“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.

FOR MORE CONTENT...

MANY THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY CONTRIBUTOR, OUR AMBASSADORS AND TOUR GUIDES

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, www.irishmusik.com

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.

RTÉ Commercial Enterprises Limited, Registered in Dublin, Registration Number:155076.
Registered Office: Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Ireland.