Ann Espie

S. S.: Of course you were the eldest?

A. E.: I was the eldest, yeah, but I do remember this on Easter Monday, this would be before my father joined up, Easter Monday, my father, my mother came out to visit her mother out here, in Dun Laoghaire, and she brought Sam, he was only a baby in her arms and… another brother, felt if she had the boys they were alright, we were… I was left to look after the girls and my father. And this morning, Sat… Sunday, Easter Sunday, the Rising, that’d be sixteen wouldn’t it?

S. S.: It would, yeah.

A. E.: Yeah, well that time, he… he came home for lunch that Sunday and he had his lunch and he had to go back to work in the morning, that was Easter Monday, and somehow didn’t see him on the Monday morning going out, but, there was cracking and cracking  and goings on and we didn’t what it was… children, and I was getting them ready to, we were to go out to… Stephens Green, that was a lovely days outing up in Stephen’s Green for us and he was bringing us up there for the afternoon but something happened – he didn’t tell us what it was but we couldn’t go to so that night, all night, I was up all night listening to crackle crackle-lack-it, you know, the Boland’s Mill, coming down right straight down.

S. S.: Was that the bullets?

A. E.: Well the noise, just the noise, we didn’t see, we didn’t know what it was but anyway we were, I was up and down with the children, it kept wakening them and I was up and down and I dunno whether I slept at all that night or not, but no sign of me mother coming back, so Monday morning and I said to me father, when he did come in, I said to him, ‘I’m not going to stay another night here it was terrible last night I was awake the whole night’ and I tried to tell him because I think he was tired and he slept alright but I said, ‘I’m not staying and I said, ‘I’m going to get them all ready and I’m going to walk out to Dun Laoghaire to me mother. And that’s just what we did.

S. S.: And he allowed you to or did he go with you?

A. E.: Well he came with us. He got a bit windy, he knew, he wouldn’t tell us what he knew but we didn’t, we were ignorant the fact there was a trouble on up the town, children didn’t know but me father must have known, so he didn’t stop us from going, and we had to walk the seven miles out from Dublin, and I’d a little [unclear] was only the baby, she was only about two or three and then you are out here and Gill was out here and I had another sister called Bertha, another one called Jane, and another one called Susan, and that was four of us and myself and we all had to walk out and there was a little old go-car and we used to push, put one baby in and me father carried the other one for a little bit till he got tired and this is the way we got out and my aunt had a shop there in Cumberland Street and I think we nearly fell into it when we arrived and she made us tea and oh, she was so delightful, they were all delighted to see us because they couldn’t hear from us and they were worried about things in town, you see.

S. S.: They heard about the troubles themselves?

A. E.: They had heard about it and the soldiers were arriving, beginning to arrive.

S. S.: That’s in Kingstown?

A. E.: In Kingstown because when we woke up the following morning we got our, we must have slept everywhere on the floors and everywhere, in this aunts house and when we got out of bed in the morning there was the soldiers all lined up along the road like as if they come off a boat. They said they didn’t know, thought they were in France that time.

S. S.: They didn’t know it was Ireland?

A. E.: They didn’t know it was Ireland, yeah.

S. S.: And then they marched off I suppose down into town…

A. E.: Well, they seemed to be billeted around Longford House and, there was a lot of empty houses there and they were in them.

S. S.: Did you see any trouble when you were walking from Ringsend to Dun Laoghaire?

A. E.: Not a bit, not a bit.

S. S.: You didn’t hear any guns firing?

A. E.: No, and there was a very old lady lived in the Merrion Gates, and she brought us in, made us a cup of tea; she knew what, that we were tired looking I suppose, suppose we were like refugees.

S. S.: Did your father go to work that week at all then or did he stay in Dun Laoghaire?

A. E.: I can’t, I don’t think he ever went back, I think he couldn’t get back, things got worse you see, we were just about in time cause after that we heard that nobody  was allowed out, you couldn’t come from Dublin out here, or they go back, but we didn’t know that it was just that I was determined to get away from that noise… and we just locked the house up and while we were away wasn’t the house ransacked by the soldiers, you see, they thought when they got no answer they must be hiding something, and they went in and we left an old hen in it and he was dead when we come back, poor old hen! [laughter]...

S. S.: Do you remember anything else from 1916? Any other incidents?

A. E.: I do, I remember a good lot. We used to barricade our windows up, then, we came out to Dun Laoghaire, after that, me father joined the navy and he was, he was sent away you see, and me mother came out here back to her own people, and we lived beside that boat builder Mr. Gray.

  • Informant
    Ann Espie (A. E.)
  • Age
  • Address
    Monkstown, Co. Dublin (reared in Ringsend, Dublin 4)
  • Collector
    Seamus Sisk (S. S.)
  • Date of recording
  • Recording context
    Informant’s home
  • Reference
    (ms.) NFC 1984: 206-215 (audio) UFP0260
  • Faisnéiseoir
    Ann Espie (A. E.)
  • Aois
  • Seoladh
    Monkstown, Co. Bhaile Átha Cliath (Ringsend, Co. Bhaile Átha Cliath ó dhúchas)
  • Bailitheoir
    Seamus Sisk (S. S.)
  • Dáta Taifeadta
  • Comhthéacs Taifeadta
    Teach an fhaisnéiseora
  • Tagairt
    (ls.) CBÉ 1984: 206-215 (fuaim) UFP0260
Street traders, Moore Street [Gerard Brady , September 1980]