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“Our Ship Won’t Be Here Until Tomorrow”

Volunteer Murt O’Leary was chosen to pilot the arms ship the Aud into Fenit Pier on Easter Sunday.

On the night of Holy Thursday O’Leary noticed a large steamer off the coast. The next morning, Good Friday, he saw a British patrol boat coming alongside the ship. After about two hours the patrol boat sailed off. That was not the last time Murt would see the authorities.

About three or four o’clock that evening we saw three great big destroyers coming up from the west.

The ship he was watching was in fact the Aud which was laden with arms from Germany that were to be used in the Easter Rising. The Kerry Volunteers had been told the ship would arrive on Easter Sunday. Unknown to them the Aud arrived three days early.

The next day, Saturday, Murt met fellow Volunteer Pat Ashe who told him that a man had been arrested at Banna Strand. As they were expecting the Aud on Sunday they did not think it was anything to worry about.

The man that had been arrested was in fact Roger Casement.

Mortimer ‘Murt’ O’Leary was a member of the Castlegregory Company, 4th Battalion, Kerry No. 1 Brigade, Irish Volunteers.


Murt O'Leary was interviewed by Brendan Ó Ciobhain on 22 May 1969.  Photograph of Roger Casement, Cashman collection, courtesy of RTÉ Archives.


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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