Monday, May 2, 2016

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Stories From The Rising: First Casualties And Casement Captured In Kerry

From the 1916 Societies:


Continuing their series of short stories on the 1916 Centenary, the Thomas Clarke Society Dungannon tell of the first casualties of the Rising and Casement’s capture in Kerry.
When the Military Council met at noon on Good Friday Sean MacDiarmada told them of MacNeill and Hobson’s plans to cancel the mobilisation on Sunday. With MacNeill now settled, it was agreed to arrest Hobson and detain him until after the Rising. Connolly quickly organised this.

The Wireless Unit was met in Killarney by two cars sent from Limerick. Daly and Ó Lochlainn went in the front car, Keating, Monaghan and Sheehan in the second. The first car arrived at Cahirciveen but when the second car didn’t arrive they returned to Killarney. The second car had taken a wrong turn in the darkness, went over the pier at Ballykissane (pictured) and into the sea. The three passengers, Keating, Sheehan and Monaghan were drowned – the first casualties of the Rising.

As The Aud approached Fenit despite the odds, almost on schedule in accordance with Captain Spindler’s orders, ten miles north at the Banna Strand Casement and his Companies left the U-Boat, U 19. They boarded a small rowing boat and headed for shore.

No one was informed of Casement’s plans to return to Ireland. The boat capsized and they had to swim to shore. Monteith knew the area well. Cold and soaked, they walked several miles to an old Celtic Fort, known as Rath Eoghainn or locally as ‘McKenna’s Fort’. Casement had been unwell for several months so they left him here and headed for Tralee to make contact with Austin Stack.

Casement took to the roads and was arrested by the RIC. As Tom Clarke went to his bed on the night of Good Friday he believed his years of planning were now, in just 48 hours time, to become a reality.

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