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“There Was Severe Fighting At The Back Gate”

The South Dublin Union was a huge workhouse on the south side of the city and was one of the largest sites occupied by the Volunteers during Easter Week. Under the command of Éamonn Ceannt members of the 4th Battalion, Irish Volunteers took over a number of buildings within the Union.

Joseph Doolan explains how the men were divided into sections and sent to a number of outposts across the site and recalls heavy fighting that took place at the Rialto Gate.

Ceannt had a Peter the Painter gun…himself and Brugha had Peter the Painters and I can remember the crack of the gun from those two men.

Each evening Commandant Ceannt called his men together and after a short prayer provided them with an update on what he knew was happening across the city.

Joseph Doolan was a member of  ‘A’ Company, 4th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers.

Joseph Doolan was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' on 21 November 1965.


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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