Sean McLoughlin’s visit to Eamon Martin at Richmond Hospital during Easter Week 1916


Sean McLoughlin and Eamon Martin

Sean McLoughlin, was part of the group of young men that took over the Mendicity Institute at the beginning of the week during the Easter Rising in 1916. As well as being a prominent Irish Volunteer, Sean McLoughlin was also a senior member of Na Fianna Eireann.

He joined the Fianna in 1910 and became a Lieutenant at the Sluagh based at Blackhall Street. He went on to become a Fianna Captain in 1915. During Easter week he held both Fianna and Irish Volunteer rank.

During Easter week he made several risky ‘excursions’ out of the Mendicity to gather intelligence, food and ammunition, and also to give reports of happenings at the Mendicity Garrison to other areas of command, in particular Ned Daly’s 1st Battalion in the Four Courts area and to Pearse and Connolly at the G.P.O.

McLoughlin recalls one of these hazardous expeditions when he “went to see Ned Daly and he agreed that I should go to the G.P.O and give an account of everything that happened up to date. Before going there, I decided I would make a certain call. Earlier that day, Volunteers of the North King Street unit had made a sortie against the Broadstone Station, and Eamon Martin, an old Fianna comrade of mine, had been shot [through the left lung]. He had been taken to hospital and was not expected to live.

I went to the Richmond hospital at North Brunswick Street, opposite my old school. It was only after a heated argument with the hospital staff that I was reluctantly permitted to see him. He lay on the bed unconscious and, to all appearances, dying (he did not die, thank god, but made a wonderful recovery). All I could do was to kneel and say a prayer for him.


Richmond Hospital Dublin. Image credit: William Murphy – Flickr

As I made my way out of hospital, the house surgeon [Sir Thomas Myles] stopped me, and to my great astonishment, handed me Eamon’s ammunition pouches containing nearly a hundred rounds of 303. I deposited this ‘gift’ in Church Street, and set out for the G.P.O via North King Street.”

Following his release from Frongoch in December 1916, McLoughlin became acting Chief of Staff of the Fianna while Eamon Martin was in the USA recovering from his wound. McLoughlin also held the post of Director of Training during the same period. Upon Eamon Martin’s return, Sean acted as his assistant at Fianna HQ until around 1919.

As McLoughlin attests to, Martin did make an almost complete recovery in the following years, albeit with a lifelong scar and deep wound, which never fully healed, in his back where the bullet exited. He would also suffer chronic back pain, particularly during cold winters.

Martin Wound

Image showing the entry and exit points of Eamon Martin’s wound, from his official medical report submitted to the Military Pensions Board.

Credit: Irish Military Archives

Eamon Martin and Sean McLoughlin remained friends for many years afterwards with Martin visiting his former comrade in England on several occasion, until McLoughlin’s passing in 1960. Martin himself lived on and off in England over the years, and passed away in May 1971, at an impressive age of 79 years old.






Barney, Liam and Fred Mellows


Barney, Liam and Fred Mellows
Photograph Credit: Nicholas Furlong and Fiachra O Lionain


A rare photograph of the three Mellows brothers together; Barney, Liam and Fred, circa 1911.

In 1911 Liam, Barney and Frederick joined the Irish National Boy Scouts, Na Fianna Eireann. Liam and Barney, in particular, would both go on to play a central and significant role over the next decade in Ireland’s fight for freedom.

Possibly the last photograph of the brothers together. Frederick died of tuberculosis in 1914, Liam was executed in 1922, and Barney passed away in 1942.

Fred’s death was devastating for the two Mellows brothers, Liam and Barney. Barney would then suffer even further grief in 1922, when his last brother and best friend, Liam was executed during the Irish Civil War.

A former comrade who was arrested with Barney Mellows during the Civil War in 1922 and was with him on 8th December in Wellington Barracks awaiting transfer when the news was broke to Barney of his brother Liam’s execution, recalls that moment – “The light just died in his eyes and he never spoke. Only those who knew both brothers will realize what that fatal message meant. Barney was the younger brother, the reckless, debonair, merry kind, who worshipped the older, more cautious, more ascetic and studious Liam. Barney had the imaginative daring to carry out plans, Liam had the calculating courage to visualise them.”

Na Fianna Éireann, ‘D’ Company Usher’s Quay, Dublin, 1917

Fianna Eireann Ushers Quay

Fianna Eireann ‘D’ Company, June 1917.

Liam Langley, Captain of Usher’s Quay Company, and later National Fianna Director of Organisation & Education, is seated in the 2nd row.

In 1917 ‘D’ Company’s 1st Lieutenant was Hugo MacNeill, and its 2nd Lieutenant was S Rafferty. MacNeill, who later became Captain of ‘D’ Company in 1918 is not in this photograph. It is unclear if Rafferty is in the photograph.

