Our Accounts Manager, Jackie Carroll, recalls the part her grandfather played in 1916…
All of my family are very proud of the fact that my grandfather was in the GPO during the Easter Rising in 1916.
Born in 1898 Patrick Carroll was a very young man at the time and was a member of the Irish Citizen Army (Boys Corp) which had been founded by Countess Markievicz in 1914. The members were mostly sons of members of the Irish Citizen Army (which had been formed in 1913 in the aftermath of the great strike of The Irish Transport and General Workers Union, better known as ‘The Lockout’).
When James Larkin left Ireland for America in October, 1914 the Citizen Army came under the command of James Connolly. During the Lockout the ICA had been a workers’ self-defence militia, but Connolly transformed it into a revolutionary organisation dedicated to the creation of an Irish socialist republic.
In June, 1914 Countess Markievicz, Michael Mallin and Seamus McGowan organised a get together of boys at Croydon Park in Fairview and suggested the formation of an ICA Scouting Corp. About 20 boys signed up that day or shortly afterwards. The boys were trained at Liberty Hall and in Camden Street in a hall that Markievicz had rented for Na Fianna Eireann. They trained in Drilling (with help from the Fianna) and First Aid with Dr. Kathleen Lynch.
The average age of the boys in the Corp was fifteen and nearly all of them were involved in the Easter Rising, divided between the GPO and St. Stephen’s Green. Sadly three of the members were killed in action during Easter week, Fred Ryan, James Fox and Charlie D’Arcy.
My own grandfather was deployed to the GPO to erect barricades and deliver dispatches. When the order to evacuate was given he was stationed at the ground floor windows. After the surrender he was taken to Richmond Barracks and then released on May 12th due to his young age.
Patrick went on to serve with the Irish Citizen Army from 1917 until the Truce and then joined C. Company, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade. He took the Republican side in the Civil War and when the fighting broke out he was posted to 42, North Great George’s Street. This position came under fire so Patrick and his party evacuated to Healy’s Public House in Marlborough Street and held out for another week. He continued to serve while on the run for three weeks but when he was in charge of an arms dump at 59, Capel Street Patrick was arrested and interned in Mountjoy jail and Tintown Camp, the Curragh, from April to October, 1923.
When he left the army, my grandfather was employed in W. D. & H. O. Wills (a cigarette factory) and then in the Department of Social Welfare. He married Christine and they went on to raise 14 children. Patrick passed away in April, 1971 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.