Rónán Ceannt recalls hearing about the execution of his father, Éamonn Ceannt on 8 May 1916.
Rónán Ceannt was only nine years old in 1916 and was the only child of Éamonn and Áine Ceannt. Éamonn Ceannt was Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers. He was a member of the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation and was in charge of the South Dublin Union garrison during the Easter Rising.
Although at first many of the citizens of Dublin were hostile to the Volunteers, their attitude began to change after the first executions began on 3 May. After the execution of John MacBride on 5 May, suddenly the executions stopped. As one of the leaders it was very unlikely that Ceannt would not be executed.
Remembering that time Rónán Ceannt states that he and his mother were told that his father was sentenced to three years penal servitude. Despite his young age Rónán didn't quite believe the newspaper reports.
I realised that was a little bit too much to hope for.
He was right to have his doubts. Despite what the newspapers had reported, at dawn on the 8 May, Éamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin, Con Colbert and Seán Heuston were executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol.
Although he and his mother were devastated after his father's execution Rónán recalls that
There was so much excitement... so many masses and so forth were being said, one was buoyed up.
Rónán Ceannt was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' on 21 November 1965.
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