“We Decided We’d Carry On”

Simon Donnelly, 1st Lieutenant, ‘C’ Company, 3rd Battalion was attending mass in Whitefriar Street Church on Sunday morning when he heard of the countermanding order. He made his way to Camden Row, where the Volunteers regularly practiced drill and found a scene of confusion.

Finally word came through that there was to be no mobilsation for now but the men were to await further orders. Fearful that they could all be arrested, scouts were sent to the various mobilsation points nearby to alert anyone who might not yet know of what had happened.

Donnelly and his 2nd Lieutenant Michael Malone remained in Camden Row. Later that evening, their Commanding Officer Captain Byrne informed them he would not disobey Eoin MacNeill’s countermanding order.

That left us in a bit of a mess. We were without our Captain.

Simon Donnelly was promoted to Captain ‘C’ Company, 3rd Battalion. Due to the countermanding order ‘C’ company was greatly reduced in strength with roughly only forty men mobilising on Easter Monday.

Simon Donnelly was promoted to the rank of Captain ‘C’ Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers on Easter Sunday 1916.


Simon Donnelly was interviewed for the radio series 'The Week of the Rising' broadcast on Radio Éireann, 10 April 1966. Photograph of Camden Row courtesy of RTÉ Archives.

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