The text that follows is based on a booklet containing extracts from the 1916 diary of Eileen Chance, produced to coincide with a gathering of her descendants held on April 21st, 2016. The gathering was held at 90 Merrion Square, where the original diary was written. “90”, as it was known in the family, is now in the ownership of the National Gallery of Ireland and is used mainly as offices. Recently the first floor rooms have been refurbished in their original style as a reading room for the recently acquired papers of Sir Denis Mahon. It was in these rooms that much of the diary was most probably written and it was in these rooms that almost forty of Eileen’s descendants gathered to hear a dramatised version of the reading of the diary one hundred years later.
The residents of 90 Merrion Square in 1916 were family members Sir Arthur Chance (56), a surgeon; his wife, Eileen Chance (38), the writer of this diary; Norman Chance (28), Eileen’s stepson and an engineer; Arthur Chance, known as Duke, (26), stepson and surgeon; Alice Chance (25), stepdaughter and doctor; Ethel (14), daughter; Oliver, known as Bill, (12), son; George (11), son; Doreen (10), daughter; Leslie (9), son; Donald, known as Don, (8), son; Betty (7), daughter; Marjorie (4), daughter. The staff consisted of Moore (45), chauffeur; Esther (27), nanny; Edward and Collins, ages and occupations not known, and two unnamed maids. The diary and other information has been supplied to the drb by Francis Chance and Mary Chance.
Monday, April 24th, 1916
Feeling seedy with influenza, cold, remain in bed. Norman goes to the Island – Bill, George and Leslie for a day in the mountains. Father to the Mater Hospital. Duke is to play in the competition with Alex Hodgson.
Father brings in story of Sinn Feiners having taken the G.P.O.; says he saw men with revolvers and was advised by police to go home as soldiers were coming with guns. He returns by Butt Bridge and Westland Row, where people say the station too is held by Sinn Feiners. Fancy it is not serious.
Telephone from George V Hospital to say Duke is to get there as fast as he can, but not in uniform. Try to get him, catch him at Castle Golf Club. He is coming in.
They say Sinn Feiners are entrenching in Stephen’s Green and have taken College of Surgeons. Beginning to feel uneasy. All quiet outside, very little sign of life. News that Harcourt Street Station is taken. Very anxious about small boys, they are to come home via Dartry tram. Will they do it or come some other way? Things must be really serious, no trams running, shots being fired at Green and College Green. Telephone Dartry to look out for small boys. They promise to do so.
Duke arrives disguised as C. Wisdom Hely. There are some funny things about a rebellion and Duke at present is one. Wish we had news of small boys and that Norman was home.
Duke sets out in plain clothes for George V.
Telephone from Dartry – kids safe there and will be kept the night. All sorts of stories about people coming home from Fairyhouse races, that their cars are being taken and made into barricades in Stephen’s Green and elsewhere. Some shooting still going on in the Green.
Norman home and telephone from Duke so all is well. Streams of people went out for the day returning to town on foot. They look very tired. Pity the children. No trams at all. Early to bed.
Tuesday, April 25th, 1916
All go out to 8 o’clock Mass. No doubt of station being taken by Sinn Feiners. Call at 18 – Patrick had to walk home from Portmarnock. Made up our minds to get the kids from Dartry. Arrange for them to be left at Mrs. A.M. Sullivan’s and send Moore on foot for them. Telephone from Khyber Pass to get a message to Judge Fitzgerald. Telephone now in the hands of the military, only doctors and hospitals can be called. Norman walks to Clyde Road with message.
