John ‘Sean’ Healy, Na Fianna Eireann

John ‘Sean’ Healy, 14 (or 15)* years old, was a member of the Fianna Eireann North Frederick Street Sluagh. John was also known as ‘Jack’ to his family. He lived at No. 188 Phibsborough Road. He went to school at the local Saint Peter’s National School. He joined the Fianna in 1913. When the Fianna was restructured in 1915, his branch became No. 6 Company in the Fianna Battalion. Sean Heuston, who was also vice-Commandant of the Dublin Battalion, was also his Company commander.

In 1916, he was involved in the transportation of arms across Dublin on Easter Saturday, and when the Rising began on Easter Monday he had not yet received mobilization orders. By Tuesday, April 25th, he made his way towards the Jacobs Garrison. Commandant MacDonagh gave him a dispatch to deliver to an officer at Phibsborough Bridge, knowing he lived nearby and in the hope that he would then go home. Healy did venture home briefly to inform his mother that he was all right but as he made his way back to Commandant MacDonagh he was shot in the head near Byrne’s Corner, Phibsborough, not far from his home.

His last words were reportedly “God Bless the Volunteers”. (Cumann na mBan booklet on ‘The Fianna Heroes of 1916’ published in 1931). While it has been reported in many books that he died instantly, according to the Sisters of Mercy, Healy was brought to the Mater hospital where his “brain was hanging out all over his forehead, he only died two days later”. (Community of the Sisters of Mercy, BMH WS 463).

Sean died from his wounds on April 27th 1916. A plaque now marks the spot where he was shot.

* Death certificate states John was 14 years old at the time of his death, as do other sources however several also state he was 15 years old (see his plaque and ‘Fianna Heroes of 1916’ publication). He was apparently born in 1901 but I couldn’t locate his birth certificate. Joe Duffy’s book contains an extract from a relative of Sean, stating that he was 15 years old in 1916.

John Healy Death Certificate 1916


Healy Family Census Return 1911

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