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“He Challenged Peadar Macken”


On Easter Monday fifteen year old John A Flynn mobilised with his Company at Brunswick Street (Pearse Street) and marched off to occupy Boland’s Bakery, and other strategic outposts in the surrounding area.

Commandant Éamon de Valera was in charge of this district and it was his responsibility to halt the advance of reinforcements that would arrive from Britain once the Rising began.

Flynn was one of those chosen to guard a section of the railway line between Westland Row and Lansdowne Road and took up position at Clarence Street Bridge.

De Valera’s men were to experience some of the most intense fighting during the Easter Rising. The Volunteers were on high alert and under great strain and unfortunately this lead to accidental shootings.

One such incident happened on 27 April when Peadar Macken, Captain of ‘B’ Company, 3rd Battalion was accidentally shot after he was challenged by a sentry on Clarence Street (Macken Street) bridge. Flynn, who was present at the time recalls that Macken did not hear the sentry call to him.

He challenged him a second time, still no reply… the sentry raised his gun and shot him.

Macken was shot in the stomach and was taken to Boland’s. He died of his wounds soon after.

John A Flynn was a member of ‘B’ Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers.

John A Flynn was interviewed for the television programme 'Going Strong', broadcast on 20 May 1981.


Abbey Theatre, An Garda Siochana, Association of Professional Genealogists Ireland, Band of An Garda Siochana, Buswells Hotel, Capuchin Friary, Century Ireland, Cobblestone, Conradh na Gaeilge, Dubray Books Grafton Street, Dublin Fire Brigade Pipe Band, Dublin Institute of Technology, Eason’s O’Connell Street, Gallery of Photography. Garda Historical Society, Generator Hostel, Glasnevin Trust, Grafton Barbers, Hodges Figgis Dawson Street, Irish Film Archive, Irish Veteran & Vintage Car Club. John Shevlin Millinery, Little Museum of Dublin, Louis Copeland & Sons, Manning's Bakery, Massey Funeral Directors, Maynooth University, Merrion Square Artists Association, National College of Art and Design, National Library of Ireland, National Museum at Collins Barracks, National Transport Museum of Ireland, NUI Galway, Poetry Ireland, Queen's University Belfast, Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, Royal Hibernian Academy, St Michan's Church of Ireland Parish, St Michan's Roman Catholic Parish, St Vincent de Paul, SIPTU, The Four Courts, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, University of Ulster, Whyte’s Irish Art & Collectables, National Print Museum, Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers, ICA, Feltmakers Ireland, Irish Woodturners Guild, Doran Barber Shop The Pram Doctor, The Merrion Square Artists Association, The Dice Bar, Third Space, The Family Resource Centre St. Michael’s Estate, Brown Bag Films, The Stoneybatter and Smithfield People’s History Project, The Revenue Museum,

RTÉ would like to gratefully acknowledge the support and participation of the individual speakers who were kind enough to share their research and private collections with the public as part of the RTÉ Reflecting the Rising project. A big thanks also to the many volunteers and actors who gave their time so generously to help make RTÉ Reflecting the Rising a memorable and successful day.

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