Execution of 1916 Easter Rebellion Leaders at Stonebreakers’ Yard in Kilmainham Gaol continues.
Joseph Mary Plunkett: Born in Dublin into a privileged background, his father was a papal count. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and the IRB in 1914. Plunkett was Director of Military Operations for the Rising, with overall responsibility for military strategy. Shortly before the rising was to begin, Plunkett was hospitalised for an operation on his neck glands and had to struggle out of bed to take part in what was to follow. Still bandaged, he took his place in the GPO with several other of the rising’s leaders, though his health prevented him from being terribly active; his energetic aide-de-camp was Michael Collins. Hours before his execution by British authorities, Plunkett married Grace Gifford in Kilmainham Gaol.
Michael O’Hanrahan: Born in Wexford, O’Hanrahan had a strong interest in the Irish language founding the Carlow branch of the Gaelic League. He authored two novels, ‘A Swordsman of the Brigade’ and ‘When the Norman Came’. He was second in command to Thomas MacDonagh at Jacob’s biscuit factory during the Rising. Wexford railway station is named in commemoration of O’Hanrahan, as is the road bridge over the River Barrow at New Ross.
Edward “Ned” Daly: Born in Limerick, Daly’s uncle John Daly had taken part in the rebellion of 1867. During the Rising, Daly commanded the First Battalion fighting at Bridewell, Linenhall Barracks and the Four Courts. Daly’s sister was married to Tom Clarke executed the previous day. Bray railway station was re-named Bray Daly railway station in his honour in 1966.
William “Willie” Pearse: Born in Dublin, the younger brother of Pádraig, he assisted him in running St. Enda’s. The two brothers were extremely close, and fought alongside each other in the GPO. It has been said that it was his surname that condemned him. However, at his court-martial he rather trumpeted his involvement, exaggerating it even, and perhaps condemned himself. Pearse railway station on Westland Row in Dublin was re-named in honour of the two brothers in 1966.