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Nugent under attack for four days on the roof of the GPO


Patrick E Nugent

Patrick E Nugent

Patrick E Nugent

Patrick E Nugent, from the North Strand, was 21-years-old at the time of the Rising and a member of C Company, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers.

On Easter Monday 1916 he was present when the rebels took over the GPO and was thereafter a member of the GPO Garrison.

As the insurgents set up their headquarters in the building, Patrick was issued with a shotgun and given orders to go to the roof. He was accompanied by two young men who had joined the Volunteers in London, Austin Kennan and Mick Mulvihill.

Paddy stayed on the roof for more than four days, until the Friday of Easter week. During this period he came under fire from snipers, machine guns and incendiary shells launched by artillery.

On Friday evening Patrick retreated from the GPO with other rebels, again coming under heavy fire, to Moore Street. He remained there until the surrender the following day.

After the surrender Patrick was shipped to Knutsford detention barracks in England and was sent on May 1 to Frongoch internment camp in Wales, where he was detained for over seven months.

He was released shortly before Christmas 1916 and re-joined the Irish Volunteers on its reorganisation in 1917.

It is noted in his military files that Paddy was involved in two incidents in the next few years. In the War of Independence in 1921 he was involved in an attack on a military tender while returning from Ballybough. He was also mobilised for a later, aborted attack at Amiens Street.

Paddy married Catherine (Kitty) McGinley in 1922. Settling in Whitehall, they had four children - Olive, Eamonn, Patricia and Colum. Paddy Nugent died in 1967, having lived on and off in the US over the years. He is buried in New Jersey.

Details submitted by Colleen Nugent Spoden (granddaughter)