“We Were Hoping For The Best But We Didn’t Expect It”

Rónán Ceannt was nine years old in 1916 and the only child of Éamonn and Áine Ceannt.

Although at first many of the citizens of Dublin were hostile to the Volunteers, their attitude began to change after the first executions began on 3 May. After the death of John MacBride on 5 May, suddenly the executions stopped. As one of the leaders it was very unlikely that Ceannt would not be executed.

Remembering that time Rónán Ceannt states that he and his mother were told that his father was sentenced to three years penal servitude. Despite his young age Rónán didn’t quite believe the newspaper reports,

I realised that was a little bit too much to hope for.

Despite what the newspapers had reported, at dawn on the 8 May, Éamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin, Con Colbert and Seán Heuston were executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol.

Although devastated after his father’s execution Rónán recalls that

There was so much excitement… so many masses and so forth were being said, one was buoyed up.

 


Rónán Ceannt was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' on 21 November 1965.

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