"People Felt It Was A Triumph, That There Was To Be No Mourning"

Fiona was the youngest sister of Joseph Plunkett. Here she talks about what it was like growing up in the Plunkett household. She and her siblings adored Joseph who was quite ill from a young age and as a result was a very spiritual person. Because of his illness he was confined indoors and became interested in many things including poetry, photography and military strategy. She states very strongly that he was not called Joseph Mary Plunkett by the family.

He was never called that in his lifetime, by anybody. That started immediately after his death.

Of all the executed leaders she knew Thomas MacDonagh quite well as he had come to know the family when he began teaching Joseph and his sister Moya maths. She describes him as being very modest and very sociable.

The wedding of Joseph to Grace Gifford on the eve of his execution was the great love story of the Easter Rising and helped change public opinion in favour of the rebels. Fiona remembers that the family were quite shocked when they announced their engagement in December 1915.

Nobody had known that they took that much interest in each other.

Grace Gifford came from a Protestant family and converted to Catholicism a short time before the wedding, which was due to take place on Easter Sunday, 23 April. Fiona was her Godmother. Because of this Grace came to live at Larkfield, Kimmage, the Plunkett's family home as her decision to marry Joseph was not supported by her mother.

Fiona remembers that after Joseph's execution, she, her older sister Geraldine and Grace chose not to wear black. Explaining why Fiona states

People felt it was a triumph, that there was to be no mourning.

Fiona Plunkett (1896-1976) was a member of the Central Branch Cumann na mBan. She was later imprisoned during the Irish Civil War and remained politically active for many years.

Fiona Plunkett was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' on 30 January 1966.