Bill, George and Leslie arrive. There was a barricade on Leeson Street Bridge they say – wish N was back. Constant firing at Stephen’s Green. Father and Edward go to look around, say there is a dead horse at the corner of the Green, a barricade of cars across the street and a machine gun blazing away from the Shelbourne. We hear that yesterday the fighting at Portobello was awful. Sinn Feiners in Davy’s public house fired on the people and soldiers. The R.I Rifles fired on them from the grounds of the barracks. No soldiers are allowed out of barracks. It is feared the Irish regiments cannot be trusted. Certainly there are no soldiers about. And the police are confined to barracks too. Every moment fresh reports come in. Things seem very serious. Wish I had the kids out of town. No newspapers, no post since Monday; no trains. Now they say that the Sinn Feiners are in the S. D. Union, Boland’s, Jacob’s and a number of corner houses, even in Mount Street and Grafton Street. Nothing to do but sit in the window. Everybody else doing the same. See women going by with bundles of hats and all sorts of things. Whoever had a jumble sale must have done very badly with all the upset.
Llama calls. He and Norman gone to look around. Every now and then great bursts of firing. 4.00 p.m.
Norman comes in with weird stories. Says that T.C.D. is sand bagged, a machine gun there rattling out at the Hibernian Bank (held by S.F.) as they passed. He says everyone felt uncomfortable. Llama goes along addressing everyone as “citizen”. There is a proclamation posted up warning everyone to keep out of the danger zone. Father bought a copy from a bill poster for sixpence. Funny there are no soldiers, it must be true about the Irish regiments. Glorious weather. Hard luck to be shut up. No news from Duke. No telephoning now at all, except military calls. Norman gone to Stoke’s for bridge – silly goat. Things are quiet so I suppose he is safe.
Wednesday, April 26th, 1916
Go to 8 o’clock mass. Norman safe home anyway. All quiet. Things must be nearly over. Still no posts, papers or trams. Firing all last night, very hard to sleep, must be in Stephen’s Green. Sounded very near. We get a bit of beef on our way home from mass. No hope of getting to Sullivan’s. Sheridan’s char woman who comes from York Street reports having seen dead soldiers and dead Sinn Feiners in the Green. It is true the S.F. have College of Surgeons, but it is the soldiers in the Shelbourne firing on the trenches in the Green that we hear. They say the O.T.C. have saved things for us; that they command the Banks in College Green, and also Kildare Street, which let the soldiers in the back way to the Shelbourne. The S.F.s can’t hold out much longer. Troops must turn up soon.
All very quiet. I let Alice and Esther take the kids to Stephen’s Green to peep round to see the barricade, dead horse, etc. They may never see such a sight again. Norman said he felt very uncomfortable coming from bridge at 1 a.m. He says he ran like a rabbit with his posteriors tucked in, passing the Leinster Lawn. He met Doris Lynch who tells a thrilling tale. At 4 a.m. last night a Sinn Feiner armed walked into her room, said they wanted the house and if the family did not clear out, they would be shot. The Lynches tumbled out and are now staying with friends in Merrion Square. Norman also says that Capt. de Burgh Daly was standing in the window of the University Club when Countess Markievicz stepped from behind the statue in the Green and fired at him. Norman saw the holes in the window. She is said to be in charge of the College of Surgeons. Great firing now, wish I had not let the kids go out.
Kids back – the last trip I will let them take till this is over. Great looting going on – Lawrence’s or Elvery’s or some such place. Little children playing with cricket bats and Silver Kings in Denzille Lane. Still no soldiers – where are they?
Awful firing somewhere near – Mount Street or Grattan Street I think. Norman gone on roof with glass. Can’t see anything. Father gone to corner. Lambert, Sir G. Roche, Collins and others, all looking towards Mount Street. What a row – it seems so near. Awful head from the constant firing. Poor people passing with all sorts of things, boots, etc. They say big guns are coming from the Curragh, part by rail and part by road, the railway is torn up, railway at Merrion torn up., and a bridge on the Great Northern at Donabate torn up too. Telephone from Duke – all well. Walls of hospital lined with soldiers. An attempt on General Head Quarters (beside George V) last night, but S. F. beaten off. S.F. hold the Four Courts and all the canal bridges, so there is no chance of Duke coming home. Martial Law has been declared. There is a notice posted on the corner of Lower Merrion Street but as Father hears you are sniped at if you go to read it, none of us have been. Still firing at Mount Street Bridge – machine guns and volley firing, they do make a row. A new noise now – big booms now and then; not big guns I think but much bigger and louder than anything we had yet.
