Leslie de Barra née Price talks about her role in the Easter Rising. She served in the Hibernian Bank and the GPO. She describes the leaders and how the women left the GPO on Friday 28 April.

Leslie de Barra, née Leslie Price was a member of the Central Branch, Cumann na mBan. Originally Leslie and her section were detailed to be with Commandant Edward Daly in the Four Courts. They got word on Easter Monday morning that Daly did not need them and they were to go home, but as Leslie says, 'I didn't obey orders that day'. Leslie and her close friend Bríd Dixon went straight to the GPO. She was sent by Tom Clarke to the Hibernian Bank which was under the command of Captain Thomas Weafer. On Wednesday, 26 April Weafer was fatally wounded by a British sniper fire. Describing what happened Leslie says,

I heard a very sharp whistle and a bullet came right through the window and it was he who got it in the stomach.

Leslie returned to the GPO. Throughout the week she brought dispatches between the GPO and the Four Courts. The Volunteers had tunnelled through the buildings from the GPO right up along Henry Street. Leslie would go through these buildings, which included Madam Tussaud's Wax Works, in order to get to the Four Courts. Recalling the first time she went through the wax museum she says, 

The shock I got when I looked up and saw I'm sure it was Crippen or someone like that looking at me.

On Wednesday the British bombardment began in earnest. The 'Helga' was shelling Liberty Hall and British reinforcements were pouring into the city. Slowly, O'Connell Street was being surrounded. The number of wounded in the GPO began to rise. On Thursday, Clarke asked Leslie would she go to the Pro-Cathedral to fetch a priest to attend to the wounded. James Connolly had been wounded earlier that day and as she says,

'There were neither flies nor anything else going up and down O'Connell Street at the time.

Although terrified, she could not refuse Tom Clarke. When she got to the priest's house Leslie discovered that the priest was less than sympathetic to her plight. After arguing for some time he agreed to go with her.

On Friday the women were called together by Patrick Pearse who told them they had to leave the building. The last person she saw before leaving was Tom Clarke.

He took my hand and said "If you see my wife, tell her the men were wonderful to the ..." and then he stopped. I knew it was 'end' he was going to say but he pulled himself up and he didn't say it. 

Leslie and her comrades took the wounded to Jervis Street Hospital and were arrested shortly after. They were taken prisoner to Broadstone Railway Station. The authorities not knowing what to do with the women released them a few hours later.

Leslie de Barra rejoined Cumann na mBan. During the War of Independence she was sent to Cork to organise the movement there. She married Tom Barry, Commandant of the famous 3rd West Cork Brigade Flying Column in 1921. She and her husband fought on the anti-Treaty side during the Irish Civil War. Leaslie de Barra died in 1984, she was ninety-one years old.

Leslie de Barra was interviewed for the RTÉ Television project 'Portraits 1916' in 1965.