"We Were Stuck For The Letter E"
Christopher Brady was a printer in Liberty Hall from 1915 working on the ITGWU paper 'The Workers Republic' and other union material. Brady recalls how he and his two colleagues, compositors Michael Molloy and William O'Brien were asked to print the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
Thomas MacDonagh read the text to the men and asked their opinion to which Brady replied,
As the son of a Dublin printer I consider it a great honour to do that work.
He describes the difficulties they faced in printing the document. They had to print the document in two pieces as they hadn't got enough type and had to customise the letter 'E'. The men printed 2,500 copies of the Proclamation which were divided into two bundles.
Such was the secrecy surrounding the printing that Mattie and Joe Connolly stood guard in the machine room while Brady printed the document. Even Countess Markievicz was not allowed to enter the room to get her coat.
Brady talks about James Connolly, what he was like as an employer and how Seán MacDiarmada would regularly come by to read 'The Workers Republic' as it was coming off the press.
He describes the raid which took place in Liberty Hall a week before the Rising. Christopher Brady was sent to Emmet Hall to contact Michael Mallin, Connolly's Second-in-Command to tell him that the building was being raided by the police to confiscate copies of 'The Gael' newspaper. The police went away empty handed, not before being threatened by James Connolly and Countess Markievicz who were both armed.
She had the other two hasty policemen covered with her automatic.
After the Proclamation was printed, James Connolly set fire to the proofs as it was too dangerous for them to be lying around.
Christopher Brady also talks about the other leaders, Pearse, Éamonn Ceannt and Tom Clarke.
Christopher J Brady was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' on 6 November 1965.