Less firing down Mount Street way, though lots everywhere else. There is a big fire somewhere near Mount Street. Perhaps it is Boland’s and they have been shelling it.
Play bridge, but it is very hard to keep our minds on the game, with all the shots around us. Sometimes long pauses, then a burst of firing; some isolated sharp shots close to us. There are said to be snipers all over the place. We have taken an early dinner and high tea. It is very hard to manage for such a crowd – fifteen in the house to feed, wish we could get to Cabra but we seem hemmed in on every side. S.F. at Mount Street, Westland Row, G.P.O., Stephen’s Green and Leeson Street No use trying to get away. Early bed after very trying day. All our tempers getting short.
Thursday, April 27th, 1916
Wakened very early this morning – about 5 o’clock – by really big guns somewhere. The usual “crack-crack” all night, but this is something very big. Fire down Mount Street burned all night, and is now smoking. Beg Father to abandon Mass. Firing seems to come from down Westland Row. He thinks we should go. Round Westland Row corner with very sinking feeling. Nothing unusual except that we walk to mass on tea and sugar. People carrying off chests of tea; then taking bottles of sweets and smashing them on the pavement. Don’t like the feeling of looters so close to us. After mass urge the Sheridan’s to come to us as Westland Row is to be bombarded; also we fear a fire at Barrett’s the oil people beside them. They insist on sticking to their own ship. It is hard to know which is the safest place. Knock at Newmarket Dairy door; are let in with suspicion. Think we had better get supplies before all the shops are looted. Find Newmarket people removing their stock from the back of the shop – expect to be looted at any moment. We buy butter and cheese. Going home we meet Cooney going to see if his shop has been cleared out yet. Father returns with him and gets more beef. Come home to find that no bread or milk has arrived. The carts are being stopped and emptied in the streets. Norman and I go to Johnston Mooney’s. Find it closed and a crowd outside. A man calls to us that there is not a loaf in the place. See a crowd round a bakers cart near Kildare Street. Run up to it; find it surrounded by poor women and people like ourselves from Fitzwilliam and Merrion Street out for bread. Are lucky in getting a fair supply of fancy bread, as the women will only take plain loaves. Come home to find that Alice and Father have gone on a like quest. They return with the same result so thank God we have bread.
Father makes up his mind to provision. Spots a man from Findlater’s going along; gets him to open a side door, and Norman, Ethel, Moore and myself carry home by the back way flour, condensed milk, a side of bacon and a bladder of lard. I have rice, dried bean and dried peas in the house, so unless things are very bad we can’t starve. We have a chest of tea in the house. We hate the condensed and long to see a milkman. Set the kids tasks to try to keep them quiet, but find it impossible to keep them from the windows or to keep from them ourselves. Hear the heavy firing this morning was a gun-boat which slipped up the River and blew down Liberty Hall. This is a good job anyway. Great fuss in the Square. No 40 opposite has been made into a Hospital. V.A.D.s and doctors in white coats are going around commandeering mattresses from all the houses. Glad they have not come to us. Very funny to see all the people who don’t get up early, coming out on their doorsteps to look for milk and bread carts. Story O’Donnell, etc all going out now to hunt for food. Needless to say they won’t get any. Story just gone by with a cabbage under his arm and the Master of the Rolls with two loaves.
Soldiers have begun to arrive and are going into the city. At this corner they pause and at the word of command, run over the crossing to Clare Street. Lots of them coming now, they look very tired. More and more soldiers. A big batch of them have settled down here. They are filling sandbags with clay from the Square. They are taking the seats out of the Square and making a sandbagged barricade across Lower Merrion Street. Soldiers are lying behind it with rifles pointing down Merrion Street. We can’t think what they are at. Soldiers filling sandbags have been fired on. They are running from the Square and have sandbagged a place inside the gate opposite to us, and are firing over towards the south side of the Square. Our friends at the barricade are firing down Merrion Street. I have seen smoke coming out the top windows of Sir A. Macan’s, now a convent, and there are men on Martin Dempsey’s roof right opposite. With the glass we can see the men on Dempsey’s roof are soldiers. Great firing from there. We have just now discovered that the Convent had Sinn Feiners in it, and that Martin Dempsey’s have been turned out for the soldiers and Lahmann’s here beside us and facing up this side of the Square is a stronghold of Sinn Feiners, so we seem to be in a very hot corner.
