History 2017-03-31T08:24:36+00:00

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Co. Kildare People and the events of 1916

On Easter Monday 1916, sixteen hundred men, women and children went out to fight for an independent Ireland. The battle raged in Dublin for six days and resulted in four hundred and eighty-five deaths and the destruction of many parts of the city. While predominately a Dublin affair, many of the Volunteers were from outside the city; twenty-four Kildare men and women took part in the Rising, including fifteen who walked from Maynooth to the General Post Office. Nine Kildare natives were killed in the Rising, while dozens more were wounded or imprisoned in the aftermath. Chief financier of the Rising was Kildare-born John Devoy, leader of Clann na nGael in America.

On Wednesday 19th April, Captain Tom Byrne brought news to Naas from GHQ in Dublin that a nationwide rising was to take place on Sunday 23rd April using the Volunteers’ scheduled manoeuvres in Dublin as a cover. He was ordered to mobilise all the companies in the county and march to Bodenstown where they would assemble, blow-up the railway bridge, and march on Dublin. All companies promised a good turnout. However, due to Eoin MacNeill’s countermanding order, confusion reigned in County Kildare. Five Volunteer companies mobilised for action but stood down when they received the countermanding order.

The plans to blow up the railway bridge at Bodenstown failed and Capt. Byrne, Lieutenant O’Kelly and Tom Harris made their way to Maynooth. Here, Domhnall Ua Buachalla had again mobilised his company, when word was received that the Rising had gone ahead in Dublin. Fifteen men walked from Maynooth to Dublin arriving ant the GPO on Tuesday morning to be welcomed by Pearse and Connolly. In the GPO garrison, the Maynooth group found individuals who were from Kildare. Around the city more Kildare men and women were based in other rebel garrisons.

As the crown forces reacted to the Rising, dozens more Kildare men arrived in the capital to quell the insurrection. The Irish regiments of the British army had many men from the Short Grass county in their ranks. Some of their first fatalities, including Captain Alfred Warmington and Private Bernard Mulraney, arrived in Dublin from Newbridge Barracks and the Curragh Camp. Among the first civilian casualties were men who had been born and raised in Kildare but had made Dublin their home. Michael Kavanagh was shot dead by rebels at a barricade in St. Stephen’s Green; Francis Salmon was fatally shot by an unknown sniper, while Peter Connolly was bayonetted to death by British soldiers in North King Street.

Outside of the capital there were only a few locations where action associated with the Rising occurred. In County Kildare, aside from the mobilisation of the Maynooth Company, a small railway section was destroyed near Athy in an attempt to disrupt communications.

Eight people from Kildare, combatants and civilians, were killed in the fighting, while nearly fifty more were captured or arrested. They were imprisoned in the Curragh Camp, Dublin’s Richmond Barracks, jails in England and Frongoch Camp in Wales. As the week progressed the British military mobilised to the defence of the crown in Dublin. One of those mobiles was a Robertstown man, Captain Harry de Courcy Wheeler, who, accompanied by Nurse O’Farrell, took the surrender of many of the rebel garrisons. The subsequent execution of the leaders of the Rising awakened a generation to the cause of Irish freedom and the Kildare men of 1916, Domhnall Ua Buachalla, Tom Harris, Pat Colgan, Michael Smyth and Éamon Ó Modhráin would play their part in the development of our nation.

Luan Cásac 1916, thug sé chéad fear, bean agus leanbh faoi throid ar son an neamhspleáchas a bhaint amach in Éirinn. Bhí an cath ag réabadh i mBaile Átha Cliath ar feadh sé lá agus fuair ceithre chéad agus ochtó a cúig duine bás agus milleadh go leor codanna den chathair mar thoradh air. Cé gur thit an chuid ba mhó de amach i mBaile Átha Cliath, ba as áiteanna lasmuigh den chathair go leor de na hÓglaigh; ghlac ceathrar fear is fiche agus beirt bhan ó Chill Dara páirt san Éirí Amach, ina measc cúigear déag a shiúl ó Mhaigh Nuad go dtí Ard-Oifig an Phoist. Maraíodh naonúr dúchasach de chuid Chill Dara san Éirí Amach, agus gortaíodh go leor daoine nó cuireadh chun príosúin iad sa tréimhse ina dhiaidh. Ba é príomh-mhaoinitheoir an Éirí Amach John Devoy, a rugadh i gCill Dara, a bhí ina cheannasaí ar Chlann na nGael i Meiriceá.

