A Wicklow-Man's Daily Account of the Easter 1916 Rising - Richard Sheane (1/5)

Photo:Author Richard Sheane

Author Richard Sheane

Source: Wicklow Historical Society Journal

Monday April 24

Richard Sheane

Richard Sheane was the proprietor of Sheane Brothers & Company, an engineering firm and foundry in Wicklow Town.  Born to Richard and Susan Sheane of Coolnakilly, Glenealy in 1871, Richard married Alice Haskins in 1908 and they lived at Morton’s Lane, Wicklow Town with their two children Sydney and Margaret.  Richard died in 1955 at the age of 84.

By kind permission of the Wicklow Historical Society - published in Wicklow Historical Society Journal Vol. 3. No.1. 2002. 

A Day Out In Dublin

On Monday April 24th being the day preceding the opening of the Spring Show at Ballsbridge, my brother and I drove to the Show yard to arrange our Stand (No. 92) for the show, and knowing that we would have some time to spare in the afternoon, I brought my wife, and the kiddies, also my sister-in-law Mrs. Condell, intending after we were finished in the Show ground, that we would spend the afternoon in the Phoenix Park, and the Zoo.

We had at first planned that the ladies and the kiddies would go direct to the Park, leaving us at the Show yard, but as we expected to complete our work there in about two hours, they decided to wait ’til we were ready, and then all go together. In the light of subsequent events, this latter arrangement was very fortunate for all concerned.

It also served to remind us of a rumour, which we had heard earlier in the day; to the effect; that, the Sinn Feiners, had taken possession of the General Post Office

We had our work completed at about 2 p.m. and after we had eaten our lunch, we decided to leave the motor at Ballsbridge, and go to the Park by tram, we walked to the end of the Elgin Road to get the tram to the Pillar. During this short walk from the show premises across the bridge, to the tram stopping place at the Elgin Road we noticed that there were no trams to be seen, going either into or from the City. This was very unusual, and rather surprised us. It also served to remind us of a rumour, which we had heard earlier in the day; to the effect; that, the Sinn Feiners, had taken possession of the General Post Office. This was being told, more as a joke, than a sober fact. But we were now to learn that it was a grim reality,  and only a small part of what had really happened: for we afterward learned that they had not only done so,  but had shot dead two Lancers in the street.

'A Party Of Pro Germans In Ireland'

As we reached the tram stopping place, we could see that at the various stopping places up along the road, groups  of  people were waiting for trams, and we noticed a tram conductor coming along from group to group, telling something which appeared to be extremely interesting, and to excite emotions of different  kinds  in  those  who  heard it. Some seemed to be paralysed by the news imparted, others filled with fear, and a desire to get to the shelter of their homes as quickly as possible, and still others who with a longing to hear more, followed the man down the road.

Photo:Smoking remains of tramcar in city centre

Smoking remains of tramcar in city centre

Military Press Bureau

This we could see, but what it was all about, we had still to learn. The man had now reached the group, of which we formed a part and to our enquiry; as to when we might expect a tram to take us into the City, he informed us that "the sorra a tram ye’ll get to-day at all, for the Sinn Feiners has took the power station an stopped em all, an the've took Westland Row Station, an the Post Office, an druv the Lancers back to Barracks ‘bad scren to thim.” This was surely startling enough, but one lady in the group, who had evidently not heard the news quite clearly, enquired whether they had landed at the North Wall, or at Howth; after a little explanation, it transpired that she was under the impression that the Germans had got past the British fleet, and landed in Dublin. She was somewhat re-assured when it was explained that the aggressors, were that party of Pro-Germans in Ireland, which we know as Sinn Feiners.

Plans Abandoned

We had of course to abandon our plan of going into the City or the Park, as we were under the impression that neither place was at present suitable for a pleasure party, the majority of whom were women and children. We therefore wended our way towards Kingstown, and near Blackrock, met a party of Nationalist Volunteers, marching to the aid of the Military.

We had of course to abandon our plan of going into the City or the Park, as we were under the impression that neither place was at present suitable for a pleasure party

We found Kingstown in a tremendous state of excitement; the streets full of people, some trying to get conveyances to the City, others to the country. No trains were running in either direction, as the rebels were in possession of the railway; most of the motor cars belonging to the town, were held up in the City.

Here we heard that the Citizen Army formed by Larkin, was entrenched in Stephen’s Green.

We had tea in Kingstown, and spent an enjoyable hour in the Picture House there, after which we drove home to Wicklow via Dalkey and Bray, reaching home without mishap.

This page was added by David Kinsella on 22/04/2016.

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