"We'd Plenty Of Biscuits"

Liam O'Dalaigh (William Joseph Daly) was a member of 'C' Company, 2nd Battalion, Irish Volunteers and fought in Jacob's Biscuit Factory under Thomas MacDonagh during the Rising.

The garrison mobilised at Stephen's Green Park on the morning of Easter Monday and from there marched off to occupy Jacob's.

We broke the windows... and packed up the place with flour bags. 

Liam O'Dalaigh remembers that although the garrison had lots to eat, one thing he missed the most while there was a cup of tea. He was stationed in the tower of Jacob's which gave commanding views of the whole city. He could see the machine gunners in position on the roof of the Shelbourne Hotel who attacked their position. Sorties were sent out from Jacob's throughout the week to the surrounding outposts in the College of Surgeons and also to Boland's Bakery. One Volunteer, John O'Grady was fatally wounded on one such sortie.

On the afternoon of Sunday 30 April Liam O'Dalaigh and his colleagues opened fired on a group of British soldiers coming through St Patrick's Park. They were unaware of Pearse's order to surrender

MacDonagh sent up immediately and said 'Stop, the truce is on.'

Liam O'Dalaigh managed to evade arrest. Before MacDonagh surrendered he gave anyone not in uniform the chance to escape.

He knew some of the leaders including Tom Clarke, Seán MacDiarmada and Patrick Pearse. Éamonn Ceannt he knew quite well as they went to the same school O'Connell's in Richmond Street. Later Ceannt taught O'Dalaigh Irish in the Gaelic League.

Liam O'Dalaigh joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914. He worked as an electrician in Dockrell's Building Suppliers and because of this work he was appointed as Signalling Instructor to the 2nd Battalion and later the Dublin Brigade. In August 1915 he was appointed Lieutenant of the Engineers Section and was further promoted to Officer in Charge of the General Headquarters Signalling Staff. Jacob's Factory was a huge complex on many levels and O'Dalaigh's main task was to connect the interior phone lines so that Thomas MacDonagh could be in contact with his men.

After 1916 Liam O'Dalaigh helped in the reorganisation of the Irish Volunteers , but due to work commitments he had no further role in the War of Independence or the Civil War. He died in 1971, he was eighty-one years old.

Liam O'Dalaigh was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' on 6 November 1965.