Dé Céadaoin, an 19 Aibreán, thug an Captaen Tom Byrne an nuacht leis go dtí an Nás ón gCeanncheathrú Ghinearálta i mBaile Átha Cliath go raibh éirí amach ar fud na tire le titim amach Dé Domhnaigh an 23 Aibreán, agus ainliú sceidealaithe na nÓglach á úsáid i mBaile Átha mar dhallamullóg. Ordaíodh é chun na complachtaí go léir sa chontae a bhailiú agus máirseáil go dtí Baile Uí Bhuadáin, áit a dtionófaidís, a millfeadh said an droichead iarnróid, agus a dtabharfaidh said aghaidh ansin ar Bhaile Átha Cliath. Gheall gach complacht go dtiocfadh go leor daoine i láthair. Mar gheall ar fhreasordú Eoin Mhic Néill, áfach, bhí mearbhall ar dhaoine i gContae Chill Dara. Tháinig cúig complacht Óglach le chéile chun dul i mbun gnímh, ach lánscoir said nuair a tugadh an freasordú dóibh.

Theip ar na pleananna chun droichead iarnóid ag Baile Uí Bhuadáin a mhilleadh agus thug an Captaen Byrne, Leifteanant O’Kelly agus Tom Harris aghaidh ar Mhaigh Nuad. Rinne Domhnall Ua Buachalla a chomplacht a thabairt le chéile arís anseo, nuair a cuireadh in iúl dóibh gur lean an tÉirí Amach ar aghaidh i mBaile Átha Cliath. Shiúil cúigear fear déag ó Mhaigh Nuad go Baile Átha Cliath agus bhain said Ard-Oifig an Phoist amach maidin Dé Máirt, agus chuir an Piarsach agus an Conghaileach fáilte rompu. I ngarastún Ard-Oifig an Phoist, tháinig scata Mhaigh Nuad ar dhaoine arb as Cill Dara dóibh. Timpeall na cathrach, bhí ní ba mhó fear agus ban ó Chill Dara bunaithe ina macasamhail de gharastúin reibiliúnacha.

De réir mar a d’fhreagair fórsaí na corónach don Éirí Amach, tháinig go leor leor fear eile ó Chill Dara chuig an bpríomhchathair chun an t-éirí amach an bhuachan. Bhí go leor fear ó Chontae an Ghearrfhéir i reisimintí Éireannacha arm na Breataine. Tháinig an Captaen Alfred Warmington agus an Saighdiúir Bernard Mulraney, a bhí i measc na chéad daoine a maraíodh, go Baile Átha Cliath ó Bheairic Dhroichead Nua agus ó Champa an Churraigh. Ar na chéad sibhialtaigh a maraíodh, bhí fir a rugadh agus a tógadh i gCill Dara, ach a chuir fúthu i mBaile Átha Cliath. Rinne reibiliúnaigh Michael Kavanagh a lámhach agus maraíodh é ag baracáid i bhFaiche Stiabhna; rinne snípéir Francis Salmon a lámhach agus gortaíodh go marfach é; agus sháigh saighdiúirí na Breataine Peter Connolly le beaignit agus fuair sé bás mar gheall air Shráid Rí Thuaidh.

Taobh amuigh den phríomhchathair, ní raibh ach dornán láithreacha ann inar thit gníomhartha amach a bhain leis an Éirí Amach. I gContae Chill Dara, seachas ó thionól Chomplacht Mhaigh Nuad, milleadh stráice beag den iarnród i ngar do Bhaile Átha Í mar iarracht chun cur isteach ar an gcumarsáid.

Maraíodh ochtar ó Chill Dara, idir shaighdiúirí agus sibhialtaigh, sa troid, agus gabhadh nach mór caoga duine eile. Cuireadh iad chun príosúin i gCampa an Churraigh, Beairic Richmond i mBaile Átha Cliath, príosúin i Sasana agus Campa Frongoch sa Bhreatain Bheag. De réir mar a lean an tseachtain ar aghaidh, tháinig fórsaí míleata na Breataine le chéile chun an choróin a chosaint i mBaile Átha Cliath. Ar cheann de na daoine siúd a tháinig le chéile bhí fear ó Bhaile Riobaird, an Captaen Harry de Courcy Wheeler, agus rinne sé, i gcuideachta an Altra O’Farrell, géilleadh go leor de na garastúin reibiliúnach a ghlacadh.

Mhúscail cur chun báis cheannairí an Éirí Amach ina dhiadh sin fonn i measc ghlúin iomlán chun saoirse na hÉireann a bhaint amach agus ghlacfadh fir 1916 Chill Dara, Domhnall Ua Buachalla, Tom Harris, Pat Colgan, Michael Smyth agus Éamonn Ó Modhráin páirt i bhforbairt ár náisiún.

Discover Kildare’s role in the events of 1916