Rising veteran’s memoir tells of his experiences in Irish Citizen Army

Edward Keogh attacked Portobello Barracks and fought on St Stephen’s Green

Liam Keogh (95) is one of the last surviving children of Easter Rising veterans and has kept his father’s copybook for more than 50 years. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Liam Keogh (95) is one of the last surviving children of Easter Rising veterans and has kept his father’s copybook for more than 50 years. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Sat, Jan 18, 2014, 01:00

The release of the Military Service Pensions Collection will awaken many folk memories for those whose relatives were involved in the Easter Rising.

Edward Keogh kept a written account of his time in the Irish Citizen Army, the Rising and War of Independence. His family have typed up the account and have included internet links to relevant figures.

His son Liam Keogh (95) is one of the last surviving children of Easter Rising veterans and has kept the copybook for more than 50 years.

His father recalled joining the Irish Citizen Army because during the Lockout “I first saw the brutality of the ruling class inflicted on the people, whose only crime was, that to be allowed to exercise their right in being members of any trade union they wished to belong.”

In his memoir Edward Keogh recalled joining the Inchicore section of the Citizen Army in 1914.

On Easter Sunday 1916 Keogh went to Liberty Hall where he and others were addressed by James Connolly.

“On Easter Monday, I was sent with section to Stephen’s Green and dug trenches inside the Park [Green] railings. I fought till surrender on Sunday 30th April 1916.

“On Easter Monday night, I was sent out with a section under Capt Richard McCormick and we attacked Portobello Barracks. On our return, a British Soldier was held up and searched as he was coming out of Harcourt Street Station.

“When the section returned to the Green [on return from Portobello], I spent the night in the Green which was evacuated the next morning [Tuesday] and we entered the College of Surgeons.

“On Tuesday night, I was in a party under Capt McCormick which kept up continuous firing on the British who were in the buildings on the other side of the Green.”

After the Rising was put down, he was imprisoned but released in August 1916. Keogh then rejoined the Citizen Army. When the War of Independence erupted he transferred to F Company, 4th Battalion Dublin Brigade, IRA.