Easter Saturday. 1916. Dublin
Gilbert is standing guard in a safe house in North Frederick Street. This is a secret hideout for English and Scottish Volunteers waiting for the planned rebellion. They had heard rumours that that the building was due to be raided by the police and the men had resolved to resist with arms if this happened. Gilbert had arrived from Stockport only a few days before, carrying a smuggled load of weapons. He had missed the planned pickup and been left alone in a city he didn’t know. He had left his bag in a hotel room which was raided, and most of the arms captured, only escaping by being sent to this refuge by Michael Collins.
Here he is met by his old friend Liam, a Dubliner who had been living in Manchester. Liam has been in hiding, in the Plunkett family’s mill, also waiting for the uprising. He introduces Gilbert to Sheila, a family friend who is organising her squad of women ready for ‘the day’. Together the three of them go to a ceilidh that night where Gilbert and Sheila dance till dawn. Gilbert said: “I kissed Miss O’Hanlon and got my face well smacked for it.” (They were to become sweethearts and marry after the rising.)
Within two days all three were to be under fire behind barricades in the midst of an insurrection that was to change the course of Irish history.
This is their story, and that of the other Manchester Volunteers.
Key Search Words, Easter Rising, Dublin, 1916, Manchester, Gilbert Lynch, Liam Parr, Larkfield Mill, Plunkett, Sheila O’Hanlon, Michael Collins. North Frederick Street.