BUREAU OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1913-21.
STATEMENT BY WITNESS
DOCUMENT NO. W.S. 1,303
Captain Knockboy Company 1st Battalion
West Waterford Brigade.
Knockboy Company I.R.A.
1st Battalion West Waterford Brigade,
Conditions, if any, Stipulated by Witness.
File No. S.2622
STATEMENT BY JOHN WHELAN,
Knockboy Ballinamult, Co. Waterford.
I was born in August, 1896. My father was a farm labourer and was a member of the Fenian Brotherhood when he was in America in his young days. I attended the local national school and was a member of the local hurling and football clubs
When the National Volunteers were started in Knockboy, sometime in 1914, I joined, up, but about the time of the split in the movement I was working in Tallaght, Co. Dublin, with a man named O'Toole who was in the Irish Volunteers. I was not a Volunteer when the Rising in Dublin broke out and I took no part in it. I did, however, go in to Dublin with O'Toole on the Wednesday of Easter Week, 1916.
I remember being in O'Connell St., where the firing was very heavy. We were there watching for about an hour. We then went to the South Dublin Union, where O'Toole thought that some of his company might be. At the gate of the Union we met a man whose name, I think, was Lawless.
This man was, so far as I can remember, a clerk there and used to do business with O'Toole, whom he recognised. Lawless brought us into the building and showed us the bodies of six Volunteers lying on some sort of a table. The bodies were covered by a sheet. He turned down the sheet and we saw that the dead were all young lads. There were no Volunteers in that particular part of the building, so O'Toole decided we should go to the Marrowbone Lane district and try and contact a Volunteer unit there. We went towards Marrowbone Lane, where heavy firing was going on, but, so far as I can remember now, O'Toole did not contact any of those he wanted to meet, so we left the city that same evening and returned to Tallaght.
Editorial Note: I have O'Toole relatives born in Dublin back in 1865 and prior, so I thought this rather poignant for me.