Male Combatants

Biographical details of male combatants mentioned in Kathleen Lynn's 1916 diary entries


Who's who in the Kathleen Lynn diaries

Asquith, Herbert was British Prime Minister from April 1908 – December 1916. During his time in office, he took the UK into the First World War and helped create the British Welfare State. He visited Ireland in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising.

Carruthers Possibly, Christopher Carruthers (or Crothers), a ‘boy’ in the Irish Citizen Army who was stationed at St Stephen’s Green during the Rising.

Ceannt, Eamonn born in 1881. Ceannt joined Sinn Fein in 1907, and was elected to its National Council. In 1911, Sean MacDiarmada recruited him to the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), and encouraged him to become a founding member of the Irish Volunteers. During Easter Week, Ceannt’s battalion held the South Dublin Union and its outposts; this position saw some of the bloodiest fighting in the Rising. When Ceannt learned of Pearse’s order to surrender, he was reluctant to lay down arms. Ceannt was court-martialled at Richmond Barracks, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol on 8th May.

Colbert, Cornelius (Con) was born in 1888. He enrolled in Na Fianna Éireann, the nationalist boy-scout organisation, and was elected to the provisional committee of the Irish Volunteers on their formation, in November 1913. During Easter Week, he fought at Watkin's Brewery, Jameson's Distillery and Marrowbone Lane. As this position was bypassed by the cordon of British troops that gradually encircled the city centre, the garrison did little fighting, eventually surrendering on the Sunday following Easter. Colbert was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol on 8th May.

Connolly, James was born in Edinburgh in 1868, to Irish parents. He moved to Dublin in 1896, and became involved in the socialist movement. Connolly, with James Larkin, led the 1913 Lock-out in Dublin. Kathleen Lynn met Connolly during the Lock-out, and he would ask her to provide first aid training to the Irish Citizen Army. A signatory of the Irish Proclamation, Connolly was stationed at the GPO, as Commandant General. During the Rising, Connolly suffered a serious injury to the ankle. Connolly was court-martialled and executed on 12th May 1916. Due to his injury he was unable to stand, and faced the firing squad seated in a chair.

Connolly, Sean was born in Dublin, in 1882. Connolly was active in the trade union movement, and a member of the Irish Citizen Army. An actor for the Abbey, he also starred in ICA productions. Connolly commanded an ICA contingent in the Dublin Castle area on Easter Monday. Connolly occupied City Hall, where he based his command; he was shot and killed by a British sniper firing from the castle tower.

Dillon, John was born in 1851. He served as an MP for over 35 years, representing constituencies in East Mayo and Tipperary. He was an advocate for Irish Nationalism and Home Rule. He was arrested and imprisoned on multiple occasions for his radical stance on land reform and role in the Irish Land League.

Halpin, William was born in 1887. He worked in the Dublin docks and was involved with the trade unions. During the Easter Rising, Halpin was part of the City Hall garrison. Halpin was injured but avoided capture by climbing into a chimney. He was eventually captured and held in Richmond Barracks.

Heuston, Sean was born in Dublin, in 1891. He was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers, which eventually became the IRB and Irish Republican Army. He was also involved in the Howth Gun-running. In 1916, Heuston was Captain of a company that seized the key location of the Mendacity Institute, preventing British troops from linking up with other troops in the city centre. He decided to surrender on the Wednesday of Easter Week. Heuston was court-martialled at Richmond Barracks, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 8th May.

MacBride, John was born in Westport, Co. Mayo, in 1865. He was an officer in the Boer army in South Africa. In 1903 he married Maud Gonne. The marriage did not last and they divorced, in 1906, and Gonne obtained legal custody of their son Seán. MacBride was elected to the Supreme Council of the IRB, in 1911. During the 1916 Rising, he fell in with the 2nd battalion of Thomas MacDonagh and was appointed his second in command. Before surrendering he encouraged the men under his command to escape and take up the fight again later; he made no effort to escape. MacBride was court-martialled on 4th May, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 5th May.

MacDiarmada, Sean was born in Corranmore, Co. Leitrim, in 1883. McDiarmada settled in Belfast, in 1905, where he joined the Gaelic League and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and sworn in as a member of the IRB. MacDiarmada moved to Dublin in 1907, where he met Thomas Clarke, and became a full-time organizer for the IRB.

MacDiarmada had a leading role in planning the 1916 Rising; he was very secretive which contributed to the confusion over when the rising would take place. He was stationed in the General Post Office garrison. After the surrender, MacDiarmada was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 12th May.

MacDonagh, Thomas was born in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, in 1878. MacDonagh was drawn to the Nationalist movement through the Gaelic League. He moved to Dublin and became the headmaster of St. Enda’s School. He married Muriel Gifford, in 1912. MacDonagh was a member of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

MacDonagh commanded a force that occupied Jacob biscuit factory. He refused to surrender to the British, as he felt that Pearse was under duress when issued the order to surrender. Only after parleying with General Lowe did he finally agree to surrender. MacDonagh was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 3rd May.

Mallin, Michael Thomas was born, in 1874, in Dublin. He was active in socialist politics and was a member of the Socialist Party of Ireland in 1909. When James Connolly took command of the Irish Citizen Army in 1914, he appointed Mallin his chief-of-staff. Mallin led the Citizen Army force that occupied St Stephen’s Green and the Royal College of Surgeons. On Connolly’s orders, he surrendered along with his garrison on 30th April. Regarded as leader he was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, on 8th May.

Plunkett, Joseph was born in Dublin, in 1887. Plunkett bought the ailing newspaper, the Irish Review, and supported Arthur Griffith’s Sinn Féin and the workers, in the 1913 Lock-Out. In May 1915, Plunkett was appointed to the IRB Military Council, mainly due to his key position as director of military operations in the Irish Volunteers. Plunkett was heavily involved in preparations for the Rising and displayed a talent for military operations. Although recovering from an operation on his glands, Plunkett still served with the headquarters garrison in the GPO. After the surrender, Plunkett was court-martialled, and executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol on 4th May. The evening before his execution he married Grace Gifford.

Walsh, James was born Co. Cork in 1880. Walsh played a significant role in expanding the GAA throughout Co Cork. In 1912, Walsh formed a rifle club in Cork city, and when the Irish Volunteers were formed, he took a leading role in the organization. During the Rising, Walsh led a group of thirty Hibernian Rifles and served under James Connolly at the General Post Office. Walsh was court-martialled and sentenced to death, but was later reprieved and imprisoned at Portland and Lewes prison.