Prisoners in Richmond Barracks hear of the executions of their leaders.
Irish Citizen Army Scout Paddy Buttner recalls how he and his comrades were told that the leaders of the Rising had been executed. Richmond Barracks was quite close to Kilmainham Gaol. Every morning the prisoners heard the faint sound of gunfire but did not know what it meant. They did not have to wait long before they were told exactly what had happened. Describing how they heard of the executions of Patrick Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh, Buttner states that the soldiers came in and very candidly,
We were told 'There's three of your buggers gone today'
This continued day after day until finally on 12 May, after they had heard the usual shots, a soldier came in to their room and said,
Now that ends it... that's the last of them gone today... There's Connolly gone now.
Later that evening the soldiers came back to the barrack room. This particular group were all under seventeen years old. Buttner was only sixteen years old. They were split into groups of twelve and every half hour the soldiers came and led a group out of the room. Buttner recalls as they were brought out the soldiers told them 'They were for the high jump'.
At first the boys were worried but not hearing any gunshots they realised they were not going to be executed. Instead they were all lined up and marched into the city centre and later released.
Paddy Buttner was a member of the Irish Citizen Army Scouts. During the Easter Rising he fought with the Stephen's Green College of Surgeons garrison. In 1918 he became a member of the Irish Citizen Army.
Paddy Buttner was interviewed for the television series 'Ireland A Television History' in 1979.
'They Were There'
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