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‘What beat us was the rain of bombs falling’


Oscar Traynor

Oscar Traynor

Oscar Traynor

Here are first-hand accounts from four rebels who occupied the GPO on Easter Monday, as provided to the Bureau of Military History.

Some time on Thursday a barricade on the opposite side of the street took fire as a result of a direct shell hit…[this] caused the fire which wiped out the east side of O’Connell Street…when Hoyte’s [chemist shop] caught fire the whole block up to Earl Street became involved…I saw the fire spread to Clerys…I had the extraordinary experience of seeing the huge plate-glass windows of Clerys stores run molten into the channel from the terrific heat
Oscar Traynor, Metropole Hotel outpost at GPO

The noise of the explosions, the bursting glass of the big windows, the falling walls etc, was terrific, and the heat was appalling
James Kavanagh

Very heavy shelling continued all day Thursday and Friday…notwithstanding this I believe we could have successfully held these buildings for an indefinite period, but what beat us in the finish was the rain of incendiary bombs which kept falling all around
Frank Thornton, Imperial Hotel outpost

I stood beside [Pearse] as he sat on a barrel looking intently at the flames… he suddenly turned to me with the question: “It was the right thing to do, wasn’t it?” ‘Yes’ I replied in astonishment…He spoke again: “When we are all wiped out people will blame us for everything…after a few years they will see the meaning of what we tried to do”
Desmond Ryan