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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Sean Sexton Collection/The Photographers' Gallery
1916 Liveblog Day 2: 37 people were killed today, mostly civilians
Moment by moment, is following what happened during the 1916 Rising one hundred years ago.

ON THIS TUESDAY one hundred years ago, the Easter Rising was entering its second day.

To mark the centenary of 1916, is documenting the events of the Rising as they happened.

Each day this week, you can follow one of the defining events of Ireland’s history, from the moment the rebels started assembling outside Liberty Hall on Easter Monday to the surrender on Moore Street the following Saturday. You can catch up on what happened yesterday here and you can see all our sources here.

As ever, we want to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, tweet us @thejournal_ie, mail or send a telegram to The Journal, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

Morning everyone, and thanks for joining us. It’s Elizabeth O’Malley here on liveblog duty today.

Yesterday, rebels from the Irish Citizens Army, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood seized a number of locations around Dublin city, including the GPO on Sackville Street (also known as O’Connell Street), Stephen’s Green, the Four Courts and Jameson’s distillery.

With many of the British soldiers away at the races, the rebels had a head start. Now word has gone back to the British and a counter attack is being planned.

There have been a number of developments since last night:


  • British soldiers seized buildings surrounding Stephen’s Green, including the Shelbourne Hotel, and shot at rebels, resulting in a number of rebel deaths
  • A fire broke out in Sackville Street amid scenes of looting
  • Rebels abandoned Fumbally Lane
  • British soldiers have retaken control of City Hall
  • Rebels have taken control of O’Connell Bridge
  • Rebels took control of the Gasworks and plunged the south-eastern part of the city into darkness
  • A mob tried to set fire to the gate of Jacob’s factory with old sacking that had been soaked in paraffin

The British forces which seized City Hall  arrested all the rebels who were still in the building.

The group of rebels tried to attack Dublin Castle yesterday, but retreated to City Hall and the Daily Express & Evening Mail building across the road from it when they met a heavier than expected resistance.

Dublin Castle gates National Library of Ireland Guards at the gates of Dublin Castle National Library of Ireland

The rebels have abandoned their position in St Stephen’s Green after British soldiers took over some of the tall buildings surrounding the Green and were able to open fire on those in the park.

The rebels have retreated to the nearby Royal College of Surgeons building.

At least four rebels have been killed in the heavy gunfire.

RCSI National Library of Ireland Royal College of Surgeons National Library of Ireland

James Connolly has sent a note ordering rebels to try and destroy the railway line to the north of Amiens Street station.

Connolly note about trains National Library of Ireland National Library of Ireland

The note is on headed paper from the Army of the Irish Republic (Dublin Command) and reads:

To Lieutenant Trainor, or Officer in charge.

Despatch (sic) received. Do your best to destroy the railway on your right. If you can do it in front so much the better. If not do it in rear whilst you are covering the wrecking party. Proud to hear of the stand you are making.

Signed: James Connolly

Commandant General

Dublin Division

Two rebel outposts in Grantham Street have been captured by the Royal Irish Rifles infantrymen, who are now advancing towards the city centre.

Major-General Lovick Friend, who is the commander-in-chief of the British forces in Ireland but is on leave in England, estimates the number of rebels to be 2,000 in total.

Troops have been ordered to either capture of kill the rebels to try and quash the Rising. The exact orders given to the British Army are “not to advance beyond any house from which fire has been opened, until the inhabitants of such house have been destroyed or captured.”

Friend National Library of Ireland Major-General Lovick Friend National Library of Ireland

Staff and patients inside the South Dublin Union appear to have been traumatised by the scenes of battle that took place there yesterday.

Portobello Bridge is under constant sniper fire from rebels inside Jacob’s Biscuit Factory on Bishop Street, beside Aungier Street.

The British troops have been using some make-shift armoured vehicles using boilers and other big metal containers.

This ‘tank’ is made of a boiler requisitioned from the Guiness brewery which has been mounted onto a lorry:

Boiler used as armoured tank by British Army National Library of Ireland National Library of Ireland

British soldiers are retreating from the South Dublin Union under fire from the rebels. The reason for the retreat is unclear.

South Dublin Union Bureau of Military History South Dublin Union Bureau of Military History

There has been intense fighting between the two sides since yesterday, when the rebels took over the huge, sprawling poorhouse and hospital located close to James’ Street.

We have reports that Éamon de Valera’s battalion stationed in Boland’s Mill and Bakery at Grand Canal Dock is the only one which has refused to allow women to participate.

A group of women from Cumann na mBan had assembled in Merrion Square expecting to receive orders from de Valera but the orders never arrived.

We’ve been sent an image of one of the trenches the rebels dug in Stephen’s Green before they were forced to abandon it this morning:

Trench in Stephen's Green National Library of Ireland National Library of Ireland

These photographs show how the Shelbourne Hotel overlooks Stephen’s Green, and allowed British troops to take aim and shoot at the rebels from the higher floors of the building.

