Séamas Murray

S. M.: Now, of course, the Rising then you see. Now, I was mobilised on the 22nd of April, and I went into Schools on Wood Quay, [Saint] Michael and Johns there. And… I had supplies. There was five or six men along [with] me, and then there was a man named Tom Welsh. Him and his brother fought in Clanwilliam House, and they were bombed out of the place you see, like that, by the British, like that. And… they… we… I then distributed the arms in various areas in the third battalion area. Now, I knew where I was going on the Easter Sunday, but I didn’t know where I was going on the Easter Monday, you see?

G. B.: You end up going to Boland’s Mill?

S. M.: Yeah, you see, because you see, Professor Eoin Mac Neill issued an order which appeared in the Independent at that time, the Irish Sunday Independent, cancelling the manoeuvres for that day. Because it was the leading to the Rising, which if it took place would have affected all the units wherever the volunteers were formed at that period. However… however, that was it then, and I made arrangements we’d go to Fairyhouse races the following day, with a brother-in-law to be, Sam Stiles. So no one was turning up there, and I was complaining to the mother the distance we’d have to cycle out, when I was mobilised by the late Mícheál Tanham. I didn’t know Mícheál but I knew his brother Liam, he was an official in the head department of the corporation, but they belonged to the one company. Now in the confusion that followed, you see a lot of men now were meeting for the first time, men out of other units on the Easter Monday you see? However, I was mobilised for South Richmond Street outside Lambert’s Veterinary Surgeon and then when the battalion quartermaster turned up, he looked and he only could see the one piece of transport, that was me, like that. Now, me younger brother followed me at this time, although he was in the gun running – Fianna and all the boys were – I didn’t want him to come you see, wanted him to stay at home, the only member of the family. And not that alone, when he seen that… seen me there, I knew that he wouldn’t have faced Dev.

He asked me then to report on […] the small amount of transport, so of course I didn’t report it because there was too much activity, too much confusion you know? Breaking down walls and, from Boland’s Mills into the Eastern Railway. Then we ran a ramp up so you could get in, had to get over a wall previous to that. Then we occupied the old Westland Row Station. Alright then, shut down the Gasworks, dug trenches in the railway there. Occupied Barrow Street Bridge, and… a fort, it was called after a provision man who owned the place in the […] like that. It faced Beggar’s Bush Barracks. They had an engagement there with a unit called the Gorgeous Rex. These were a crowd the British had employed, more or less in civilian attire, to watch all along the sea coast. Well they had an engagement with them, outside of this place, do you see…

G. B.: Do you know why they had that name, the Gorgeous Rex, no?

S. M.: No I don’t know what how it was, but they had ‘GR’ and this is why they called them ‘Gorgeous Rex’, our fellas gave them this you see. Whether it meant ‘George’s Reserves’ or not I don’t know, whether they were old men of the sea or not we don’t know, we didn’t… they didn’t figure much, only at that particular game… engagement.

  • Informant
    Séamas Murray (S. M.)
  • Age
  • Address
    Christchurch, Dublin 8
  • Collector
    Gerry Brady (G. B.)
  • Date of recording
  • Recording context
    Informant’s home
  • Reference
    (audio) UFP0533
  • Faisnéiseoir
    Séamas Murray (S. M.)
  • Aois
  • Seoladh
    The Liberties, Baile Átha Cliath 8
  • Bailitheoir
    Gerry Brady (G. B.)
  • Dáta Taifeadta
  • Comhthéacs Taifeadta
    Teach an fhaisnéiseora
  • Tagairt
    (fuaim) UFP0533
Séamus Murray outside his home at 50 John Dillon Street [Gerry Brady, July 1980]