Despite having received the countermanding order, once word arrived that Dublin had risen, the Volunteers in East Galway were determined to make a stand. Under the command of Liam Mellows units from Castlegar, Oranmore, Clarinbridge, Athenry, Claregalway and other localities mobilised.
Over the coming days the Volunteers attacked local RIC barracks. In response to these attacks large scale reinforcements were sent from Galway city and later Dublin.
On Tuesday 25 April Mellows ordered an attack on Clarinbridge RIC barracks. Despite their best efforts the building could not be taken. Realising that reinforcements would arrive at any time, Martin ‘Mattie’ Neilan was ordered by Mellows to take a small party of men and attack the police and military trying to get to Clarinbridge.
Neilan and his men captured four RIC men who had come from Kilcolgan but not without incident.
Martin ‘Mattie’ Neilan was a member of the Clarinbridge Company, Galway Brigade, Irish Volunteers.
Mattie Neilan was interviewed for the programme 'The Rising in Galway' broadcast on Radio Éireann, 4 April 1966.