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1916: The Rising Handbook

Lorcan Collins
O'Brien Press
1916: The Rising Handbook


From Section Eight: Positions Occupied & Garrison Strengths


The General Post Office, Sackville Street. The GPO was occupied in 1916 as the HQ for the Army of the Irish Republic. As communication was integral to the administration of Ireland and the British Empire, it made perfect sense to occupy the centre of communication in Dublin city. The GPO is still used as a post office. Five of the seven members of the Provisional Government were here during the Rising: Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Tom Clarke, Sean MacDiarmada and Joseph Plunkett. Muster Point: Liberty Hall

Number in the GPO at any stage during the Rising: 617 1


HQ: Initially the North Brunswick Street area, then Father Mathew Hall on Church Street. Edward Daly decided the Four Courts would be more suitable as a HQ towards the end of the Rising on Friday. The four courts that give the building its name were Exchequer, Chancery, King's Bench and Common Pleas. Muster Point: Blackhall Place Commandant: Edward Daly Vice-Commandant: Piaras Beaslai Number with the First Battalion: 451

The North Dublin Union at the top of Church Street was also occupied by the Volunteers of the First Battalion, who set fire to the Linen Hall Army Pay Corps Barracks. Reilly's Pub at the corner of North King Street and Church Street was also occupied by the First. It was called Reilly's Fort for many years after, and is now The Tap pub.

The Mendicity Institution was commanded by Captain Sean Heuston of D Company, First Battalion, Irish Volunteers.The purpose of this posi­tion was to provide cover for their main troops across the LifFey. Their position could also command the Quays, especially on the southside, and they could harass British troops from the Royal Barracks. Muster Point: Liberty Hall (they were under the direct command of James Connolly)2

Commandant: Captain Sean Heuston


HQ: W&R Jacob's Biscuit Factory, situated between Bishop Street and Peter Street. The factory had a good command over the Aungier Street area and hindered British movements from Portobello Barracks into the city.

Muster Point: St. Stephen's Green

Commandant: Thomas MacDonagh, Commander Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers

Vice-Commandant: Michael O'Hanrahan, replaced by John MacBride Number with the Second Battalion: 247


HQ: Boland's Mills, Grand Canal Street

Muster Point: St. Andrew's Catholic Club (Company HQ), 144 Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street)

Commandant: Eamon de Valera, Adjutant, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers

Vice-Commandant: Joseph O'Connor.3 The VC of the Third Battalion was Sean Fitzgibbon, but he was not a member of the IRB and was sent to Limerick some time before the Rising. He was replaced by P. Begley for the Rising, but Begley was reported missing on Thursday and was replaced by O'Connor. Number with the Third Battalion: 222

Clanwilliam House and 25 Northumberland Road were also occupied and saw some of the fiercest fighting in what became known as the Battle of Mount Street Bridge. Muster Point: Earlsfort Terrace