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.