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SOME INTERESTING REVELATIONS ABOUT SEAN CONNOLLY

Thomas Travers grandson of Matthew Connolly contacted us with some first-hand observations of the action in Dublin, as Matthew, brother of Sean, was present on the fateful day in 1916 when Sean Connolly lost his life.

The information contained in this is taken from recordings and transcripts from conversations with my grandfather, Matthew Connolly, who was in Dublin City Hall at the time of the Easter Rising 1916 made while my grandfather was still alive and in good health.
He did commit a lot of his memories of that time and other incidents of that time to reel to reel tapes which were transcribed later. I also had conversations with him.
The tapes would have been made in the late 1960s and early 1970s.He was an architect with the Board of Works (now OPW) during the 1960s.
He was the architect responsible for the upgrading of the GPO, the Four Courts and other national buildings for the 1966 commemoration ceremonies.

 
The objective of the group (30 men and 8 or 10 women) under the command of Sean Connolly was to enter Dublin City Hall and use the vantage of the building to keep the British Army from returning to Dublin Castle. The building has the ability to see in three directions from its roof. Parliament Street and up Capel Street, Dame Street and Lord Edward Street. The men there were to keep the British Army, who were at the races in the Curragh, under fire as long as possible.
Although the British Army had allowed leave to their men in Dublin to attend the races at the Curragh, there would still have been a large contingent of the military at The Castle. Never at any time was the objective to seize Dublin Castle. With the gates of Dublin Castle closed it would have slowed a response from the remainder of the military force in the Castle and given the returning forces a hindrance getting to their weapons and ammunition.
The British Army would be returning to Dublin by train and the trains were to arrive at Kingsbridge Station, now Heuston Station. Sean Connolly had a key to the City Hall as he worked in the motor tax office, which was located in the building. When they reached Dublin City Hall he ordered two men to secure the sentries at the gates of Dublin Castle which would allow him and his men time to enter the City Hall. It was at this time the DMP policeman was shot and killed. Sean Connolly was angered at this shooting. Some of his men entered the office of “The Evening Mail “and the gent’s outfitters Henry and James on the corners of Parliament Street. There was a young lad of about 17, Charlie D'Arcy, on the roof of Henry and James who leaned out to warn some women on Parliament Street that they were in danger when he was shot and killed by a sniper in the Bedford Tower. Charlie D’Arcy may have been killed before Sean Connolly died in Dublin City Hall.
Sean Connolly was a part time actor and had acted on the stage of The Abbey. He was employed by the city council. Some articles and books report that he tried to raise the flag of the Irish Republic on the roof of the City Hall, he did not do this as the municipal flag was flying, as was custom on bank holidays.  

Thomas Travers.

Thomas Travers grandson of Matthew Connolly contacted us with some first-hand observations of the action in Dublin, as Matthew, brother of Sean, was present on the fateful day in 1916 when Sean Connolly lost his life.  


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