Prisoners after the Rising
This week 100 hundred years ago, a steady flow of prisoners were arriving in British jails. It was the aftermath of the Rising and wholesale deportations of suspected insurgents were taking place, often in very rough conditions.
We explore the experiences of people taken prisoner after the Easter Rising, when around 3,000 men were deported to jails in Britain. We hear about the day-to-day reality of life for internees in harsh and difficult surroundings. As well as some pretty unlikely crafts they produced for loved ones back home. Also - how rat infested prisons like Frongoch became a breeding ground for sedition, places where activists studied and strategised, and the seeds of the war of independence were sown.
Some of the rebels interned in Richmond Barracks after the Rising
Initially at least, the prisoners were scattered to various prisons around Britain. Then, within months, many were released and sent home, while 1,800 men ended up in Frongoch internment camp in north Wales. And Frongoch is where we’ll be focusing much of our discussion this evening.
Myles is joined by Mater Dei historian, William Murphy, author of Political Imprisonment and the Irish, 1912-1921; and Frank Shouldice, author of My Grandpa the Sniper – The Remarkable Story of a 1916 Volunteer. Myles is also joined from Bristol by archaeologist Joanna Bruck of the University of Bristol, who has carried out field work in Frongoch.
Last week we heard from Louise Denvir and her family in Tawley Co. Leitrim. Louise's great-grandfather J.J. Reid was sentenced to death for his role during the 1916 Rising. He was fighting in the Four Courts with Edward Daly. His death sentence was commuted to ten years in prison. We hear more from Louise about J.J. Reid's life in prison.