Paddy Bourke

P. B.: Do you remember Plantation House?

A. O’R..: No.

P. B.: Well where the bus garage… where the bus depot is now, it’s built on the quarry, and part of Plantation House, you see. And they would… they searched the whole place for to find out where the water was coming from.

A. O’R..: It could have been a well or something could it?

P. B.: And that was the conclusion that they came to. They could never found, find out where the water was draining into that, and they came to the conclusion that it was a well. And the overflow of it, used to go into the big river.

A. O’R..: Oh I see.

P. B.: You see? In any case, they had to fill it in, and nearly all the stuff that… from the Rebellion of 1916, where O’Connell Street was burned down, nineteen sixteen, the General Post Office… They… oh, what’s this hotel. But they all… anyone that had an old horse and car was employed for to go deliver the stuff from O’Connell Street to the Donnybrook quarry. In any case it was filled in. Then they put a concrete facing on it, and then a Spanish firm come along, and they built that garage.

A. O’R..: A Spanish firm?

P. B.: Yeah… after that then, there was… James Mac Neill, there was two big houses, they’re still standing there, and the first one, was lived in [by] James Mac Neill, and the other one was… oh God, they were great solicitors. And they were killed, there was two of them killed in the great [19]14-18 war. And when the Volunteers was founded, in 1913, it was De Valera, walked in to the old [unclear] hall with about a hundred Volunteers, and they used to drill along Stillorgan Road when, where the houses is built, beyond [unclear] John Lynch, he lent the ground. And… I remember this James Mac Neill, and… what’s his… They were great solicitors, I forget their name, I can’t…

A. O’R..: Ah it doesn’t matter sure.

P. B.: But I know that, they… a lorry came up to the [unclear] hall this night, and there was two huge hampers. And the passageway into the hall was so narrow, that they couldn’t bring in the hampers. So they’re out on the path and they were emptied. And one… one big hamper contained bandaliers, for the Volunteers, and the other hamper contained haversacks and water bottles. You see this was for the Volunteers. And… at that time there was eh a controversy. The men didn’t know whether they belonged to, whether they were in John Redmond’s Volunteers, or De Valera’s, or Padraig Pearse’s Volunteers, and that went on for a long [unclear]. In any case there was a big split in the hall this night, this evening. And, John Redmond represented, was on the platform and they spoke, and De Valera did it, and he had his representative. But in any case, when they were done talking, it was agreed that De Valera’s men would stand still, on that side of the hall, and Redmond’s supporters would go to the opposite side of the hall. I’ve never seen anyone so small in all my life as De Valera was that night, and he was left with ten. Ten stood alongside him! And, they walked out, and through Donnybrook, and down to the chapel, and they stood at the wall, and as clear as I am talking to you I heard De Valera said ‘Oh God forgive us we’re nobody’s children’. [unclear]… and we must get a hall in the [unclear].  Well, this is what happened. Up in Beaver Row, there was a halfway, a public house that used to be known as Mc Gynn’s halfway, and at the back of the hall – he had no public house licence – he was a only, had only tea and [unclear] things like that. But on Sunday morning… at the back of the hall, there was an old mission hall – and it’s there still – and he used to use that as a bar. And the men used to come from God knows where, to Billy McGynn’s tap room and drink porter there for the rest of the day at three halpence a pint. At any rate, that become the headquarters of De Valera’s Volunteers.

  • Informant
    Paddy Bourke (P. B.)
  • Age
  • Address
    Donnybrook, Dublin 4
  • Collector
    Ann O’Reilly (A.O’R.)
  • Date of recording
  • Recording context
    Informant’s home
  • Reference
    (audio) UFP0590
  • Faisnéiseoir
    Paddy Bourke (P. B.)
  • Aois
  • Seoladh
    Donnybrook, Baile Átha Cliath
  • Bailitheoir
    Ann O’Reilly (A.O’R.)
  • Dáta Taifeadta
  • Comhthéacs Taifeadta
    Teach an fhaisnéiseora
  • Tagairt
    (fuaim) UFP0590
Disused commercial premises, Beaver Row, Donnybrook [Séamas Mac Philib, May 1980]