“This Building Was Quickly Put Into A State Of Defence”

Harry Nicholls was  Captain of ‘A’ Company, 4th Battalion, Irish Volunteers. Due to the countermanding order he did not fight with his unit under Éamonn Ceannt but instead found himself fighting with the Citizen Army in Stephen’s Green. He describes the take over the College of Surgeons on Tuesday and how they barricaded the building.

Wednesday morning he was ordered by Commandant Michael Mallin to occupy the Turkish Baths with a small group of men. Discovering the building was not secure against attack, they set about barricading the doors and windows. With limited numbers the men took it in turns to sleep.

Four hours of duty were fixed and any man not on duty had to lie down and rest.

He recalls their daily routine and how despite their food rations being meagre, the two members of Cumann na mBan attached to his command looked after them very well.

Harry Nicholls was Captain of ‘A’ Company, 4th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers.


Harry Nicholls was interviewed for 'I Was There' broadcast on Radio Éireann, 19 April 1960. Photograph of the Turkish Baths (Green Cinema) courtesy of Military Archives.

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