“The Lancers Are Coming”

On the morning of Easter Monday, ‘E’ Company, 4th Battalion, also known as ‘Pearse’s Own’ made their way from Rathfarnham into the city by tram. When they arrived at Liberty Hall they discovered that the Headquarters Battalion had already moved off and occupied the General Post Office. They soon received word that they too were to go to the GPO.

Just as they arrived at the GPO, the Lancers came down O’Connell Street and were heading straight towards them.  Despite shouts of warning coming from their comrades in the GPO, their Commanding Officer did not seem too worried about the situation. He ordered his men to line up in formation.

Desmond Ryan recalls Volunteer Eamon Bulfin shouting to the men,

Smash the windows you bloody fools.

Although every Volunteer got into the GPO unharmed, those already in the building were not so lucky as a result of the glass being smashed in on top of them.

All the Red Cross workers said afterwards that window did more damage to the Volunteers than the whole British Army.

Desmond Ryan was a member of ‘E’ Company (Pearse’s Own), 4th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers.


Desmond Ryan was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'The Survivors' in 1964.

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