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Copy of letter sent by John [Seán] MacEntee while in Kilmainham Jail to Thomas Erskine Alexander, thanking him for his testimony at MacEntee's court martial and including a poem written by MacEntee for Alexander entitled "Lines on Leaving Stafford Prison" [with annotation in ink by MacEntee];

1916 June

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In Collection: Correspondence relating to the trial and release of Seán MacEntee, 1916-1917;
Description: MacEntee thanks T. E. Alexander for his support and includes a poem he says they was written on the morning of his departure from Stafford Prison for Richmond, "as a memento of, what at any rate was for me, our fortunate meeting". On April 24 1916 [Easter Monday], MacEntee ordered his Irish Volunteers to commandeer a number of cars at Castlebellingham [with a view to converging on Tara, Co Meath]. Two RIC men arrived and he ordered his unit to disarm them. One of the policemen, Constable McKee was shot. MacEntee returned to Dublin where he made his way to the GPO. He was subsequently captured and court martialed by the British with three others on a charge of killing Constable McGee. He was sentenced to death but escaped the firing squad as Belfast solicitor and Ulster Unionist Party councillor T.E. Alexander who was travelling north [returning from Fairyhouse races] on Easter Monday was stopped by the Irish Volunteers led by MacEntee at Castlebellingham. At MacEntee's court martial Alexander gave testimony that MacEntee exercised a restraining influence over his men and that while he ordered his men to disarm the RIC men he did not order them to shoot them. Alexander also testified that but for MacEntee's presence he too would have been murdered.
Main Creator: MacEntee, Seán, 1889-1984
Language: English
Extent: 1 item (5 pages).
Call Number: MS 49,501/1 (Manuscripts Reading Room)
Rights: Reproduction rights owned by National Library of Ireland.