At 3.45 p.m. Pearse signed an order for general unconditional surrender. On Sunday, 30th April, the Rising ended in military defeat for the Republican forces. On Sunday all organized resistance ended. At 5 p.m. April 30, the tricolor was pulled from the top of the remains of the GPO, the dream of the republic seemingly pulled down with it.
In a letter to his family, Thomas McDonagh recalls "On April 30th. I was astonished to receive by a messenger from P.H. Pearse, Commandant General of the Army of the Irish Republic, an order to surrender unconditionality to the Brittish General. I did not obey the order as it came from a prisoner. I as then in supreme command of the Irish Army, consulted with my second in command and decided to confirm the order. I knew that it would involve my death and the deaths of other leaders. I hoped that it would save many true men among our followers, good lives for Ireland. God grant it has done so and God approve our deed. For my self I have no regret. The one bitterness that death has for me is the separation it brings from my beloved wife Muriel, and my beloved children, Donagh and Barbara. My country will then treat them as wards, I hope. I have devoted myself too much to National work and too little to the making of money to leave them a competence. God help them and supprot them, and give them a happy and prosperous life. Never was there a better, truer, purer woman then my wife Muriel, or more adoreable children than Don and Barbara. It breaks my heart that I shall never se my children again, but I have not wept or murmured. I counted the cost of this and am ready to pay it. Muriel has been sent for here. I do not know if she can come. She may have no one to take the children while she is coming. If she does -".