Visit from Llama and Charlie Armstrong. They have persuaded N to go round to L’s rooms. Silly of Norman. It was published this morning proclaiming martial law, and warning us to stay indoors. Hard luck that the weather is so glorious. We have been sitting in the garden a bit but some shots seem so close that one gets jumpy. There is a very troublesome sniper on the roofs of Dawson Street, who has potted no end of people. They are blasting away at Stephen’s Green and now they say that the S.F. have been driven out of the open and are all in the College of Surgeons. No word from the Mater. No telephones at all. It is rather dreadful not to know what is happening round the city. The S.F. seem to have their plans well laid They have secured corner houses everywhere. The story of the Irish regiments being distrusted is untrue. Their not coming is due to the skill of the S.F. who have machine guns at Mount Street Bridge commanding Beggar’s Bush Barracks; Portobello Bridge commanding the barracks there; the S.D. Union commanding Richmond Barracks, and the Four Courts commanding the barracks near the Park. They say the country is rising too. The feeling just here is that we are like rats in a trap. I am not feeling as happy as I was. Even the soldiers here are in a fairly tight place.
A new turn of events here. A bombing party have crossed the Square through the bushes. A firing party are lying along the path opposite, with rifles towards the south side. The sentries are not allowing anyone to come down Merrion Street at all. I wish Norman was in. I have just spoken to the sentry saying that I will point out N. when he comes, and have got cheek in return – “If he is properly brought up, he will go back when I order him”. Have got on the soft side of another sentry with bread and tea. He promised to try and let Norman through. Awful young pup of an officer in command here. Bullying everyone and clearly jumpy. Asked by a Lieutenant to give the soldiers bread at any cost. We have just sent out a tray full of bread and jam sandwiches, and big jugs of tea. No butter left. Lieutenant tells Ethel, who has been out feeding the men, that they are very hard up for food. E.M. and maids not allowed to cross the street. Men clearly very hungry.
Great excitement now. Gun carriages drawn by mules are going into town. They come slowly to the corner, and then go galloping over the crossing. The troops have just been landed at Kingstown; have been in training only three weeks; and think we are all Sinn Feiners. They can’t understand how it is that we all speak English. Some of the officers, I hear, won’t let the troops take food or drink for fear it would be poisoned.
No Norman. He has not been let back. Our butter is finished, and thanks to the soldiers who have not let Norman back, our bread is very low. More condensed milk, it is horrid muck. No lights allowed in the front of the house after 7.30 – so we grope our way to bed in the dark. All evening long – “Put that light out or I fire,” from the sentries. They have shot out the street lights all round the square. Awful firing in Sackville Street direction, and now I am called from bed to the back of the house, to see that half the city seems to be on fire. What is to become of us all? I wish the Sherridans had left Westland Row. It seems a very dangerous spot. Very little sleep. Anxious about Norman. Put everyone sleeping in back of house.
Friday, April 28th, 1916
Wakened early by terrible firing in the street outside. Father and I leave our room in the front of the house hurriedly, and go to the back rooms. Sit and quake on a nursery bed whilst volley after volley is fired right at our door. Feel really shook up this time, and thankful that we were all at Mass and Communion yesterday. Miserable about Norman.
