“Regular Hell Opened Up”

Séamus Kavanagh was one of four men stationed in Robert’s Yard on the morning of Wednesday 26 April. Robert’s Yard was located between Mount Street Bridge and Grand Canal Bridge. From their location Kavanagh and his comrades had commanding views of both bridges and were in prime position to attack any British reinforcements coming into the city.

That day members of the Sherwood Foresters arrived at Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) and marched towards the city via Northumberland Road and came under attack from the Volunteers who were in positions covering Mount Street Bridge. The Sherwood’s were ordered to take the bridge ‘at all costs’.  As a result they suffered heavy losses. As Kavanagh recalls

Bullets were flying here, there and everywhere.

The battle lasted for hours, and the Volunteers could only be removed once the military had received reinforcements and bombs and grenades from the nearby Elm Park Bombing School.

Kavanagh and his comrades were able to evacuate their position in Robert’s Yard and return safely to their headquarters at Boland’s Bakery.

Séamus Kavanagh was Signal Officer, ‘C’ Company, 3rd Battalion, Irish Volunteers.


Séamus Kavanagh was interviewed for the programme 'The Reluctant Surrender', broadcast on Radio Éireann, 3 April 1972. Photograph of Robert's Yard (right), Clanwilliam Place courtesy of Military Archives.

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