“The RIC Had Gone By The Time We Came Back”

Due to the publication of the countermanding order there was great confusion all over the country among the Volunteers. In Ferns, the local company waited for orders from their Commanding Officers in Enniscorthy.

On Tuesday, 25 April, they decided to march into Enniscorthy but on the way, were met by a scout who told them they were not to go into the town. Over the next two days they waited for orders. Finally on Thursday, they were informed that the Volunteers had taken Enniscorthy and they were to go there.

Patrick Ronan, Acting O/C, Ferns Company and his men weren’t in the town long when they received word that British soldiers had been seen and were heading in their direction. Ronan and his comrades were ordered to go to Ferns and occupy the RIC barracks in order to prevent the military getting to Enniscorthy.

When they got to Ferns they discovered the RIC barracks had been evacuated. With no opposition they Volunteers set up their headquarters in the barracks and waited.

Patrick Ronan was 2nd Lieutenant, Ferns Company, Irish Volunteers. During the Easter Rising he was promoted to the rank of Acting O/C, Ferns Company.


Patrick Ronan was interviewed for the programme 'The Boys of Wexford', broadcast on Radio Éireann, 11 April 1966. Photograph of Ferns Castle courtesy of RTÉ Archives.

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