Slight pause in the firing. Dash into my room, grab my clothes and retire to back to dress with my heart in my boots. Lock the door of all front rooms to prevent a stray kiddy going to the windows. Come downstairs to find that two maids had set out at 6.30 to try to get bread. Breakfast on fried scraps of bread and tea. Hate the condensed milk. No sign of the maids. Am beginning to feel very gone in the knees. Put all the kids in the back drawingroom in charge of George. Send Alice and Doreen to wash with the old cook. Ethel and I go to make the beds. Heavy firing in front of the house has ceased, but all the time the sentries are shouting “Go back or I fire. One minute and I fire” to people trying to come down this way. No one, it seems, may round the corner of Merrion Row, and several times we see sentries firing over people’s heads who venture too far down. We are not allowed to open windows or doors, so no chance of speaking to sentry. Feel sick with fright over the maids and Norman. Hope they will not venture home.
Hear tramping on our roof, and so discover that soldiers are posted there.
Hear a volley of shots and a shout from Father – “Bring that man here. I am a doctor”. Rush to the window to see two motors stopped in the middle of the road. A man lying behind the second car kicking in the dust. The three other men still in the cars, with hands up. Recognise Sir Horace Plunkett in the first car. Stretcher bearers come and help Father to bring the shot man in here. The two men in the front car follow. Father calls to me to get beds ready. He thinks Mr Ponsonby is dying. Get beds ready with Ethel’s help. I go to the drawing room to tell the kids to pray hard that Norman and the maids will get back safe. Lock them in, and start downstairs. As I turn the corner of the stairs, they are just turning Mr Ponsonby over (he is lying on the hall floor) and I see a bad wound for the first time. His whole back seems to have been torn away. I don’t want to look and I can’t look away. It is a horrible sight. Hope I may never see such a terrible scene again. I feel very shaky. Mr Lane had his arm all torn, and Sir Horace had bullets through his coat in several places. It is decided on account of the children here, to move the wounded to Dr Bewley’s house next door. He has spare rooms. It appears that these three men, who are government officials, were summoned to the Castle on urgent business concerning the riots, and were told to come by this route. All the morning no one had been allowed to pass the top corner of Merrion Row, and sentries on the south side prevented anyone passing that way. They had some sense, and on seeing Sir Horace Plunkett’s pass let him through, so that the cars came very quickly round the turn halfway down, and were close to the sentries before they challenged. All held up their hands, and Mr P stood up in the car. This, I suppose, terrified the sentries who fired a volley. Ten shots went through the front car. How nobody was killed outright I don’t know. Mr Ponsonby is very bad. Father is looking after him and Mr Lane.
Joy. Norman and the maids have returned safely. Shooting a Privy Councillor seems to have cooled these soldiers in front; and seeing the maids aprons, they, I suppose, made up their minds they had no machine guns. The poor girls walked to Ballsbridge for bread and have been sitting at the corner of Merrion Street all the morning. Norman found them by the merest chance. He stayed the night at Llama’s rooms, and just looked out the window as the maids passed with their sacks of bread. Whilst they were sitting there a batch of Sinn Feiners passed on bicycles, flitting back and forwards silently like moths, and disappeared into Hume St. Our three wanderers have not had anything to eat, and are half dead.
Mr P still very bad.
Dr Bewley has just come in to say that the insurgents have surrendered unconditionally. Still lots of shooting. The fires in Sackville St are still blazing away.
Bed in the dark. Very thankful to be still alive.
Saturday, April 29th, 1916
No hope of going out. Still heavy firing on all sides, especially Westland Row. The news of the surrender cannot be true. Father has been sent for to the Castle Hospital. He has gone with Alice, both in white coats and red cross armlets. They will bring us back the real news. Mr Sullivan the butcher who lives on Northumberland Road, has been and told us the whole story of Mount Street Bridge to which he was an eye witness. The Sherwood Forrester’s were landed at Kingstown, and were marched by map to Dublin. Several people warned them when they came near Northumberland Road that some of the houses were held by Sinn Feiners. The Colonel, taking for granted that all Irish were Sinn Feiners and traitors would not take any advice, nor allow his men to touch food or water. The S.F. held the school house at Mount Street Bridge; the other three houses commanding the bridge, and the corner houses at Haddington Road. The tired thirsty soldiers were marched past Haddington Road and up almost to Mount Street Bridge when the Sinn Feiners opened fire with machine guns and rifles. Killed 70 soldiers right off. The rest dazed and terrified and thinking every house hostile, took shelter where they could, but the slaughter was awful.
