James Connolly was dying from a gunshot wound to the ankle received while inspecting an outpost of the GPO on Thursday 27 April. After Patrick Pearse surrendered to General Lowe, Connolly was taken prisoner to Dublin Castle. Despite the fact that he was not going to live, as a leader of the Rising, he was court martialed and like his fellow signatories sentenced to death.
On the eve of his execution Connolly’s wife Lillie and eldest daughter Nora visited him in the Castle. Nora, recalling the last time she would see her father remembers him trying to remain strong for the family. As his eldest child that responsibility would now fall on Nora’s shoulders.
When no one was looking he slipped her a copy of the statement he made at his court martial which she was to have published.
Finally word came that they had to leave.
Then they told us time was up and we would have to go he was to be shot at dawn.
James Connolly was executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol on 12 May. He was forty-seven years old.
Nora Connolly was Chief Officer, ‘Betsy Gray’ Sluagh, Na Fianna Éireann and O/C Cumann na mBan, Belfast.
Nora Connolly O'Brien was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' on 30 October 1965.