Friday 30 September 2016

Relatives of Sean Foster (2) recall youngest victim

Published 28/03/2016 | 02:30

Mary Christian a cousin of Baby Sean Foster, on O’Connell Street yesterday. Photo: Frank McGrath
Mary Christian a cousin of Baby Sean Foster, on O’Connell Street yesterday. Photo: Frank McGrath
1916 victim Sean Foster

Amid the honouring of the heroes of the Rising, the innocent dead were not forgotten. The baby face of Sean Foster (2), the youngest victim of the Easter insurrection adorns one of the special commemorative stamps issued for the centenary.

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The toddler was struck by a bullet to the head as he sat in his pram, as his terrified mother fled the crossfire between the Irish Volunteers and British forces at Church Street in the inner city.

It is believed he died instantly.

Remembering him in solemn reflection at the GPO yesterday were his relatives, Mary O'Neill Christian and her daughter Aisling (23) from Dublin.

Mary's father had been Sean's first cousin and the child had never been forgotten by the family. However, it took the recent acknowledgement of the 40 lives of children lost in the 1916 Rising to find out about the circumstances of his death, said Mary.

This was a moving occasion for them, she said - and yet also one of wonder.

"The silence on the street was very poignant," she said.

Nikki Caddle from Clondalkin was there to honour her relative Bridget Goff, who had been with the Irish Citizen Army at the College of Surgeons and was a friend of Countess Markievicz.

Nikki's mother recalled Bridget's funeral in the 1960s at which a gun salute was fired in tribute to her role in the Rising. "They always spoke about what happened," she said.

Meanwhile she told of her grandfather who, at the age of four, had been "blown across the room" but was thankfully not injured, having gone to the window at their home on Ormond Square during the fighting.

Irish Independent

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