for this period. She seems to be a friend of Lynn’s who was not involved in the Nationalist movement. It seems likely she was a member of the Smartt family, who were relatives of the Lynn family.

Dr Francis Smartt was Lynn’s first cousin, and had practised as a doctor, near Lynn’s childhood home in Mayo.

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One of two women, described by Lynn as prostitutes, who are briefly imprisoned with Lynn during her first few days in custody. 

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It has not been possible to identify who this is.

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In the early years of her diaries Lynn makes several references to E or Ella Young. This may be the Irish poet and mythologist, Ella Young (1867-1956).