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“The First Shot Should Be Fired At Dublin Castle”

On Easter Monday Captain Sean Connolly led a section of the Irish Citizen Army to the gates of Dublin Castle. Constable James O’Brien was killed when he ordered them to halt. Sean Connolly and his party then took over City Hall.

Helena Molony recalls how a short time later she was on the roof when Sean Connolly was fatally wounded while hoisting a flag.  She tried to save him but it was too late.

I said a prayer into his ear as he went, and he was dead. 

On Tuesday the building was completely surrounded by British soldiers and the garrison was forced to surrender. Dr Kathleen Lynn, the most senior surviving officer led the group from City Hall.

They were arrested and taken to nearby Ship Street Barracks and held for eight days before being transferred to Richmond Barracks.

Helena Molony was a member of the women’s section of the Irish Citizen Army.

Helena Molony was interviewed for the radio series 'The Week of the Rising' broadcast on Radio Éireann, 11 April 1966. Photograph of City Hall courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.


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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