Extract from the Annals Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham 1913 - 1916

This contemporaneous account of Easter Rising 1916 captures the uncertainty, the confusion and the anxiety experienced by the religious community and their concern for their Sisters in Dublin city centre communities (i.e. 43 North Great George’s Street, 53 St Stephen’s Green & 77 St Stephen’s Green.) In 1916 the Sisters were bound by the rule of enclosure, and were not permitted to leave convent grounds, unless for medical or other appointments. The Sisters were permitted to visit other convents, but only with the prior agreement of their Local Superior. The annalist records the impact of the Rising on the community, including lack of communication & resulting rumours, food shortages, ‘Sounds of great cannonading’, fires in the city centre which could be seen in Rathfarnham, and the resulting destruction of the city centre. The annalist also records that two of the workmen (employed on the Loreto Abbey farm), participated in the rising and the annals conclude on 9th May, with an account of the arrest and questioning of other farm employees by the authorities. Reference is also made to searches and the capturing of arms in Rathfarnham village.


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April 24th Easter Monday Two of our young workmen James Waddoch & Tom Corbally went off early simply leaving a message in the yard to the effect that they were obliged to obey orders & go. We little knew the signifigance of this. We heard afterwards that when first order was given them to go, they did not obey but a couple of hours later on reception of a sealed envelope both left.

At 12.30 p.pm Mother General went to town to pay a short visit to each of our Convents, half an hour after this, most astounding news came through telephone - an insurrection in Dublin, Post Office taken by Sinn Feiners, who had hoisted Irish Republican flag over it. Stephen's Green, Jacob's Factory, College of Surgeons also taken possession of. Mother General 'phoned to say she was returning immediately, the cab man drove them home a round-about way, and to our joy she arrived safely, a little after 2.30 p.m. Nuns who were spending the day here could not return to town - they were

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kept for 10 days - and then a permit had to be got for them before they could enter the city. Meanwhile, reports of all kinds flew round. The woman in charge of Telephone at Ballyboden (Centre for this) rang up every time she had any startling news & gave it - and indeed some the items she told were very frighteneing, - before long were heard the whole city was occupied, & the looting of all the big establishments in O'Connell Street began. Mother Provicial got on phone to Stephen's Green, news confirmed that Park was occupied, trenches had been dug by Sinn Feiners. No police or Military about till late in the day.

25.th Tuesday.

Mother General made arrangements that day with our Baker, Ch.s Laudy for bread & in case he was unable to bake to supply us with sacks of flour. Mr. Nugent (of the Irish Creamery, Dublin) that same evening brought eggs and butter - he was most kind bringing supplies to all our Convents in town

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& each went to Dundrum to try to get meat for the nuns in George's St.

Fortunately, on Monday, we had got in a good supply of meat. - 25000 Military landed at Kingstown during the day.

In the evening we heard great firing reports of people being killed, wounded, etc.

26th. Wednesday. Great cannonading - Sinn Feiners said to be holding their own - Military shot down. Soldiers wounded a machine gun on bridge at Portobello.

27th Thursday.

Laudy not able to send his cart out. The meat supply was sufficient for the children only, all through the week & to help this we had 3 old sheep killed & 1 young pig!! killed. The nuns partook at dinner of fried eggs & home made bread. One day during all this time the children were without meat.

Mother General and Mother Provincial were summoned every where they appeared by the nuns eager for the news.

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On Thursday eve. we heard the fight could be very fierce, so at 7.30. pm. all the nuns & children assembled in Church & Mother General said prayers aloud - Miserere, Litany of S. Heart, B.V. Mary & St. Joseph.

We all made the Holy Hour from 9 to 10 pm. & then ended up by saying the 5 Paters & Aves at S. Patricks Altar.

The fires in the city were terrible we could see them from St. Joseph's building & the cannonading & continual firing most awful.

In the earlier part of the day M.r Burke came out with letters from Green - which gave much relief to Mother General, & she wrote back by her.

28th Friday.

Great firing all day - first news paper received since Easter Saturday was brought by some visitor & lads hailed with instense delight. Fires still raging all night. (on Thursday Mother Provincial & Mistress ... remained up all night as it was expected in town that the Sinn Feiners, if driven out

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of their strong holds would make a rush for the mountains & in that case might visit us for food and shelter.)

29th Saturday.

Chaplain and all who came took a most gloomy view of all this dreadful business. Dublin threatened with famine - the better classes as much as the poor were almost starving. The looting in City was very bad. In the evening, telephone rang up & gave news that G.P.O. had surrendered, & we thought all was over - the firing however continued all night.

30th Sunday

We heart that the College of Surgeons & Jacob's Factory would not surrender. It was announced after Mass that if they did not surrender that every inhabitant of Stephen's Green & neighbourhood would have to leave. They were then given a short notice & alas told in what order they were to depart - women & children first Permit for nuns from George's St & Green had been obtained from Dublin Castle

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