Shelbourne hotel National Library of Ireland National Library of Ireland

The Rising has made the front pages of newspapers across Ireland, Britain and the USA today – although some of the early reports have contained inaccurate information.

This report from a New York paper mistakenly claims that the GPO has been recaptured by the British:

NY Evening Sun newspaper National Library of Ireland National Library of Ireland

Tragic news coming in from Church Street, where a 2 year-old girl has been shot dead outside her home. Christina Caffrey, 22 months old, was being held in her mother’s arms when she was shot in the back. The little girl was taken to the nearby North Dublin Union but she died from her wounds.

Christina is the youngest victim of the Rising so far. Her family say she will be buried in Glasnevin cemetry.

Sniper fire has continued throughout the day on Sackville Street.

We have reports that rebels tried to set up a radio station in Reis’ store, close to the GPO, using equipment from the Wireless School.

The Royal Dublin Fusiliers have suffered heavy casualties as they tried to attack the Express and Mail offices across the road from City Hall, where some of the rebels have taken up a position. The British troops have been forced to retreat to Dublin Castle.

Map showing City Hall area National Library of Ireland Area around Dublin Castle and City Hall National Library of Ireland

It looks as if the troops who retreated from South Dublin Union earlier – much to the astonishment of the rebels who are there – are now firing on Jameson’s Distillery instead.

Ferocious fighting has commenced, with many men and horses having fallen.

There is a fierce battle taking place between the rebels and the British troops at Jameson’s Distillery on Marrowbone Lane. The rebels appear to be holding out.

Reports are saying more rebels have arrived at the GPO after hearing news that the Rising was back on.

GPO National Library of Ireland National Library of Ireland

James Connolly has said that it doesn’t matter a damn if they are wiped out now as they have justified themselves already.

Several attacks have been launched from Dublin Castle, aimed at the rebels in the Express and Mail offices across the way.

The army appear to have secured the Phibsboro area after using heavy artillery to fire on the rebels who were there.

Reports are coming in that a shrapnel shell has burst over the Cabra Road and North Circular Road barricade, showering the 30 Volunteers who are there with hot debris.

23 year old Volunteer John Cromien has been killed in action in this area. He had been employed at the Guinness Brewery as a number taker.

Rebels have been dislodged from a barricade close to Charleville Road by the Dublin Fusiliers.

Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Major-General Friend, the commander-in-chief of the British Army in Ireland, says that the number of British troops available has risen to 3,000, compared to 2,000 rebels.

Troops have been arriving in Dublin all day from around Ireland. Friend says he is ‘anxiously’ awaiting the arrival of more reinforcements from England.

Women from Cumann na mBan are acting as runners, carrying messages between the rebels forces even amid heavy gunfire.

We are also hearing reports that the Volunteers have built and dug secret passages between the rebel-held buildings around the GPO.

Fighting at the Jameson Distillery has halted after two hours of non-stop carnage, with most of the casualties on the British army side. Many were shot dead, but others died from ricocheting bullets, from downing after jumping into the Liffey, or under the weight of their fallen horses.

Here’s an update on the main events from today:

  • Reinforcements for the British Army have been arriving from Belfast, the Curragh, Templemore and Athlone;
  • The British Army has started surrounding the positions held by the rebels;
  • The rebels have evacuated most of Stephen’s Green and moved to the Royal College of Surgeons instead, after heavy machine gun fire from troops in the Shelbourne Hotel;
  • Looting has become widespread in Dublin city centre. 

Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, a radical pacifist and feminist who has been one of the strongest critics of the violence in the Irish Volunteers, has been arrested as he was walking home to Rathmines.

FSS National Library of Ireland National Library of Ireland

Sheehy-Skeffington had been giving out leaflets condemning the looting which has been going on around the city and trying to organise an anti-looting group when he was arrested and taken into custody at Portobello Barracks by a British soldier. It is not yet known when he will be released.

Photographs taken from inside the GPO show the uniformed rebels.


This photograph shows Des O’Reilly, T Nolan, P Byrne, Jack Doyle, Tom McGrath, Hugh Thornton, P Twamley and a man named Murphy. All are Irish Volunteers except for Nolan and Twamley, who are in the ICA. (Source: National Library of Ireland)

1916 2

Two members of the Irish Volunteers inside the GPO. (Source: National Library of Ireland)

Rebels in Galway have tried to take control of the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks at Oranmore and in Clarinbridge, but have failed at both places.

As the second day of fighting draws to a close, there is still no end in sight to this rebellion.

A total of 37 people have been killed today, the majority of whom were civilians. The total number of people who have died today is:

British Armed Forces: 7
Rebels Forces: 8
Civilians: 22
Police: 0

As night begins to fall and bullet fire continues around Dublin city centre, we are going to take this opportunity to try to get home. We will resume this liveblog in the morning and will keep you up to date on all the happenings of this long-awaited but still unexpected Rising.

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