Father, Alice, Dr Blayney and Dr Hayes have just come in by the back. Blayney and Hayes were in the Mater when the trouble began, and have been prisoners there ever since. Lucky for the Mater – have 50 dead, nearly all civilians. The Castle Hospital in a fearful way. Packed with wounded, and very short handed as so many doctors and nurses were away for Easter and could not get back. Alice is getting great value. Some Sinn Feiners have surrendered but those in Jacobs, Westland Row, and Lamans (here beside us) still hold out. No one except doctors and nurses are let move round. The fire in Sackville St is still burning.
Sunday, April 30th, 1916
A quiet day. Most of our time spent at the window watching ambulances fly by. Alice and Father are buzzing in and out all day, very busy at the Castle.
Duke came in this evening – first time since Easter Monday. He has had the time of his life. Two other men got to the hospital in time; both more or less physicians. All the surgery was handed over to the Duke; the other two treating him awfully well. He has been operating day and night; has done nearly every major operation, and is rubbing his chest and walking around himself. He has quite enjoyed the rebellion. Besides they had enough to eat. Still some firing and the wicked crack of the sniper. I hear they are picking off men all over the place.
Monday, May 1st, 1916
All quiet except for the snipers. Are going to take the kids to Cabra and leave them there. I will be thankful to get them out of town. When a batch of kids were dumped at school today, the nuns asked that we would send all ours, so I am going with a second party this afternoon. Longing to get out after all these days in the house.
Just back from Cabra. Sackville Street is an awful sight. Not a building standing from the Pillar to O’Connell’s Bridge. All Earl Street, Abbey Street and Henry Street in ruins. It almost made me weep. A man has just been shot in Westland Row by a sniper. They are finding it very hard to get hold of the snipers. However the worst is over now. Nothing remains but to pay the awful bill. When we were passing the Mater today a great coal lorry was taking away the bodies. Hundreds of killed reported and bodies being found every moment. Seventy were buried in the Castle Hospital garden. They are burying in the Hospital gardens, Stephen’s Green, anywhere fearing an outbreak of sickness. A procession of prisoners has just passed, a couple of hundred headed by a naval gun, such a tragic sight, lots and lots of women and young girls amongst them. There is hardly a whole pane of glass left in the south side of the square. Judge Boyd’s daughter (sitting in her room) had her hip broken, and Dr Richard Hayes’s son, his arm smashed in his house over there. We have been lucky, only some bullet marks on the brickwork. No windows smashed.
Notes April 24th
The Island: The Island Golf Club, Donabate, Co Dublin
Play in a competition: golf
Sinn Feiners: The rebels were commonly referred to as Sinn Feiners whereas they were made up of three factions: The Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army and the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
G.P.O.: General Post Office on Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street). One of the first buildings taken by the rebels and used as their headquarters throughout the rising.
George V Hospital: A British army military hospital in Arbour Hill. It was later used as a military hospital for the Irish Army and renamed St Bricin’s.
Duke: Nickname for Arthur Chance (Eileen’s stepson).
Castle Golf Club: On the Lower Churchtown Road. The land was originally part of the estate of Rathfarnham Castle.
Dartry: Affluent South Dublin suburb where Eileen’s father, William Martin Murphy, lived at Dartry Hall.
C Wisdom-Hely: Charles Wisdom-Hely was a businessman who owned a stationer and printers on Dame Street. He lived in Oakland, a large house on Highfield Road, Rathgar. He is mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses as a former employer of Leopold Bloom. The significance of Duke being disguised as him is not clear.
Fairyhouse: Racecourse on the Dublin-Meath border which would have been holding its Easter racing festival.
