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“Naturally Being A Kid I Started To Cry”

Despite being only sixteen years old, Vinny Byrne was a member of ‘E’ Company, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers. His Battalion were told to mobilise on Easter Sunday at Fr Mathew Park, near Fairview.

On Sunday Eoin MacNeill’s countermanding order was printed in the newspapers. Byrne was told that he was to mobilise at the College of Surgeons the next morning.

On Monday morning while making his way along Stephen’s Green Byrne met Lieutenant Shields.

He said to me “Where are you goin’?” I said “I’m goin’ on parade”. He said “go on home”.

Byrne was unaware that a Rising was planned and was extremely upset that the officer would not let him parade. While going home he met Mick Colgan, also ‘E’ Company, who on seeing that Byrne was upset took him along to Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, which had been taken over by Commandant Thomas MacDonagh and his 2nd Battalion.

Vinny Byrne was arrested after the Rising but on account of his age he was released. During the War of Independence he was a member of the Active Service Unit, Dublin Brigade, IRA and ‘The Squad’.

Vinny Byrne was interviewed for the television series 'Ireland A Television History' in 1979.


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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