"The military cut them down easily with withering fire"

By Friday 28 April the British forces concentrated their efforts to end the Rising once and for all. General Maxwell on his arrival from England, took command of all British forces in Ireland and ordered a full scale artillery assault on the GPO. In this episode of 'The Week of the Rising' veterans describe their shock at this as it was generally believed that the military would not destroy the second city of the British Empire.

Joseph O'Connor, Vice-Commandant, 3rd Battalion describes how he felt as he watched O'Connell Street be consumed by flames from his position on the railway near Boland's.

Jim Ryan, member of the 1st Battalion remembers that despite being seriously wounded James Connolly was determined to command his men in the GPO. A wheelchair was made and he was brought to the main hall and remained with his men until the evacuation.

Piaras Béaslaí, Vice-Commandant, 1st Battalion describes how that evening the British attacked their positions around the Four Courts with the support of armoured cars and despite their efforts they could not get past the Volunteer outpost in Reilly's Fort.

"The withering fire from Reilly's Fort killed some of them."

Meanwhile Commandant Ned Daly set up his headquarters in the Four Courts. 

Volunteer Seamus O Tallúin, 1st Battalion describes the fighting that took place between the British and the Volunteers in North King Street that night.

While the Headquarters garrison and Ned Daly's position were under heavy attack, the Volunteers in Boland's were left waiting for an assault by the British. Captain Simon Donnelly remembers seeing the sky lit up by the fires blazing in O'Connell Street which had a demoralising affect on the men. 

Nora Connolly and her sister were still trying to get back to Dublin. She recalls that there were no trains and unable to get another form of transport they had to walk the long journey.

Liam O Briain remembers that the British attacked his position in York Street, and the College of Surgeons with machine guns.

"We were peppered with bullets."

He visited the College of Surgeons and saw Countess Markievicz looking for a sword. Expecting they would fight the British at close quarters she wished to be prepared.

Roddy Connolly recalls Patrick Pearse addressing some of the men in the General Post Office praising their efforts. By that afternoon the Headquarters staff realised they could no longer remain in the GPO. With the building ablaze the decision was made to evacuate the garrison to Moore Street. 'The' O'Rahilly lead the advance guard into Moore Street and was fatally wounded. 

Volunteer Jim Ryan describes how they ran from the GPO across Henry Street into Moore Lane and made their way into the tenement houses there.

"Getting across this Moore Lane was a real danger point".

 The British had erected barricades at the top of Moore Street and opened fire with machine guns.