As part of the South Central Commemorative Events Programme a research project was done on the people of The Liberties and their roles in the Easter Rising. The findings, presented at Warrenmount Centre, were compiled by local history tutor James Madigan, local historian Catherine Scuffil, and Ann & Rita Field, Noel & Kathleen Clarke, and Monica Baird – relatives of 1916 volunteers. Full credit for the fascinating information below goes to the great work they have done.
As well as the people of The Liberties you can also find out about local Easter Rising landmarks.
James Maguire worked in Barmack’s Malthouse, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8 before the Rising. After fighting with the Irish Citizen Army in St. Stephen’s Green and the Royal College of Surgeons, he was interned in Frongoch in Wales, returning to Ireland in December 1916. Ann and Rita Field remember their grandfather as a quiet, gentle man who rarely spoke about the Rising. “He never seemed to age, he always looked the same”.
Ann Field remembers: “My mother remembers him leaving the house on Easter Monday morning in 1916 dressed in his uniform and next time she saw him was Christmas Eve 1916. In the intervening period he had been imprisoned in Frongoch.
Philip Clarke was a van driver for 24 years at Parkes & Sons, The Coombe. He was in the Irish Citizen Army and fought in St. Stephen’s Green and the Royal College of Surgeons under Michael Mallin. He was killed in fighting against the British during the Rising, leaving a widow and eight children.
Philip Clarke, speaking to his son, Easter Monday morning 1916 (paraphrased from letter): “…bid good-bye to your mother and all the children for me and tell your mother to keep up her heart, there are good times coming.”
Lily Kempson worked in Jacob’s Biscuit Factory prior to 1916 and served with Cumann na mBan during the Rising, serving under Michael Mallin and Madam Markievicz. She left Ireland shortly after the Rising and travelled via Liverpool to Seattle in the US. She married Matthew McAlerney and they had seven children. Lily lived to be 99 years and 9 months – the longest surviving volunteer.
Monica Baird about Lily: “Her advice to her own children was love your country and do not forget the drop of whiskey before you go to bed.”