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January.2014

WEISFJORD NEWS

ELIZABETH O’FARRELL PART II BY SEÁN FARRELL hen Commandant Padraig Pearse surrendered his sword to General Lowe at the top of Moore St., Elizabeth O’Farrell was tasked with deliver the “Surrender Orders” to the other Commandants. There were several officers standing round as Commandant Pearse was driven off, one of whom remarked; “It would be interesting to know how many marks that fellow has in his pocket!” – Elizabeth O’Farrell was then given into the charge of Lieutenant Royall, who was told to keep her under close observation, ‘though not to regard her as a prisoner. Lt. Royall her back to Tom Clark’s shop in Great Britain St., and provided her with some tea. – It was then about 4.15 p.m. General Lowe shortly returned with Pearse’s written order for the other Commandants to surrender and five or six typewritten copies. One of these was signed by Commandant James Connolly for his own men in the G.P.O. area and in Stephen’s Green. General Lowe first gave an order for Elizabeth to take to Moore St., where the Republican troops from the G.P.O. had taken over, and a written note as to how they should surrender. --The note read as follows; “Carrying a white flag, proceed down Moore St., turn into Moore Lane and Henry Place, out into Henry St., and around the Pillar to the right hand side of Sackville St., march up to within a hundred yards of the military drawn up at the Parnell Statue, halt advance five paces and lay down arms!” At the same time, General Lowe gave her an order for the Commandant of the Four Courts. Accordingly, when she had given the order to the men in Moore St., she proceeded down Great Britain St. and Capel St and to the Four Courts. She was stopped several times by officers, and one who refused to let her pas under any circumstances, so she had to return to Moore St. and explain to the officer there what had happened. He sent a guard with her so that she might have safe passage. They proceeded to a barricade at Little Mary St. at which point the guard left her. Elizabeth crossed the barricade and headed up East Arren St., and around into Pill Lane (now called Chancery Street). Here, she met Fr. Columbus of Church Street. She had a little white flag with her and she told Fr. Columbus where she was going, so he took the flag from her and offered to accompany her. They passed Charles Street, and went over into the side entrance of the Four Courts. They called some of the Volunteers and asked to see someone in charge. Meting a senior officer, they told him they had a message for Commandant Daly. He told them they would have to go round to the quays to the corner of Church Street. This they did and found Commandant Daly strongly entrenched there. Elizabeth gave him the order and told him of the Headquarters surrender. – He was very much cut up about it, but accepted his orders as a soldier should. – He walked back with them to the side entrance and by this time the news had got about of the surrender and several officers of the Republican Army were down at the rails waiting for them. Having delivered the message, Elizabeth returned to Sackville Street by the same way she had come. When she reached Sackville Street, she was again shown to Lt. Royall, who had orders to look after her for the night and that he was personally responsible for her. It was then about 7.15 p.m. After about half an hour, Republican troops from the Four Courts marched up Sackville Street

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and were lined up outside of Crane’s; and nearing 8 p.m. the Moore Street men came up the other side of the street and were lined up by Mackey’s. While they were still in the street, Lt. Royall took Elizabeth over to the National Bank and provided her with supper. He then procured for her a bedroom at the top of the house in which she was reasonably comfortable and slept well. Lt. Royall sat on a chair outside her room all night. About 6o’clock on Sunday morning she arose and looked out the window. She was pained to see about 300 or 400 Volunteers lying on the little plot of grass at Great Britain Street, in front of the Rotunda Hospital, where they had spent the night in the cold and damp. With them were Julia Grenan and Winifred Carney who had been with her when she left the G.P.O. All their arms and ammunition were piled up at the foot of the Parnell Statue. – She had barely finished dressing when she was told that Captain Wheeler wanted her downstairs to take round the orders to the other Commandants. – Wheeler had the typewritten copies and he took Elizabeth to the middle of Grafton Street in a car, from where she had to walk to the College of Surgeons with a white flag. Bullets were whistling around St. Stephen’s Green. There was no one on the streets and she saw no dead or wounded. She got in at a side door in York Street and asked for Commandant Mallin. She was told he was sleeping and that Countess Markievicz was next in command. Elizabeth gave her the order and the Countess was very much surprised and went to discuss it with Commandant Mallin. She also gave the Countess a slip with the directions of how to surrender – the Southern sides being ordered to surrender at St. Patrick’s Park. (She later stated that she didn’t think this order was carried out and she wasn’t sure where the College of Surgeons troops ultimately surrendered). She returned to Grafton Street and Captain Wheeler asked if she had seen Mallin and what he said about it. She replied that she had only saw him briefly and that he had nothing to say. Wheeler told her she should have got him to say if he intended to surrender or not. He then brought her in a car to Trinity College, into which he went for a few minutes. – Next he decided to take her to Commandant de Valera at Boland’s Mill – Mount Street area – bringing the car down Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street), but the barricades there blocked the way. – Not wishing to go near any of the railway bridges because the Volunteers were on them – he instead drove down Tara Street to Butt Bridge, and informed her that he did not think he could take her any further, so she started through the firing line from Butt Bridge to Boland’s Mill. She did not know if the Volunteers were still in Boland’s so she had to go up to Westland Row to ask the military to locate the Volunteers for her. This was a very difficult job and she had to take her life in her hands several times. When she came into Westland Row the military were lined across the top and were screaming at her to go back, but she kept waving her white flag and the paper containing the orders. When she got to the top a soldier brought her to Clare Street to find an officer who then sent another soldier with her to pass through the military lines at Holles Street, Merrion Square. There she asked another soldier where the Volunteers were firing from and he told her the gasometer. She went down Holles Street around Wentworth Place and into Harmony Row on the left-hand side, from where she proceeded down under the railway bridge in

