My experiences during the rising in Dublin, Easter week 1916 [by] Mr. Cant,


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In Collection: Cant family collection, ca. 1916 - ca. 1950.
Description: William Cant of Inchicore House describes his own experiences in Dublin city during Easter Week 1916. He walked all over the city on Easter Monday, encountering a lot of soldiers, some rebels and a few casualties; but he was able to have some coffee in the Shelbourne Hotel in the late afternoon. He and his sister-in-law went out walking through the city again on Tuesday, and were treated civilly by rebels who helped them climb over barricades, but he was so appalled by the looting he witnessed in Sackville Street (O'Connell Street), that he approached the G.P.O. to suggest they send someone over to stop the looting in Lawrence's. He spoke to James Connolly, though not aware of his identity until later. He had lunch at the Gresham Hotel and watched from the window as the looting continued. Later he and his sister-in-law had closer encounters with the fighting as they wandered the city in search of the action. There was a great deal more shooting the following day, Wednesday, with fires breaking out in the city and constant booming of artillery. By Thursday people were not being permitted to enter the city centre. On Saturday they heard the news of surrender, and went down on Sunday morning to the police barracks to read a copy of Pearse's surrender and to discuss the situation with the people milling around. On their way to Inchicore that evening they saw about 800 of the rebel prisoners being taken away from Richmond Barracks, including Countess Markievicz. Cant describes it as a 'wonderful sight'. On 2nd May he mentions all the Stop Presses being issued almost every hour with news of the executions. On the 3rd May he found himself caught outdoors after the 7.30 pm curfew and took hours to get home as he was dodging groups of soldiers all the way and was challenged several times. Some sniping continued even until the 4th May, but on the 6th all sentries were removed from the streets and people could go about freely again. Cant's conclusion to the narrative is that 'The outstanding feature about the whole outbreak was the marvellous way in which General Maxwell carried out the operations. In less than a week the mad outbreak was completely broken up to the consternation of the few insane rebel leaders. The executions were carried out promptly. The rank and file have suffered severely and it has been established that they were not aware of the mission they were out for on the day they were called out by their leaders.'
Main Creator: Cant William
Language: English
Extent: 1 item (11 pages).
Call Number: MS 49,854/9 (Manuscripts Reading Room)
Rights: Reproduction rights owned by the National Library of Ireland.