Wednesday 20 June 2018

In the words of Collins, Ashe's spirit is still with us 100 years on

Thomas Ashe's place in Irish history was assured after he became the last leader of the Easter Rising to surrender, writes Ryle Dwyer

Commandant: Thomas Ashe is held by the British Army after
being arrested following the Easter Rising, when he led the
volunteers at Ashbourne. Photo: National Library of Ireland
Commandant: Thomas Ashe is held by the British Army after being arrested following the Easter Rising, when he led the volunteers at Ashbourne. Photo: National Library of Ireland

Ryle Dwyer

Tomorrow marks the centenary of the death of Thomas Ashe on a hunger strike. He was not only the last commandant of the 1916 Easter Rebellion to surrender, but also arguably the most successful. Moreover, it was through him that Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy first came to the fore within the movement.

Ashe led a raid on the Ashbourne barracks of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) in County Meath to gain control of the area to block British military reinforcements being sent from Athlone to Dublin during the Rebellion.

Following a five-hour attack, the much superior force of around a hundred armed police surrendered.

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