Monthly Archives: April 2020

Souvenir of the Golden Jubilee of Fianna Eireann

Fianna Golden Jubilee Souvenir Programme

Souvenir of the Golden Jubilee of Fianna Eireann

Issued in 1959 on the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of Na Fianna Eireann.

It included an opening commemorative message from former Chief of Staff Eamon Martin; the original introduction piece by Madame Markievicz taken from the 1914 Fianna Eireann Handbook; a brief history  of the Fianna; and other articles from the 1914 handbook including those from Patrick Pearse and Roger Casement.

James Connolly’s ‘Boys and Parents’ article from the December 1914 Nodlaig na bhFiann was also included in the publication.

Inside were also details of the Golden Jubilee Ceiledhe and Pageant at the Mansion House on 16th August, 1959, exactly fifty years to the day of the first meeting of the Irish National Boy Scouts at No. 34 Camden Street in Dublin in 1909.

Several photographs adorned the pages including Joseph Robinson, Con Colbert, Joseph McKelvey, Eamon Martin, Garry Holohan, Fathers Albert and Dominic, the Fianna Trek Cart at the Howth Gun-running, and the Fianna Memorial at Capuchin Monastery at Raheny.

1916 Rising Commemoration, Arbour Hill, Dublin, April 24th 1959


Mr Eamon Martin, former Na Fianna Eireann Chief of Staff, original member of the Irish Volunteer Executive and patron of The Fianna Veterans Association, laying a wreath on the 1916 leaders grave at Arbour Hill on behalf of Dublin Brigade, Old I.R.A.

Also attending and included in the photograph are Miss Nora Connolly O’Brien, Mr J. O’Reilly, Mr. Seamus Brennan, Mr. Frank Robbins, Mr Vinny Byrne (Chairman Dublin Brigade Council), Mr. Walter Carpenter, Mr P. McCrea, Mr. Jimmy O’Connor and Mr Peter Nolan (vice-Chairman Dublin Brigade Council).

Members of Dublin Brigade I.R.A, Irish Citizen Army, Cumann na mBan and Fianna Eireann attended.

A Mass to mark the commemoration and the anniversary of the Easter Rising was celebrated at the Pro-Cathedral, by Rev. P. Cunningham, C.C.

Many veterans of the Rising and the War of Independence attended.

Members of the Army, members of the Old Dublin Brigade, members of the teaching profession and Eamon de Longphort, Lord Longford, attended a service in Christchurch Cathedral in connection with the commemoration beforehand. It was conducted by Rev. F. W. Rodgers, Clerical Vicar and headmaster of the Cathedral School.

Rev. R.C. Armstrong, St. Patricks Cathedral, who preached in Irish, said the struggle of the men of 1916, their lives and deaths, and their work in writing, had become part of our country’s history.



Fianna Eireann Handbook

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The original Fianna Eireann handbook was published in 1914.

The above copy shown belonged to Eamon Martin, former Fianna Eireann Chief of Staff.

The handbook was issued by the Central Council of Na Fianna Eireann, No. 12 D’Olier Street.

It included articles by Patrick Pearse, Roger Casement and Douglas Hyde.

There was an introduction from Madame Markievicz, founder of na Fianna who describes:
“the army of young people who are daily taking the Declaration of Na Fianna Eireann and banding themselves together in a glorious brotherhood of youth and hope to win Independence and Freedom for their country.”

The handbook provided instructions in knot-tying, signalling, camping, first-aid, drilling, swimming and rifle exercises.

Many advertisements were also included.

Subsequent editions were published in 1924, 1964 and 1988.


Advert for the handbook in an edition of “The Irish Volunteer”

The lead up to Easter Week 1916

Dawson st

In the lead up to the Easter Rising, Barney Mellows was one of the few republicans who was privy to plans for the upcoming revolt due to his roles as a senior Fianna Eireann officer, prominent I.R.B. man and also as a result of his work at Volunteer headquarters at No. 2 Dawson Street.

A week before the anticipated rebellion, Barney met with his fellow senior Fianna officers, Eamon Martin and Garry Holohan, at the Dawson Street office and he confirmed to them that it is “all fixed”.

A few days later on Holy Thursday, Barney noticed a couple of ‘G’ men acting suspiciously outside Volunteer headquarters. Barney was concerned, as they needed to move a small consignment of .22 rifles out of there without attracting attention. Barney had received word that the Dublin Castle men were aware of the presence of these rifles and were shortly to make a raid so with this intelligence Barney instructed two Volunteers, Liam Tannam and Jimmy Fitzgerald, to assist in a ploy to move the ‘G’ men away from the building momentarily. Following the successful ruse, they managed to move the arms to Clarendon Street Church nearby where it was assumed it would be more resistant to a possible raid.

Preparations were now moving quickly and later that day Barney called out to Robert Holland’s house and ordered him to meet up with other Fianna members at St. Enda’s at Rathfarnham and to transport several carts filled with rifles, ammunition and important documents to a safe house in York Street and another five cases of rifles to a location in Dolphin’s Barn.

Once these obstacles were out of the way, Barney was able to concentrate on more pressing matters and he spent the next 24 hours at Dawson Street making final arrangements for the upcoming events.