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“I Woke Up And Heard The Machine Gun Fire”

Paddy Buttner remembers he was woken by the sound of machine gun fire raining down on his position in Stephen’s Green Park in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The garrison returned fire but it was no use, the park offered little protection from attack. It was decided to retreat to the safety of the College of Surgeons which was close by. Countess Markievicz was present and began to prepare the men and women for the evacuation.

The Countess was wonderful. She was going around, crawling along and giving us orders, what to do.

They crawled along using the railings as cover. In the meantime some men had taken over the College of Surgeons and other buildings on the western side of the park and drew the fire of the British soldiers from the Shelbourne Hotel and University Church. The safest way to get to the College was for the garrison to cross the street in small groups under cover of fire from their comrades on the rooftops. They finally made it to York Street and from there crossed the small street and entered the College of Surgeons.

Paddy Buttner was a member of the Irish Citizen Army Scouts.

Paddy Buttner was interviewed for the radio series 'The Week of the Rising' broadcast on Radio Éireann, 12 April 1966.


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