Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

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

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Holy Saturday

In Dublin during Holy Week, when Eoin MacNeill got word of the Rising, MacDiarmada with other leaders did their best to persuade MacNeill to agree it it. Late on Holy Saturday night MacDiarmada got word of MacNeill's Countermanding Order appearing in the "Sunday Independent" (Note*** MacNeill did not agree with the Rising and knew that the practice maneuvers of the Irish Volunteers planned for Easter Sunday was a cover for an uprising. He sent messengers all over Ireland to tell the Volunteers to do nothing on Easter Sunday, and he published a cancellation notice in the Sunday Independent, with this action he effectively doomed the uprising to failure***)

In Holy Week 1916, Murt O'Leary was approached by three men from Tralee - Sheehy, Stack and Cahill - at Spillane's pub in Castlegregory (now Fitzgerald's). They told Murt that they were expecting just a handful of guns to come into Fenit on the Aud and asked him to pilot the boat into Fenit.

On Holy Thursday evening Murt saw the Aud coming up from the west. She seemed to be weighted down but wasn't flying a flag for a pilot to pilot her into Fenit, so he didn't take much notice of her.

On Good Friday morning he saw a British patrol boat boarding her. The Captain of the Aud had false papers showing she was a Norwegian commercial ship, so the British went off feeling all was in order. A British destroyer came up from the west on Saturday morning and fired a shot across the bow of the ship and gave orders to follow her down to Queenstown harbour. All that happened before anyone in Tralee became aware of events. They read about it in the newspapers two days later.

The boat would come in to the north of Inishtooskert on Holy Saturday night. Security was so tight on that day that they said they would bring a lamp and a green jersey later though these items never arrived. If the Aud appeared during the day he would wear a green jersey and if by night he would flash the lamp.

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