Notes April 25th
8 o’clock mass: The family would have attended St Andrew’s church in Westland Row. This was immediately next door to Westland Row (now Pearse) railway station, which was held by the rebels.
Patrick : 18 Westland Row
Mrs AM O’Sullivan: No information on her identity.
Moore: Chauffeur to the family.
Khyber Pass: Possibly Khyber Pass House, Sorrento Road, Dalkey. Home of Edward Fitzgerald, a solicitor.
Judge Fitzgerald: David Fitzgerald, a county court judge living at 18 Clyde Rd, Dublin 4.
Shelbourne: the Shelbourne Hotel on St Stephen’s Green.
Fighting at Portobello: The rebels took a number of strategic buildings with a view to preventing British army soldiers leaving Portobello Barracks.
R.I. Rifles: Royal Irish Rifles – a British army regiment.
S.D.Union: South Dublin Union, which was occupied by the rebels. Built as a workhouse, it is now St James’s Hospital.
Boland’s : A bakery and flour mills on Grand Canal Dock occupied by the Rebels.
Jacob’s : A biscuit factory on Bishop Street occupied by the rebels.
Jumble Sale: It is more likely that the “bundles of hats and all sorts of things” were a product of the widespread looting rather than meant for a jumble sale.
Llama: A friend of Norman and Arthur. Unable to get more information on his identity. T.C.D.: Trinity College Dublin
Hibernian Bank: On the corner of Lower Abbey Street and Sackville (now O’Connell) Street.
Stoke’s: No information
Notes April 26th
Sullivan’s: Possibly Daniel Sullivan, Victualler (Butcher), 59 Parnell Street. His home was at 65 Northumberland Road.
O.T.C.: Officer Training Corps, a section of the British Army Reserve for the training of future officers.
Leinster Lawn: Gardens in front of the nearby Leinster House, which is now the seat of the Irish Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament).
Doris Lynch: Possibly from 24 Lower Leeson Street.
Captain De Burgh Daly: Charles De Burgh Daly aka Charlie Daly.
University Club: A gentleman’s club located on St Stephen’s Green.
Countess Markievicz: Second-in-command of the rebel troops at St Stephen’s Green. Upon surrendering, she is reported to have kissed her revolver before handing it over to the British officer.
Laurence’s: Lawrence’s photographic and toy emporium on Sackville St (now O’Connell St). It was the source of the Lawrence Collection of early Irish postcards.
Elvery’s: A sports shop on Sackville St.
Silver Kings: A make of golfball.
Lambert: Sir Lambert Hepenstal Ormsby (1849-1923) lived at 92 Merrion Sq West. He was surgeon to the Meath Hospital for fifty-one years. He founded the Association for the Housing of the Very Poor in Dublin.
Sir G Roche: Sir George Roche, joint president of the Law Society of Ireland 1901/02, who lived at 76 Merrion Square.
Collins: No information on his identity.
Cabra: A convent boarding school, probably run by the Dominican Sisters, attended by some of the children. Doreen, then aged five, is listed as the youngest boarder there in the 1911 census.
Great Northern: A railway service linking Dublin to Belfast. The rebels tore up the line to disrupt the sending of British army reinforcements from Belfast.
Curragh: Military camp on the Curragh plain in Co Kildare.
Mount Street Bridge: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge involved a small number of rebels strategically placed in houses surrounding the bridge, ambushing the Sherwood Foresters Regiment on their way from the port of Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire) into Dublin. There were a high number of British army casualties.
Notes April 27th
Sheridan’s: Edward Sheridan, 18 Westland Row.
Barrett’s: Possibly Robert Thomas Barrett (52), 2 Pembroke Park, a general merchant, and his son Albert (16) a clerk.
Newmarket Dairy: A dairy company based in West Cork with a shop at 5 Merrion Street Lower in Dublin.
Cooney : Christopher Cooney, shopkeeper, 41 Westland Row.
Johnston Mooney’s: A large Dublin bakery.
