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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 29 February, 2020

Do you know this man? Call for public's help in identifying 1916 witness

The man was nearly shot in the head during the 1916 Easter Rising.

RTÉ need help in identifying this Dublin jarvey
RTÉ need help in identifying this Dublin jarvey
Image: RTÉ

EASTER MONDAY 1916 was a pivotal moment in Irish history. Hundreds died as the streets of Dublin city became a battleground between the forces of the British empire and the Irish rebels.

Caught in the crossfire were the ordinary citizens of Dublin, and their stories and testimonies have become essential to piecing together the events of that fateful day and the days that followed.

In the 1950′s, RTÉ began interviewing the people who had been involved in the Easter Rising- from soldiers involved in the struggle, to the everyday citizens caught in the crossfire.

Now they need the public’s help in identifying one man who was there on the day.

A Dublin jarvey (a hackney coachman) was present at Fairyhouse racecourse on Easter Monday, he was interviewed by RTÉ television in 1962 and gave his recollection of the day and how he was almost shot in the head.

When I went into Dublin I was halted at the barricade and could go no further,” the man told RTÉ television.

Because if you did go any further, you could run the risk of a sniper. You’d be shot. And a bullet did whiz by me forehead at the Broadstone.

The man’s full account is below:



RTÉ has today released footage of the unidentified jarvey as well as 50 other eye-witnesses to the events of the rising. The recordings stretch back as far as the 1950s, with many being released today for the first time.

Other people interviewed include:

  • Min Ryan, then involved in a romantic relationship with Seán MacDiarmada.
  • Louise Gavan Duffy, who went to the GPO on the day to confront Padraig Pearse.
  • Dick Cormac, a  civilian living on Church Street at the time who saw a two-year-old child being shot while being carried in his mother’s arms.

rtearchives_minryan Min Ryan

The testimonies will be available as part of an interactive map of Dublin. People will be able to click on 30 locations and see or hear people tell the stories of that place during the rising.

The jarvey is the only person on the map not be identified, which is why RTÉ has put the call out for the public’s help.

You can see the map and hear the testimonies on

Read: Google team up with Colin Farrell to tell the story of the Rising…and it’s wonderful

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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