1916 – Easter Rising: Michael Mallin, Éamonn Ceannt, Cornelius “Con” Colbert and Seán Heuston are shot dead in Kilmainham Gaol.

Executions of Easter Rising Leaders continue by a British regime in Stonebreakers’ Yard at Kilmainham Gaol, completely insensitive to the fact it was creating numerous martyrs and generating an emotional calling cry for Irish rebellion that would culminate in the War of Independence.

Shot dead on this day:

Michael Mallin: Born in Co Dublin, he was a music teacher, devout Catholic and teetotaler. On the eve of the 1916 Rising, Michael Mallin played the flute in the four-piece Workers’ Orchestra during a recital for the Irish Citizen Army in Dublin’s Liberty Hall. He was a silk weaver and co-founder with Francis Sheehy-Skeffington of the Irish Socialist Party, was second in command of the Irish Citizen Army under James Connolly and commanded the garrison at St. Stephen’s Green with Constance Markievicz as his second in command. Dún Laoghaire Mallin DART station is named after Michael Mallin.

Éamonn Ceannt: Born in Co Galway, he was a skilled Uilleann piper. In February 1900 Ceannt, along with Edward Martyn founded Cumann na bPíobairí (The Pipers Club). Ceannt’s musical talents earned him a gold medal at the 1906 Oireachtas and in 1905 he even put on a performance for Pope Pius X. Ceannt was a co-founder of the Irish Volunteers, partaking in the successful Howth gun-running operation of 1914. As the commander of the Fourth Battalion of Irish Volunteers during the Rising, he took possession of the South Dublin Union (St. James Hospital), with more than 100 men under his command, notably his second-in-command Cathal Brugha, and W. T. Cosgrove. Galway City’s Ceannt Station, the main bus and rail station in his native county of Galway, is named in his honour, as well as Éamonn Ceannt Park in Dublin. There is also a commemorative plaque on the wall of Scholars Townhouse Hotel the former Christian Brother School where Eamonn Ceannt was educated.

Cornelius “Con” Colbert: Born in Co Limerick, prior to the Easter Rising he had been an active member of the republican movement, joining both Fianna Éireann and the Irish Volunteers. In the weeks leading up to the Rising, he acted as bodyguard for Thomas Clarke. A dedicated teetotaler, Colbert was captain of F Company of the Fourth Battalion which occupied the Marrowbone Lane distillery. Colbert surrendered with the Marrowbone Lane Garrison along with the South Dublin Union Garrison, which had been led by Éamonn Ceannt. When the order to surrender was issued, he assumed the command of his unit to save the life of his superior officer, who was a married man. Colbert Railway Station in Limerick city is named after him. Con Colbert Road in Dublin is named in his honour. Fianna Fáil Cumann in University of Limerick is named after him. Colbert Street in his native Athea, Co Limerick is named after him, as is the local community hall.

Seán Heuston: Born in Co Limerick, with Con Colbert, Heuston was involved in the education of the schoolboys at Scoil Éanna, organising drill and musketry exercises. Heuston was the Officer Commanding of the Volunteers in the Mendicity Institution (now called Heustons Fort) on the south side of Dublin city. Acting under Orders from James Connolly, Heuston was to hold this position for three or four hours, to delay the advance of British troops. Houston Train Station was named in his honour in Dublin, where he once worked in the Traffic Manager’s Office, as is the nearby Seán Heuston Bridge.


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