"I heard the awful sound of bullets striking bone."


About this Item

Tadhg Gahan who was in Jacob's Biscuit Factory and Joseph O'Connor who was in Boland's Mill give their memories of the Easter Rising in 1916.

  • Title
    They Remember 1916 Gahan O'Connor
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Desmond Ryan (Presenter)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    They Remember 1916 Gahan O'Connor
  • Clip title
    "I heard the awful sound of bullets striking bone."
  • Extended description

    Desmond Ryan introduces the third episode of 'They Remember 1916' explaining the strategic importance of the site of the Jacob's biscuit factory.

    Tadhg Gahan describes the events of the week as he witnessed them from the Jacob's Factory. Having occupied the factory buildings the Volunteers took up positions at boarded windows and gates. Gahan was one of a group who used a hired horse drawn cab to ferry grenades from a house in York Street back to Jacob's. The factory itself saw little action during the week and following the surrender the occupiers marched to St Patrick's Park. Reflecting 40 years after the event Tadhg Gahan says, 

    "I personally find it difficult to think of these days without thinking also of the days that were to come on all the world for it was a small war compared with the ruthless uprising and suppression that so many cities were to see."

    Joseph O'Connor was one of Eamon de Valera's officers. O'Connor describes some of his thoughts during the week of fighting. At one point he and some of his comrades were on a high railway line where he describes,

    "We had a clear view of the fires in the city an awful sight to me as I was always proud of Dublin and its fine buildings. I thought how often we were told they would never use artillery in the centre of a a great city."

  • Information

    Desmond Ryan attended Pádraig Pearse's St Enda's school in Dublin. Having completed his education there Ryan went on to study at UCD but stayed living at St Enda's where he taught and acted as a secretary to Pearse. As a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood Desmond Ryan took part in the Easter Rising serving under Pearse's command at the GPO in Dublin.

    In later years Desmond Ryan worked as a journalist in England and Ireland.  In the introduction to 'They Remember 1916' Ryan describes the Easter Rising as "A historic event of which there are many histories and formal chronicles." He says the short talks contained in the series,  "Are then not a history of the Rising nor a study of it nor a judgement of it but a few scenes and memories by those who still remember the Easter week of forty years ago."   

    'The Remember 1916' was first broadcast in 1956. Presented by Desmond Ryan it features the recollections of participants in the events of Easter Week 1916. 

    The accompanying photograph shows republicans being led from Boland's Mill by British Soldiers (1916). © RTÉ Archives 0510/059

  • Local keywords
    1916, 1916 Rising, Easter 1916, Easter Rising, Dublin, War, Conflict
  • Geographical coverage
    Dublin Ireland
  • Topic
    Wars and Conflict
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    Radio Éireann
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
  • Item sound
  • Language used
    English (eng)