A new book contains previously unseen witness accounts of the Easter Rising.
Almost ninety years after the 1916 Rising, revealing eye witness accounts of the event have come to light in a new book titled 'Witnesses Inside The Easter Rising'. The accounts of official witness statements taken by the government in the 1940s have been released by the Military Archives and offer a unique perspective on history.
Writer Annie Ryan, speaking at the book launch in the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin, says that the accounts have absolutely no hint of propaganda in them as the witnesses thought their stories would never see the light of day.
One account by Donal Ó Buachalla recalls how volunteers were not ready for the events.
On Easter Monday afternoon I learned from a bread van driver that fighting was taking place in Dublin between the volunteers and the British military.
Nora Connolly O’Brien’s account tells of the aftermath of the rising as Dublin city centre lay in ruins.
I remember seeing all the ruins. There was one big ruin, in the shape of a cross, just swaying as if ready to come down.
Historians believe the book is a valuable insight into the events of Easter Rising. Dr Margaret Mac Curtain says that the witness accounts show how the rising occurred in an unplanned way.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 21 March 2005. The reporter is Gareth O’Connor.