The photo was taken at Blessington Basin, in Phibsborough following a Fianna training exercise.

Photo credit: Liam Langley Fianna Blog

Death of Sarah Mellows


Sarah Mellows (1865-1952)
“A Guard of Honour drawn from the National Association of Old Fianna, watches over the remains of Mrs. [Sarah] Mellows, mother of Liam and Barney Mellows, in the mortuary Chapel of Our Lady’s Hospice of the Dying, Harold’s Cross, Dublin” – Irish Press, 3 December 1952.
Image credit: Brige Woodward, O’Neill Family and The Irish Press Newspaper

Burying Thomas Ashe: A Funeral Unlike Any Other.

Another great article from Come Here to Me!!

Come Here To Me!

vtls000641960_001.tif Thomas Ashe

The centenary of the funeral of Thomas Ashe occurs next week, a defining moment of a year in which the revolutionary forces continued to reorganise themselves after the Easter Rising.

In some ways, 30 September 1917 was a replay of 1 August 1915, the day when P.H Pearse told the gathered mourners at the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa that “life springs from death, and from the graves of patriot men and women spring live nations.” Now, Pearse himself was dead and gone, and the Volunteer movement had lost both men and rifles to Easter Week. The logistics of the Ashe funeral were to prove a challenge to a revolutionary movement reemerging from the shadows.

The Thomas Ashe funeral, much like that of O’Donovan Rossa, was political theatre and a propaganda spectacle, and as Fianna Éireann boyscout Seán Prendergast remembered it, “the funeral of Ashe epitomised not the…

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Thomas Ashe, Peadar Kearney and Piaras Beaslai Memorial at Glasnevin Cemetery

Thomas Ashe Memorial

“Memorial to Three Patriots Unveiled”

In 1967, the 50th anniversary of the death of Thomas Ashe, a memorial was unveiled at Glasnevin Cemetery in honour of Thomas Ashe, Peadar Kearney and Piaras Beaslai by former Fianna Eireann Chief of Staff Mr Eamon Martin.

The headstone was erected from a fund raised by a memorial committee appointed by the Association of the Old Dublin Brigade of the IRA, of which Beaslai was a one-time president.

The following are extracts from a report that featured in the Irish Independent the day after the unveiling:

“A memorial of Kilkenny limestone sculptured in the shape of a scroll was unveiled in the republican plot, Glasnevin Cemetry, to commemorate the three patriots and poets, Thomas Ashe, Peader Kearney and Piaras Beaslai, who are buried in the same grave.

At the front of the stone is a couplet from one of the poems of Beaslai:

“The freedom, fair name and happiness of the Gael were my only desires from my earliest days”.

The unveiling ceremony was performed by Mr Eamon Martin, former Chief of Staff of Fianna Eireann, who, since the death of Piaras Beaslai in 1965, is the last surviving member of the Provisional Committee of the Irish Volunteers.

The Memorial in 2017. Credit: Niall Oman, Glasnevin.

More than 400 people attended the ceremony held in brilliant sunshine, including 200 Old IRA comrades from many parts of the country.

General Richard Mulcahy, who was second in command to Comdt. Thomas Ashe at the Battle of Ashbourne, in an oration, said they were making a grave of significance where the memory of three mingled lives would, as the days passed, enlighten their memories, enoble their emotions and inspire their doings.

Present at yesterday’s ceremony were surviving relatives of the patriots. These included Miss Nora Ashe and Mr Gregory Ashe, sister and brother of Thomas Ashe; John Kearney, Mrs Margaret Burke and Mrs Maura Slater, brother and sisters of Peadar Kearney, and Messr. B Green and R. Sheehan, cousin of Piaras Beaslai.

Others present included: Mr. Vincent Byrne, Chairman of the Dublin Brigade, Old IRA and Chairman of the Piaras beaslai Memorial Committee, Colonel J B Lawless, who served under Thomas Ashe at the Battle of Ashbourne, and Mr Martin Walton, Vice-Chairman of the Memorial Committee.”

Markievicz Plaque at Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital Dublin


A plaque that was erected at Sir Patrick Dun’s hospital in Dublin in memory of Countess Markievicz. Former Fianna comrade Eamon Martin donated this plaque in honour of his close friend. It was unveiled by Eamon Martin (left) and Eamon de Valera in 1967.

Eamon Martin also provided funds that were to be used for an annual nursing award/medal to be known as the ‘Countess Markievicz’ medal.

Sir Patrick Dun’s hospital opened in 1808 and was named after the Irish physician Sir Patrick Dun. The hospital closed in the 1980s. The building still stands and is in use by the HSE as the Dublin Public Analyst’s Laboratory (and is apparently frequently also used for marriage ceremonies) however the status of the plaque is unknown; hopefully it is still in place.