Brunswick Place and called up to the Volunteers, but got no reply. Many people were in the streets in this dangerous area, several women standing in doorways. She then went on into Brunswick Street and over to the gas works, which she tried to enter, but did not succeed. She next tried to get in to the old distillery, but again she failed. – Proceeding across Ringsend Road Bridge towards Boland’s Mill, (the Grand Canal Basin), she saw, lying on the ground, two gloves and a hat covered in blood. She called out to the bakery, but as like previous places got no reply. She then went along Barrow Street towards the railway bridge and there saw some Volunteers who knew her. She enquired from them for Commandant de Valera, and was told she would find him at the Grand Canal Street Dispensary. Off she went to the Dispensary, back again towards town and as she crossed Grand Canal Street Bridge the firing was terrific. At this point a man crossing the bridge about half a yard behind her was shot! She called to some people in houses down the street and they ran up and carted the man to St. Patrick Dun’s Hospital. She crossed over to the Dispensary and asked for de Valera. She was sent round to the back. When she got to the back, the barricades had to be removed and she was lifted through a window into a small room. Here, de Valera came to her. At first he seemed to think it was a hoax, but when some of her Volunteer friends came in, he realised she was to be trusted. However, he then said; “I will not take any orders except from my immediate superior officer, Commandant MacDonagh!” – So, after all her trouble trying to find him, she had to off again towards the College where she was to meet Captain Wheeler with de Valera’s answer. She went back to Holles Street, Merrion Square and into Clare Street where Wheeler was waiting with the car, and told him of de Valera’s answer, to which Wheeler said they would go up to Jacob’s and see Commandant MacDonagh. They went by Dame Street and the Castle Yard, into which Wheeler went for a short time. They then proceeded through Ship Street into Bride Street, in the middle of which he stopped the car. Elizabeth got out and again walked through the firing line – through Golden Lane, Whitefriar Street and Peter Street – to Jacob’s. At 15 Peter Street, she knocked and asked to see Commandant MacDonagh. She was blindfolded and walked for about five minutes. She heard MacDonagh’s voice and the blindfold was removed. She gave him the orders from Commandant Pearse and told him of the G.P.O. and Moore Street. He brought her into a small room and told her he would not take orders from a prisoner, that he, himself,

was next in command and he would have nothing to say to the surrender until he would confer with General Lowe, the members of the Provisional Government already prisoners and the officers under his command. An interview was then arranged by Fr. Augustine for Commandant MacDongh with General Lowe. This took place outside St. Patrick’s Park at around 3 o’clock. MacDonagh then went to Marrowbone Distillery to consult with Commandant Ceannt and, after this consultation, agreed to surrender also. Elizabeth remained in Jacob’s while all this was taking place and when Commandant MacDonagh returned, he called the officers together and afterwards told the men there that they had decided to carry out Pearse’s orders. The men were against surrendering, but she heard MacDonagh say to them; “Boys, it is not my wish to surrender, but after consultation with Commandant Ceannt and other officers, we think it is the best thing to do. If we don’t surrender now they will show no mercy to the leaders already prisoners!” – He then gave the orders for them to get ready to march out. Just then Michael O’Hanrahan and his brother, Henry, asked Elizabeth if she would take charge of some silver (about £3 in all) they had in their pockets and convey it to their mother, which she consented to do. Another young man asked her to take some money from him, £13 in gold, explaining at the same time that he was saving up to be married, and being in lodgings, took all his money out with him on Easter Monday. – This she also took charge of. She then walked down to Bride Street where MacDonagh and his men were to surrender. As she waited at the corner of Bride Street and Ross Road, Commandant MacDonagh came down to the military and complained that a British soldier had entered Jacob’s and was firing on his men. An officer was sent back with him and the soldier was placed under arrest. – Commandant Ceannt came down the Ross Road at about 6 o’clock and surrendered with his men and also with the members of Cumann na mBan who were attached to his command. Both sections of Volunteers were then disarmed, after which Captain Wheeler came over and took Elizabeth away to the car. By this time it was getting dusk and he drove to Trinity College to telephone General Lowe to know if it was too late to go back down to Boland’s to Commandant de Valera with the orders from Commandant Pearse, which MacDonagh had countersigned. Whatever information Wheeler received, he took her up to Dublin Castle. --- It appears that in the meantime de Valera had surrendered! CONTINUED NEXT ISSUE

Ruins Elizabeth had to negotiate to get to other outposts

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Taking The Chill Out Of Your Home This Winter... BY STEVEN DUNNE e all know money is tight and now more than ever we are looking for ways to “shave a few bob off”. As Consumers we are saving money where we can whether its in our weekly shop, waking more than taking the car or cutting down on our socialising. I do it myself. Now I am not saying we need to go back to cutting our childrens hair or instead of buying toothpaste we just suck on a mint. I am simply pointing out a few simple ways to save money and keep your house cozy this winter.

