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Kingdom's doomed role in Rising

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Main image: The Ballymore Volunteers in Co Kerry; far right: Austin Stack, the commander of the Volunteers and IRB in Kerry; and, inset below, JJ McElligott, a Kerry Volunteer who later become governor of the Central Bank

Main image: The Ballymore Volunteers in Co Kerry; far right: Austin Stack, the commander of the Volunteers and IRB in Kerry; and, inset below, JJ McElligott, a Kerry Volunteer who later become governor of the Central Bank

Main image: The Ballymore Volunteers in Co Kerry; far right: Austin Stack, the commander of the Volunteers and IRB in Kerry; and, inset below, JJ McElligott, a Kerry Volunteer who later become governor of the Central Bank

Late into the night of Saturday April 23, 1916, dozens of men, all members of the Irish Volunteers, began to assemble and mobilise in parishes in and around Dingle in the western-most part of Co Kerry. With their comrades from Ballyferriter and Dunquin, the Dingle Volunteers began to march eastwards towards Tralee, a journey of some 30 miles over demanding terrain. In torrential rain, having crossed the treacherous Conor Pass, the men rested briefly in Castlegregory and met with Volunteer companies from Lispole and Annascaul near Camp before marching onwards.

Now over 100 strong, they faced wild and wet conditions into the early hours of Easter Sunday. Tired, wet, and footsore but determined to make it to Tralee, they arrived at about 10am. In the Rink - the headquarters of the Volunteers in Kerry - they joined with the Tralee companies and other groups, while, in Killarney, the Volunteers from the town and outlying districts also gathered and stood ready. These assemblies of hundreds of men and dozens of women - armed, trained and willing to act - would, within 24 hours, be told to stand down, return to their homes and await further orders. What motivated the men to march through the night from west Kerry in dreadful conditions - and the hundreds of others who assembled in Tralee, Killarney and other parts of the county - was the belief that they were about to strike a blow for Irish freedom.


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