An Easter Rising timeline: Monday, April 24th, 1916
The second in a daily series of reportage-style pieces by the authors of When The Clock Struck in 1916 – Close-Quarter Combat in the Easter Rising
A scene from the Easter Rising in Dublin 1916. Photograph: Hulton Getty
Monday, April 24th
10.55hrs - Reports are coming in of Irish Volunteers assembling in uniform and carrying arms close to Blackhall Place, to the west of the Four Courts.
11.02hrs - Additional reports of large numbers of Volunteers assembling outside Liberty Hall. Groups are entering and leaving. Clusters are in uniform but there are many others in civilian attire but wearing ammunition bandoliers and carrying various arrays of weapons. A bugle sounded recently, causing a detachment of Citizen Army to form up and make their way at a brisk pace across Butt Bridge – their destination unknown.
11.08hrs - Similar stories have come through of intense activity in the St Stephen’s Green area. Apparently members of the 2nd Battalion Irish Volunteers have been converging on the area since early this morning, again many of them are in full kit.
11.14hrs - A detachment of Volunteers, several of whom arrived there earlier by bicycle, have just departed Earlsfort Terrace and made their way towards Dublin’s Grand Canal – believed to be making their way to Clanwilliam Terrace and the nearby Boland’s Bakery.
11.35hrs - Two columns of Volunteers have now formed up on Bishop Street, while a detachment of their comrades have forced entry at the massive Jacob’s biscuit factory. Whatever is going on in Dublin city this morning is without precedent.
11.40hrs - The latest reports from Dublin now indicate that several dozen Citizen Army men and women have stormed into St Stephen’s Green, to the shock of bank holiday revellers, who have been ordered to leave the park at bayonet point.
11.45hrs - It now appears that these disturbances have been well organised. The South Dublin Union has been entered by Volunteer elements under the command of Commandant Eamonn Ceannt. It now appears that the military picked the wrong day to go to the races.
11.47hrs - This is it. It is an insurrection. Rebels have just stormed the Four Courts and have begun smashing its windows.
11.55hrs - The rebellion’s first blood has been spilt at Dublin Castle. It appears that the Citizen Army detachment that left Liberty Hall earlier has its eyes fixed on Dublin Castle – a policeman has been shot dead just outside its main gate.
12.20hrs - Unimaginable scenes on Sackville St! A clock has truly been struck in Dublin city! The General Post Office has been stormed by over 150 Volunteers and Citizen Army. When they stormed the building it caused pandemonium. Three of the rebellion’s leaders have since set foot outside producing a proclamation and bellowing its contents to an increasingly exasperated crowd. Many of the crowd are hurling taunts at the three men and their surrounding section of guards.
12.28hrs - The rebellion spreads! Bolands Mills on Barrow Street has been seized by rebel forces, along with Boland’s bakery nearby. Terrific excitement has gripped the city.
12.31hrs - Outposts appear to be being consolidated covering the city’s various bridges. Davy’s pub overlooking La Touche Bridge at Portobello has been stormed. Shots have been fired.
12.34hrs - Another outpost has been seized on Dublin’s southern quayside – the Mendicity Institute has just seen all of its homeless inhabitants turfed out into the street at gunpoint. Volunteers now control the building.
12.52hrs - Reports are now coming in of a daring raid having been undertaken by a Republican ‘Special Force’ at the Magazine Fort in the Phoenix Park to the west of the city. It appears that ammunition and weapons have been seized.
12.58hrs - Two unfamiliar flags have been raised upon the roof of the GPO. One bears the colours green, white and orange while the other contains the words Irish Republic emblazoned in gold on a green background. Taunts are still being doled out to the rebels but many of the civilians have dispersed, fearing trouble from the military. Crowds have gathered at both ends of the street, keen not to miss what is unfolding. The phrase “rebellion weather” has been bandied about.
13.08hrs - It appears that more outposts are being taken by the rebels. Volunteers from their 2nd Battalion are forcing their way into buildings along Fumbally Lane and Malpas St. Apparently they want to protect Jacob’s factory from Wellington Barracks on the South Circular Road. Civilians in the area are causing serious problems to the Volunteers, hurling stones and dishing out all manner of verbal abuse.
13.14hrs - Companies of Dublin Fusiliers have been scrambled together in the Royal Barracks on Benburb Street, a mile or so to the west of the city centre. The military as a whole is “missing in action” at the Fairyhouse Races, but composite units still within the city are mobilising.
13.16hrs - Annesley Bridge between Fairview and North Strand is under rebel control – another artery into the city is barred.
13.22hrs - City Hall Occupied! It appears that Dublin Castle has not been directly assaulted. Instead City Hall, just outside the castle, has been taken by the Citizen Army. Gunshots can be heard echoing from the surrounding walls.
13.24hrs - Just across from City Hall, two supporting positions have been taken on Parliament Street, the Mail and Express building and Henry & James Outfitters. Numbers of rebels holding the buildings is unknown.
13.30hrs - British counter attack! Ship St has seen close-quarter action between 200 or so British troops and rebels guarding the rear of Dublin Castle.
13.32hrs - The rebel cordon tightens around the city. Harcourt Street Railway Station is in rebel hands.
13.38hrs - British cavalry driven from outside Four Courts in bloody battle. Reports have come in of an earlier engagement outside the courts building where roughly 50 Lancers transporting ammunition were forced to take flight when ambushed by rebels in the Four Courts. The roadway is strewn with wounded men and horses.
