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“There Was A Policeman There Firing”

On the morning of Easter Sunday 23 April, Volunteers of the Enniscorthy Battalion, Wexford Brigade paraded in the town under the watchful eye of Constable Grace, a member of the local RIC. Expecting that something else was planned other than maneouvres, the men were surprised to find that they were to be dismissed.

Word had reached the officers of the countermanding order. Over the next few days the company were told to be ready to mobilise. Peter Paul Galligan, Vice O/C Wexford Brigade, cycled to Dublin to find out more information and returned to Enniscorthy late Wednesday evening with definite word that the Rising had begun.

It was decided that the Volunteers would strike early the next morning and occupy the town. On Thursday the Volunteers under Seamus Doyle, Brigade Adjutant occupied the Athenaeum, Enniscorthy Castle, a number of banks and other buildings in the town. Men were posted on the roads coming into Enniscorthy.

One such outpost was set up on Castle Hill which gave commanding views of the town. However although the Volunteers had taken Enniscorthy quite easily, they had to face stiff resistance from the local RIC force, most notably Constable Grace.

This unnamed Volunteer describes the gun battle.

This unnamed veteran was interviewed for the programme 'The Boys of Wexford', broadcast on Radio Éireann, 11 April 1966. Map of Volunteer outposts in Enniscorthy town 1916, courtesy of Military Archives.


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