Tom Devine recalls how he heard the Rising had begun on the afternoon of Easter Monday and his difficulties in trying to locate his Volunteer Company. Unable to find them he made his way to the GPO and fought there for the entire week.
Tom Devine had to work on Easter Monday. Finishing up around 12.30 he went home for lunch and on the way to Milltown he met some people who told him of the fighting in the city.
I had a bite of food and then I started off for town.
Devine was a member of 'E' Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers and was keen to join his comrades. He describes the difficulties he faced trying to get into the city from Milltown. He was stopped by the military at Portobello Bridge and saw a wounded officer. He was able to continue his journey and passed by Stephens Green and saw the Citizen Army digging the trenches in the park.
He made his way to the GPO and on knocking at the door he was greeted by fellow member of 'E' Company, Liam Tannam. Tannam gave Devine a 'shotgun, cartridges and a brand new bandolier'. But Devine did not know how to wear the bandolier and sought help. James Connolly came to his aid.
I didn't know how busy he was. He must have been the busiest man in the GPO Easter Monday. But he didn't refuse.
Tom Devine fought in the GPO for the entire week of the Rising. He was chosen to take part in what became known as 'O'Rahilly's Charge' on Friday 28 April when The O'Rahilly lead an advance party of Volunteers from the burning GPO into Moore Street in the hope of making their way to Parnell Street. O'Rahilly and a number of Volunteers were killed in the charge. Devine was unharmed.
Tom Devine was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' on 23 January 1966.
'They Were There'
Explore an interactive map offering powerful accounts from women and men who lived through the Easter Rising in 1916.