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“There’s Bloody Murder Outside On The Green”

Noel Purcell was fifteen years old when the Easter Rising took place. He was working as a stage-hand in the Gaiety Theatre on the production of ‘HMS Pinafore’. He and his colleagues heard that there was a commotion outside.

When they got to the corner of Grafton Street they saw the Irish Citizen Army occupying Stephens Green park. Soon after they heard a gun shot and saw a policeman on the ground. They went to assist him but it was too late. There were a few more shots and as Purcell says.

We took out and we ran like blazes down King Street.

Noel Purcell continued his training in the Gaiety Theatre and went on to become a star of the stage and screen appearing in such films as ‘Moby Dick’ (1956), ‘The Rising of the Moon’ (1957) and ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ (1962).

Noel Purcell was interviewed for the programme 'Noel Purcell Talks to Pádraic Ó Raghallaigh' broadcast on RTÉ Radio, 7 January 1978. Photograph of Noel Purcell 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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