Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
The Signatories of the Proclamation

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clanwilliam House

From Clanwilliam House and the School a well directed and deadly fire was poured into them, taking them completely by surprise. No. 25’s garrison simultaneously engaged the centre of the column. The enemy sought cover and replied with heavy fire on the occupied posts.

The fight now settled down to a pitched battle. A covering machine gun fire was turned on Clanwilliam House while a bombing party stormed No. 25. Lieutenant Malone and Seamus Grace, the Volunteers in No. 25, fired as fast as they could load while the house shuddered with explosions as the grenades found their mark. Then a bomb got Lieutenant Malone, and Seamus Grace was left to fight alone over his comrade’s body. Finally he could maintain his position no longer, and he escaped through the smoke. When the Foresters’ finally took the house they found one dead man in what was later described in despatches as “a strongly held post.”

But Clanwilliam House remained and the fight from there was only beginning. After three hours fighting its defenders sustained their first casualties, two Volunteers, one of them the section Commander, being killed. The other post having been now over-run, the concentrated fire of the enemy was brought to bear on the one remaining defensive position; this fire had cut the water-piping and had carried away the stairs in rear of one of the windows.

Capture of the House was attempted by massed assaults under covering fire from rifles and grenades. The assault parties were repulsed, and repeated attacks only added to their already heavy losses. After a time attempts to storm the House were discontinued.

Only five men were left after the successive waves of attacks broke against Clanwilliam House. At about five p.m. they were reduced to four, when Volunteer Murphy was killed.

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