Mrs. Kavanagh

Mrs K.: During 1916 the shops on Manor Street got looted, and it was a very… he was a very strict priest up in Aughrim street, Father Carr was his name. He was very, very tall and he used to wear the big black cloak, you know? He’d frighten you now… he’d frighten kids now. But the time of the Rebellion, at that time, the people were going up and they were breaking the shops and looting them.

P. Ní B.: The people of Dublin or the British Army?

Mrs K.: On Manor Street, up there in Manor Street.

P. Ní B.: Yeah, but the people of Dublin or the British?

Mrs K.: Oh the people! The ordinary people! They… they went out and they… Though the British didn’t do this at all, it was such as me or whoever. Well we didn’t do it anyway, our family never done it. But there was one fella and he was seen taking a whole flitch of bacon out of Camden’s shop. And he met him on the road and he just made him walk back, and he kept punching him in the back with the stick to bring it back, he wouldn’t let... Oh they robbed bags of flour, oh they were divils. Sure they went down to Henry Street and they robbed – Todd Byrne’s was in at Mary Street – they stole pianos and furniture. That’s a fact. That was the ordinary Dublin people done that.

P. Ní B.: Do you remember much about 1916 yourself?

Mrs K.: Oh I do. Goodness, don’t I remember the whole lot of it, from Easter Monday. Easter Monday, as you know – well I don’t know if you know or not – it’s a day for Fairyhouse, they all go to the racing, you know? And my father was… there was five of them, they cycled to Fairyhouse, you know, on Easter Monday. But… this Rebellion broke out anyway during the day, and all our mothers were worried to know how the fathers were going to get home from Fairyhouse. But they got home alright, and then... Well then we’d reason… Now the Father Matthew Feis used to be on also, Easter Week, and I used to go… I was on it, like, for Irish step-dancing. And I remember this woman, Mrs. O’Neill was her name, and she’d a child entered in the competition you know? And she’d a baby in a pram, and she was bringing the… going in to the Father Matthew Hall, and the baby was shot in the pram, outside the Father Matthew Hall. That’s true now, during 1916.

P. Ní B.: Did you have any idea, or your family, that the Rebellion was coming?

Mrs K.: Oh nobody knew it was coming. Oh it was all… it just happened like that.

P. Ní B.: None of the people you knew were involved?

Mrs K.: No, nobody knew. It happened… sure the men wouldn’t have went to Fairyhouse if they had knew it was happening you know?

P. Ní B.: And did you see anything happening yourself?

Mrs K.: Well… well I saw people being shot in the street. I saw a man on Manor Street myself, I saw him being shot. And I seen… you know, there was families then that, sons was on the run and all that business. Seen them like, their houses being entered and they slashed pictures and all this kind of business… I knew three popular priests was involved in 1916: Father Albert, a Capuchin out of Church Street. Did you know of them? Father Augustine. They were in with the men in 1916 in the GPO, and Father Dominic. There was three… that was the three, and Father Aloysius of course, I’m forgetting about him. But they used to go… up to Mountjoy and look after the men and that, and they were in the GPO during the fighting, helping them out if they got wounded or anything you know? They were very popular, very good. Well Father Augustine got so involved in politics, he was sent off to Australia, but of course he’s well dead now. Father Albert, he was sent somewhere too. It was a funny thing, the four of them were, you know, Republicans, and Father John was a chaplain of the British Army, and he goes out in uniform off into the British, out to the war and that you know? He was a lovely man too.

P. Ní B.: The four of them were involved in politics?

Mrs K.: Four of them was involved in politics

P. Ní B.: Is that why they were sent away?

Mrs K.: Yeah they got too, it was getting too hot, too severe you know?

P. Ní B.: You think it was the Church sent them away then?

Mrs K.: Well, that’s right, I suppose it must have been, or Bishop.

P. Ní B.: Priests weren’t allowed to, take part in…

Mrs K.: ’Twas the Bishop I think you know? Father Augustine used to wear a green, white and gold pin here you see, and he couldn’t get up in the pulpit but he was talking about them, this kind of thing. But he was a great man, they done marvellous work you know?

  • Informant
    Mrs. Kavanagh (Mrs K.)
  • Age
  • Address
    Ballyfermot, Co. Dublin
  • Collector
    Pádraigín Ní Bhaoill (P. Ní B.)
  • Date of recording
  • Recording context
    Informant’s home
  • Reference
    (audio) UFP0292b
  • Faisnéiseoir
    Mrs. Kavanagh (Mrs K.)
  • Aois
    Ní fios
  • Seoladh
    Ballyfermot, Co. Bhaile Átha Cliath
  • Bailitheoir
    Pádraigín Ní Bhaoill (P. Ní B.)
  • Dáta Taifeadta
  • Comhthéacs Taifeadta
    Teach an fhaisnéiseora
  • Tagairt
    (fuaim) UFP0292b
Abbey Street Upper, looking towards Capel Street [Rosanne Meenan, November 1980]