Wednesday 19 June 2019

Listen to 1916 Oral History: Fionan Lynch on the North King St fighting

This is an extract of an interview with Fionan Lynch for the Irish Life and Lore 1916 Oral History project. Fionán Lynch was Captain of F Company in the week before the Rising, during a period which he describes as “a week of rumours”.

On Good Friday 1916, Fionán Lynch was ordered to go to King Street and Church Street, where he was to be positioned during the week.

He recalls reading, with Gearóid O’Sullivan, the Countermanding Order issued by Eoin MacNeill in the Sunday Independent, following which they brought the newspaper to Seán McDiarmada at 44 Mountjoy Street, who was bitterly disappointed.

The quietness of the first three days of Easter Week are described, as is the heavy fire of Wednesday morning at North King Street, and the house to house fighting, resulting in many civilian casualties.

The handing over of the arms of the Irish Volunteers after the surrender is described, and the character of The O’Rahilly is recalled. Fionán Lynch also details the journey to Portland Prison in England

Fionán Lynch describes the reception afforded to the Volunteers on their release from prison and return to Ireland. His subsequent work in canvassing with Tomás Ashe in Clare is also recalled, as is his attendance at the first Roger Casement Commemoration in Tralee, Co. Kerry, in 1917.

That year, he was arrested and sentenced to two years imprisonment in Mountjoy Jail, where he and others went on hunger strike, resulting in the death of Ashe. Fionán Lynch records the fact that he was the last person to speak to Ashe before his death.

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