Findlater’s: A general grocers, tea, wine and spirits importer. The nearest branch would have been in Leinster Street.
Bladder of Lard: Lard (rendered pig’s fat used in cooking) was sold and stored in the pig’s bladder.
Liberty Hall: Headquarters of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union and of the Irish Citizen Army.
No. 40: 40 Merrion Square, home of Mary Cullen, her daughter Ellen and a servant, Elizabeth Ryan.
V.A.D. s: Voluntary Aid Detachment, a voluntary unit providing field nursing services, mainly in hospitals.
Possibly John O’Donnell, a physician, born in Donegal and living at 3 Merrion Square North.
Master of the Rolls: Judge Charles O’Connor was the last Irish Master of the Rolls (a senior position in the judiciary), serving from 1912 until 1924. He lived for a time at 50 Upper Mount Street and afterwards leased 28 Fitzwilliam Place.
Sir A Macan’s now a convent: Sir Arthur Macan, master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital had lived at 53 Merrion Square. He greatly reduced sepsis and performed the first successful Caesarean section in Ireland in 1889. The Convent of St Marie Reparatrice was at 53-54 Merrion Square South.
Martin Dempsey: Dr Martin Dempsey, 35 Merrion Square East.
Lahmann’s (or Laman’s): Probably a house, with a good view of the tramline, near the northwestt corner of Merrion Square, at the junction with Clare Street and Merrion Street Lower.
Charlie Armstrong: A friend of Norman and Arthur who remained close to the Chance family all his life and was referred to as Uncle Charlie.
The Mater: The Mater Misericordiae Hospital on North Circular Road.
Notes April 28th
Sir Horace Plunkett (1854–1932): Living at 84 Merrion Square South. He was a noted agricultural reformer and a pioneer of the agricultural cooperative movement.
Mr Ponsonby: Thomas Brazabon Ponsonby (1878-1946), a nephew of Horace Plunkett. He lived in Kilcooley Abbey, a large house and estate on the Kilkenny/Tipperary border, where he is buried. Luckily, the bullets that hit Tom Ponsonby did not hit his spine or lungs. He was moved to the Castle Hospital, where he made a good recovery. The men were on their way to Dublin Castle for a meeting at 11 am of the Food Committee, set up to deal with the lack of food in Dublin due to the rising. Normally fresh food would be brought into the city daily from the country. Officials at Dublin Castle had instructed them to come by way of Merrion Square West. The soldiers should have known to let them through. They were in two cars, Plunkett and Lane in the first and Tom Ponsonby in the second with a Mr Needham.
Dr Bewley: Henry J Bewley, 89 Merrion Square West.
Shooting a Privy Councillor: The Privy Council of Ireland was a formal body of advisers to the sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership was mainly comprised of senior politicians, who were present or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.
Notes April 29th
Castle Hospital: During the First World War (1914-1918) parts of Dublin Castle were used as a Red Cross military hospital for British troops wounded on the front lines. During the rising civilians and rebels were also treated there, including the leader of the Irish Citizen Army, James Connolly.
Dr Blayney: Surgeon Alex Blayney, reported to have never once left the Mater Hospital for the duration of Easter week. Operating day and night, in terrible conditions, as gas and electricity lines had been cut. He lived at 15 Merrion Square North.
Dr Richard Hayes: Richard A Hayes, a physician, lived at 82 Merrion Square South.
Alice is getting great value: At the time there were restrictions on the extent to which women doctors could practise medicine. Clearly these restrictions were eased during the rising, giving Alice the opportunity to gain valuable medical experience.
Mr Sullivan, the butcher: Daniel Sullivan, who lived at 65 Northumberland Road and had a shop in Parnell Street.
Notes May 1st
Pillar: Nelson’s Pillar, a famous Dublin landmark; a memorial to Lord Horatio Nelson, on Sackville (O’Connell) Street near the GPO. It was blown up in 1966, the year of the 50th anniversary of the rising.
Judge Boyd: Walter Boyd lived at 66 Merrion Square South.