“He Received Us With Open Arms”

On Easter Monday Eilís Ní Riain, her sister Áine and Emily Elliot went to the GPO but were refused entry. Determined to take part in the Rising they made their way to Reis’s Chambers across the street and were let into the building by ‘Blimey’ O’Connor.

Eliís recalls that the men in Reis’s were starving having eaten all their rations. In need of food the three women returned to the GPO under heavy fire but were stopped by a sentry at the door.

We forced our way through them.

Eventually they saw the ‘Food Controller’ Desmond Fitzgerald who refused to give the women any food as they had not brought an order from their Commanding Officer. He demanded they return to get the order. The women refused and in clear terms told Fitzgerald what they would do.

If you’re not giving it to us we’ll take it.

Finally he relented and gave them a small ration for the garrison and Eilís and her comrades returned safely to Reis’s.

Eilís Ní Riain (later Eilís Bean Ui Chonaill) was a member of the Central Branch, Cumann na mBan.


Eilís Ní Riain (Eilís Bean Ui Chonaill) was interviewed for the programme 'Donncha's Sunday Women of the 1916 Rising' broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1, 27 April 1986. Photograph of Eilís Ní Riain in uniform courtesy of Military Archives.

MANY THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY CONTRIBUTOR, OUR AMBASSADORS AND TOUR GUIDES

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, www.irishmusik.com

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.

RTÉ Commercial Enterprises Limited, Registered in Dublin, Registration Number:155076.
Registered Office: Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Ireland.