Harriet Searson

J. N.: You told me that eh, Kevin Barry’s mother…

H. S.: Oh yes, we were friendly with the Barrys, who had a milk shop on Fleet Street. I was in school with Eileen Barry, in Loreto and… Kevin Barry was… I think he was doing medicine at the time and he had been to Belvedere, and I think he was first medicine or… He was a medical student anyway, and… he was involved. Now I don’t know whether it was 1916 or later on, but some time anyway he was involved in an ambush in North King Street. He shot a young soldier, and he was captured anyway, and he was imprisoned, of course, and… condemned to death. Then, Mrs [Barry]… we were living at the Castle at the time, [and] Mrs. Barry was still supplying us with milk so when all that started, the trouble about Kevin, she wrote in and said that she was sorry she wouldn’t be able to continue to supply her customers in the Castle. She’d other customers there too, you know, just…

J. N.: Yeah, yeah, still it was a sad…

H. S.: You know the, the Irish crowd that were in the College of Surgeons and… some of that, they’d women there too. They were nurses I suppose, but… they used to go to the Loretto Convent, you know, to… clean themselves and maybe get a meal, and… It just showed you that it wasn’t taken very seriously, the Reverend Mother said when they were leaving one morning to go back to their posts, these girls, the Reverend Mother said to them, ‘will you tell Mr. Pearse from me, that it’s time he gave up all this nonsense’, you know? It wasn’t taken seriously at that stage, that was in 1916.

Then, of course, when we came back from our holiday, or what we called a holiday, we went down to O’Connell Street – when we were allowed to do so – saw the… all the buildings, you know, and the smoke from them and [the] GPO, you know in ruins and everything else, quite a lot of damage.

But then, in 1916 there was a lot of looting went on, you know, in Henry Street, and some… there was some very expensive toy shops there. Of course the children around had great fun going up and down the street on scooters and all sorts, and the older ones used to take the golf balls and you know, have a good swing up Henry Street. And… there was looting for about… with clothes too, and at one stage there was a double decker, and according to what my… what I heard, the… the men would put on their clothes they had taken, they’d put the… change upstairs and the ladies downstairs. [laughter] There was a priest in Francis Street and he made an appeal to the people to… like to their honesty, and the next morning when he got up, the whole church, the whole of his church grounds were full of stuff that the people had looted.

  • Informant
    Harriet Searson (H. S.)
  • Age
  • Address
    Templeogue, Dublin 6W
  • Collector
    John Newman (J. N.)
  • Date of recording
  • Recording context
    Informant’s home
  • Reference
    (audio) UFP0071
  • Faisnéiseoir
    Harriet Searson (H. S.)
  • Aois
    Ní fios
  • Seoladh
    Templeogue, Baile Átha Cliath 6W
  • Bailitheoir
    John Newman (J. N.)
  • Dáta Taifeadta
  • Comhthéacs Taifeadta
    Teach an fhaisnéiseora
  • Tagairt
    (fuaim) UFP0071
Street-traders, Henry Street Market [Bróna Nic Amhlaoibh, December 1979]