Alf Monaghan describes the decision to disband the Galway Volunteers as a result of a huge influx of military and police to the county on 28 April 1916.

Despite receiving Eoin MacNeill's countermanding order, once they got word that the Rising had started, the Galway Brigade, Irish Volunteers quickly mobilised. 

Units from Claregalway, Oranmore, Castlegar and other localities organised themselves and over the next few days were engaged in a number of attacks on the local RIC.

The main body of men, roughly 900 in all made their way to the Model Farm in Athenry. Liam Mellows was in overall command of the Brigade. With too few arms it was decided to send many of the younger Volunteers, or those who were married, home.

On 28 April, Mellows received information that train loads of British soldiers were being deployed to Galway. The Volunteers decided to move out of Athenry to Moyode Castle. Despite the fact that Galway was being surrounded by both the military and the police Mellows was determined to make a stand. 

Alf Monaghan, Vice-Commandant of the Galway Brigade remembers that Mellows and a number of his fellow officers, 

... Were not for giving up at all. They had an idea of arming the small group with what guns we had and keeping up a guerrilla war.

Fr Fahy, who accompanied the Volunteers knew that if this did happen, there would be severe retribution on the citizens of Galway and the Volunteers. Mellows could not bring himself to disband his men. Fr Fahy agreed to do it. But while explaining to them why they were disbanding, he said the fight would continue in the future.

Hide your guns, there'll be another day.

Soon after on the evening of 28 April the Brigade disbanded. 

As Liam Mellows and Alf Monaghan were not from Galway they decided the safest thing to do was to leave the county. Mellows later escaped to America and Monaghan went on the run. He later served with the Cork Brigade in the War of Independence.

Alf Monaghan was interviewed for the programme 'The Rising In Galway', broadcast on Radio Éireann, 15 April 1966. 

'They Were There'

Explore an interactive map offering powerful accounts from women and men who lived through the Easter Rising in 1916.