1916 Easter Rising Centenary Document Spotlight

This page contains a selection of documents relating to the 1916 Easter Rising from the collections of Louth County Archives Service.

If you wish to view the originals or further archival documents, please visit our exhibition on the Louth Volunteers 1914 - 1918, which is open during office hours in our headquarters at the Old Gaol, Ardee Road, Dundalk, Co Louth.

Easter Rising Documents

1.    Contemporary replica of ‘Irish War News’, volume 1, number 1, issued by Republican forces on 25th April 1916. The only edition of Irish War News was typed and produced inside the GPO while under fire and less than ten known copies of the original survive. The back page contains the historic ‘Stop Press’ news announcing that the Irish Republic has been declared, written by Padraig Pearse while the Rebellion was in progress.  It states its seven members, gives an update on the fighting and urges the citizens of Ireland to support the rebellion. Reference P/160.1

Irish War News

2.     Letter from Michael McGrath, 9 Linenhall Street, Dublin to Joseph Dolan, Ardee, 30 Apr 1916 in which he describes the terror of the bombing and shelling; the desperation and hunger of the civilian population; the looting and the burning. He details the Louth Dairy occurrence where ‘James Finnegan born in Stickillen (and) Paddy Hoey from above Dunleer...were shot’ and outlines the devastation of Dublin.

This letter refers to the North King Street Massacre where a total of fifteen civilians were killed in their homes by soldiers from the South Staffordshire regiment during the Easter Rising. The army went house to house killing a number of men in each including four men at 27 North King Street who had all worked in the Louth Dairy.  The letter confirms that two civilians killed in the Easter Rising were from County Louth. Reference PP118/

Michael McGrath letter

Transcript for Michael McGrath letter

3.     Letter from Father Augustine [Hayden] OFM, Franciscan Capuchin Friary, Church Street, Dublin, [12 May 1916] referring to his visit with 1916 leader James Connolly (1868-1916) who was executed on 12th May 1916. Along-with Father Aloysius, Father Augustine was called to Kilmainham Jail to minister to leaders of the Rising on the morning of their execution. He states that he called yesterday and 'found the person for whom you had inquired to be quite well'.  He comments '[Boys] are sad here. Poor Ireland! Yet some day I shall feel for glorious things of how they died'.  Reference PP118/

Father Augustine letter

4.     Cover and two pages from 'Dublin and the "Sinn Fein Rising" souvenir booklet, published by Wilson Hartnell & Co in 1916. It contains an account of the Rising including a map of Dublin city showing the chief points during the Rising, photographs of Dublin in the aftermath of the Rising, a replica of ‘Irish War News’, an account of the Rising leaders, portraits, images of documents including the Proclamation and Volunteer relics, and advertisements. Reference P/160.2

Dublin and the “Sinn Fein” Rising

5.     Notice of the Irish National Aid Association seeking subscriptions 'to provide for those ... who have suffered as a result of the recent insurrection...'28 May 1916 Reference PP118/

Irish National Aid Association

Local Opinions

1.     Page from minute book of Drogheda Corporation showing resolution passed by members condemning the recent uprising in Dublin and other parts of the country and expressing their continued support for John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party (p505-506). It also shows motion recommending the disarmament ‘of all Volunteer Bodies throughout Ireland’. The motion was carried (p506). 08 May 1916

Drogheda Corporation minute book resolution

2.    Page from minute book of Dundalk Urban District Council showing resolutions passed condemning the Rising, calling on the disarmament of civilian forces and supporting John Redmond’s appeal for clemency of those involved in the Rising, 09 May 1916. Reference DUDC/MB/001/003

Dundalk UDC minute book resolutions

3.    Page from minute book of Louth County Council showing resolution adopted that the Irish Volunteers should be established in every parish, 28 May 1914.

Louth County Council minute book resolution

4.    Page from Dundalk Board of Guardians minute book showing resolution passed condemning Easter Rising, May 1916, Reference BG/DDK/MB/001/125

Dundalk Board of Guardians minute book resolution

5.     Letter from [Monsignor Murphy], Carlingford to Joseph Dolan, Ardee referring to the effect of ‘this unfortunate rising’ on the Gaelic League and writes 'I fear the difficulties in the way of the League will be very much increased...I fear we must, as they say in the country, "rake the fire" of the Irish [language] propaganda in its own ashes, & (and) leave the rekindling to another generation.'  He goes on to observe that 'the policy of Redmond was a sour one, but our Celtic temperament cannot long tolerate any policy or any leader. We have the defects of our [qualities], & (and) now we have what we deserve, something akin to political anarchy.' 12 May 1916, 4pp Reference PP118/

[Monsignor Murphy] letter

6.     Copy letter from Colonel Edward Bellingham to the Dundalk Democrat, 20 May 1916. Bellingham’s 8th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers suffered in the region of 2-300 casualties in a German attack during Easter Week.  Source: Dundalk Democrat and Drogheda Independent.

Colonel Edward Bellingham letter

7.     Transcript of diary extract dated 06 Jun 1916, of 2nd Lieutenant Kenneth Callan Macardle, who served with 17th Battalion, Manchester Regiment in France, Feb – Jul 1916. Macardle was killed in action at Trones Wood, 9th July 1916. He was the son of Sir Thomas Callan Macardle, owner of Macardle Moore & Company Ltd, Dundalk. Imperial War Museum, ref: Documents.12292

2nd Lieutenant Kenneth Callan Macardle diary extract

8.     Letter from local businessman W(illiam) Tempest, Douglas Place, Dundalk to Joseph Dolan, Ardee expressing his concerns over Home Rule and partition in Ireland. He writes: 'the present proposed settlement will be the old remedy - "hung, drawn and quartered" politically. Give us Home Rule all or none. I know the North is the "headsman" but why cut our head off?' 04 Jul 1916, 3pp Reference PP118/

William Tempest letter

9.     Letter from TF McGahon, editor of the Dundalk Democrat to Joseph Dolan, Ardee. He questions 'Are you right in assuming that there is no danger of another rebellion.'  He says 'You don't see the things the Press is not allowed to print.'  He criticises the speeches of DeValera and Markievicz.  Of Markievicz he says 'Did you see (her) speech at Waterford describing amidst cheers how her young heroes died in Dublin shouting "If we die for Ireland we go straight to Heaven." That smacks very strongly of Mahomed (sic) - doesn't it? Yet the lady is declared to be a convert to the Catholic faith!' He recounts the experience of the 1916 rebellion in Dundalk where an unarmed policeman was shot dead, a military passenger was left for dead and two civilians were shot and wounded. He asks for a clear expression of Catholic doctrine. He condemns admirers of 'McMahon, who, after stealing the Ardee Volunteers’ guns, loafed about Ardee while the dupes were putting their necks in the leather & (and) then had the effrontery to talk at Drogheda about “shedding their blood as they did in Easter Week”.'  He continues on Catholic doctrine and writes 'Do you know that in many districts of Monaghan, Sinn Fein has been preached from the altar of God?' He finishes by asking ‘to quote Mr Wm O’Brien, can Sinn Fein be fought with [s...sticks]?’10 Nov 1917, Reference PP118/

TF McGahon letter


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