Seamus Doyle recalls how he and Sean Etchingham visited Patrick Pearse in Arbour Hill prison to get confirmation of his order to surrender on 30 April.
Owing to the confusion as a result of the countermanding order, outside of Dublin, few Volunteers Brigades engaged in any determined attacks on the Crown forces. Galway and Wexford did in fact rise. Enniscorthy town was taken and held by members of the Wexford Brigade, Irish Volunteers who established their headquarters in the Athenaeum. Volunteers from the surrounding areas took over the RIC barracks in Ferns. Despite their successes on 30 April news arrived from Dublin that the Rising was over, Patrick Pearse had surrendered to the British forces.
Unwilling to believe what they had heard Volunteers Seamus Doyle, Adjutant of the Wexford Brigade and Sean Etchingham were given permission to travel to Dublin and meet with Pearse to get confirmation of the order.
On reaching Dublin they were brought to Arbour Hill Prison where Pearse was being detained. Recalling their visit Seamus Doyle remembers that although Pearse seemed very tired he was in good spirits. He confirmed what they had heard and wrote an order for them to lay down their arms.
Before giving the order to Doyle it was inspected by the military. Managing to get a few moments alone with their Commander in Chief. Doyle states that Pearse had another message for the Volunteers. That message was to hide their arms, not give them up completely.
...They will be needed later.
Doyle and Etchingham returned to Enniscorthy and relayed Pearse's instructions to the Volunteers who had gathered in the Athenaeum. After laying down their arms the Volunteers were arrested.
At the time of the Easter Rising Seamus Doyle held the rank of Adjutant, Wexford Brigade, Irish Volunteers. He later went on to command the Brigade in the War of Independence.
Seamus Doyle was interviewed for the programme 'The Boys of Wexford', broadcast on Radio Éireann, 11 April 1966.
'They Were There'
Explore an interactive map offering powerful accounts from women and men who lived through the Easter Rising in 1916.