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• Simply by Keeping doors and windows closed will stop rooms getting cold and draughty. By buying draught excludersit is a good way of keeping the cold from coming in. They can be purchased cheaply in Heatons or Tesco. If you are handy with wool you can knit one cheaper any more. • You can also use expanding foam in external parts of the house where holes and cracks allow air into the house. Around the windows at a small cost you can purchase seals for around the windows to ensure no draughts get into your home.

breast a warm colour will give a cozy feeling and will also make the room look great. Doing this is a lot cheaper than painting an entire room. There are great deals on paint in DIY shops. • Purchasing candles also set a cozy feeling in any room from small tea candles to lovely scented candles. There are a great variety and value in various different retail outlets. • Blankets and Throws. Now I like a good cuddle but when you are at home a blanket/throw is a great way to keep warm and can make any couch/chair look great on them when you are finished. Pennys/Heatons have great value throws and they look really good too. • Searching for value deals on solid fuels fires. There are great deals on Coal and Briquettes now and you just got to get out there and search for it. It really does pay to shop around. My final tip to keep you warm is to simply put the Kettle on and make yourself a hot drink. Mines a hot chocolate don’t forget the Marshmallows.

• Simply painting the chimney

Rural Bus Service BY STEVEN DUNNE Since the start of 2013 I came across first-hand the great service provided by The Rural Transport Programme based at the South West Wexford Development Ramsgrange, County Wexford. Having been running since 2003 it has been in the heart of the local area for 10 years now. The programme runs a Bus service on Tuesdays to New Ross, Wednesdays to Wexford town, Thursdays to Enniscorthy, Fridays to Waterford and Saturday to Wexford town. Also it runs a service to Waterford Daily to accommodate College students. When we think of a bus service it we know it picks up its passengers at designated bus stops often many miles from people houses. The rural bus is different and much more than that. It truly is a lifeline to its passengers many of whom are elderly. A typical day of a rural bus driver is not the same as a normal bus driver. The drivers have pickups from Day care centres and the front doors of its passengers. The great thing about the rural buses is they are smaller than your standard coach bus and can access the passenger’s homes .With a smile on the drivers face a step is provided to assist access to the bus and one day a week a passenger assistant helps passengers with their shopping bags and other needs they may have. On Tuesday on a trip to New Ross I witnessed the rural bus take some passengers to the local community health centre for important appointments. The set timetable every week allows the passengers the opportunity to make appointments and the flexibility of the service means the drivers can accommodate and get people to these important appointments. Following this the bus brought another passenger who has regular appointments with her GP to the doctor’s surgery. This passenger required use of her walking frame which was retrieved from the back of the bus and was assisted from the bus via a step that was put out for her. This is something you would normally get with a bus provided by the HSE. On this particular day the weather was raining and the rural bus dropped a passenger off at the shopping centre for her to do her weekly shopping so she wouldn’t get wet. These are only a small few exam-

ples of the wonderful things the rural bus does for its passengers. Having spoken to the driver on the day she explained that the things that are done by the rural bus are not offered on your standard bus service. “We look out for our passengers we know them and what they need”. When I asked about regular users of the service she said “Many of the people that use the service will use it every Tuesday it’s there link to services they need and If I don’t get a call to tell me that any of my regular passengers are not coming with me I will always go and check they are ok”. When the service resumed for the return journey the female passenger at the doctors was not quite ready needing a prescription at the chemist the bus driver waited for the passenger until they had gotten what she needed and was assisted back onto the bus and her walker stored in the back of the bus. When the bus went to LIDL it linked up with the people who had been at the community Health centre as they needed to do their weekly shopping. When I spoke to a female passenger boarding the bus she said “I am so glad to have the bus service it’s much more than a bus to me and my husband it’s a lifesaver if I was to get a taxi to do the same it was cost me easily ?50.” She continued to say “I get to see my regular friends and we get to plan other social events also. Anne our regular driver is so good and goes beyond her job as a driver” One male passenger who lives in an isolated road quiet narrow and twisted was dropped to his home and helped off the bus with his weekly shopping. I was informed by the driver that this man had been robbed in the past and that they keep an eye out for him and have had to report suspicious car registrations in the past. At the end of the day I spent on the rural bus I got a sense of personal service a massive amount of commitment and bucket loads of caring from the driver and its passengers. Projects like this really are the heart of any community. It would be encouraged to run similar programmes in rural areas of other counties. You truly get to see the needs of people in isolated areas and see that where other transport services are lacking the rural bus is not. It truly is more than a Bus Service.


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