Cyril Willingham, a member of the Sherwood Foresters sent from England to suppress the Easter Rising describes the intense fighting at Mount Street Bridge and the South Dublin Union.

On Wednesday 26 April the 2/7th and 2/8th Battalions, Sherwood Foresters arrived at Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) in order to put down the Rising. The regiment was made up mostly of raw recruits with very little training. Cyril Willingham, a member of 'B' Company, 2/8th Battalion recalls that it was not long before his company was under attack.

We came to a canal bridge and there met very stiff opposition.

Willingham and his comrades had marched right into the path of Lieutenant Michael Malone and his small group of men who were in position covering Mount Street Bridge. The battle raged for hours. The Volunteers in Clanwilliam House held the advantage. As Willingham says the house was 'three or four stories high and commanded four roads'.

Eventually the military succeeded in crossing the bridge and attacked the house with bombs forcing the Volunteers to evacuate. Although they took the position, the military suffered severe losses including Willingham's Commanding Officer. 

My Company Officer, Lieutenant Daffen was saying something to me and he got two shots straight to the head and I think myself lucky I wasn't caught one of them.

The next day the 2/8th were ordered to make their way to the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, headquarters of the British forces. Unknown to them the Volunteers under Commandant Éamonn Ceannt had taken over the South Dublin Union (SDU), a vast complex of buildings which they had to pass. As soon as they neared the Union they came under attack.

We was told to give covering fire if it was at all possible. But we couldn't give a lot of covering fire.

Willingham was engaged in yet another intense battle but unlike Mount Street, the British forces failed to take the SDU.

By Friday Willingham's Company were sent to Galway to round up the Volunteers who had mobilised to fight. Having experienced such heavy fighting already Willingham says, "We thought we were going to have a real battle there". When they arrived at Moyode Castle, they found the place deserted, the Volunteers having heard the military were on their way had disbanded.

Over the next few weeks Willingham accompanied the local RIC in rounding up suspected rebels.  

Cyril Willingham was interviewed during the production of 'Ireland A Television History' on 24 September 1979.