13.48hrs - Desperate scenes at City Hall! Full scale combat has broken out around City Hall – the military have suffered several casualties assaulting the building. Its surrounding positions did great damage to the attacking troops as they tried to rush its main door. The noise in the area is deafening.
13.52hrs - Intense fighting along the western quays! A company of Royal Dublin Fusiliers suffered several casualties under repeated fusillades from across the river at the Mendicity institute. They are firing back now, while using the river wall for cover.
13.56hrs - Second policeman shot dead! Just outside St Stephen’s Green another policeman has been shot dead. It is unclear what has happened to cause this. Meanwhile trenches are being dug inside the green. Terror is now beginning to grip the capital.
14.03hrs - Vicious fighting around South Dublin Union! Keen to relieve Dublin Castle, troops recently left Richmond Barracks in Inchicore, but came under fire from rebel positions in South Dublin Union. They have suffered several casualties.
14.05hrs - It’s been reported that earlier on a patrol of Royal Irish Regiment infantrymen came under fire from Davy’s at Portobello. The rebels were driven out by reinforcements backed up by a machine gun. Dublin is at war!
14.13hrs - Machine gun fire in Royal Hospital. It is unclear at present but machine gun fire has been heard from the roof of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham. Is the British Army headquarters under attack?
14.16hrs - Shocking scenes in Sackville Street – Lancers killed by rebels! Dublin’s main thoroughfare has become a scene of slaughter. Dublin is a battlefield. Several British cavalry lancers are lying dead in the street, along with several horses. An ambulance recently sped away carrying wounded. The Lancers were ambushed by a hail of fire from the GPO.
14.19hrs - Gunfire around Rialto – violence spreading throughout city. The south-facing entrance of the South Dublin Union is under attack from elements of the Royal Irish Regiment. They appear keen to secure a line into the city.
14.21hrs - The Marrowbone Lane Distillery, which is in the hands of the rebels, is now pouring a deluge of fire on the British troops storming into the South Dublin Union.
16.00hrs - Reinforcements pouring in. Kingsbridge Railway Station is a hive of activity – thousands of British troops are on the way to the city in an attempt to restore order.
16.35hrs - Sniper fire across O’Connell Bridge. Several positions on both sides of the River Liffey have become engaged in vicious sniper duels. It is the most bizarre of spectacles. Civilians, enthralled by the sound of gunshot, are placing themselves at a terrible risk, keen to view what is unfolding here today.
16.45hrs - Horrific scenes on Northumberland Road. As the fighting spreads reports are coming in of several casualties among the Veteran Defence Force in the Ballsbridge area – details are sketchy.
16.48hrs - Fighting is taking place along the Dublin-Kingstown railway line. Rebels have opened fire on a much larger detachment of the Veteran Defence Force, causing them to scatter in panic.
17.21hrs - Fierce fighting around Dublin Castle. A large cavalry force arrived recently on foot from Kingsbridge station and are involved in very heavy fighting against the Citizen Army in City Hall. The shooting is now incessant.
17.35hrs - Kelly’s Fishing Tackle Shop is in rebel hands. They now control O’Connell Bridge from both flanks to its north.
17.45hrs - Tragic death of a young nurse in South Dublin Union. Reports of a young nurse having been shot by a terrified British private are coming in. The fighting there has been conducted in hospitals filled with patients. People are screaming in terror as shots echo through the many wards.
18.03hrs - A civilian has been shot dead by rebels in St Stephen’s Green. Apparently several warning shots were aimed over the man’s head as he tried to dismantle a barricade that contained his dray-cart. Civilians are hurling abuse at the rebels.
19.35hrs - Scenes of pandemonium at City Hall. British infantry and cavalrymen have stormed into the rear of City Hall. The area is in complete chaos. Non-stop firing can be heard from inside the huge building, as well as several explosions, which are presumed to be hand-grenades.
20.00hrs - Insurgents are falling back from their Fumbally Lane positions towards Jacob’s factory. Their most dangerous enemy at present is not the forces of the crown – it is the local civilians, many of whom are pelting them with stones and whatever they can get their hands on.
20.30hrs - Looting in Sackville Street. Buildings throughout Sackville Street are being looted and set on fire this evening. The scene is of chaos. Insurgents have fired over the heads of the looters to try and stop them.
21.25hrs - Sackville Street tonight. The situation is unprecedented in Sackville Street. The atmosphere is surreal. What the outcome will be – who knows? Shops are in flames. There will be little sleep in Dublin City on this night.
21.35hrs - City Hall in British hands. After several ferocious attacks, Crown forces have re-captured the inside of City Hall. It is reported that several dozen rebels man the roof, however, and have no plans to surrender.
22.10hrs - Sniping around Beggar’s Bush Barracks. The barracks is tonight under incessant fire from rebel positions along the nearby railway line.
23.15hrs - Rebels control Gasworks. The south city is now in complete darkness. Apparently a large rebel force stormed into the Gasworks on South Lotts Road and dismantled the machinery there. The workforce have been forced out.
23.45hrs - Friendly fire at Leeson Street Bridge. Rebels entering the city at Leeson Street Bridge have been fired on by their own side. Curses are being sent towards the rooftops by the frightened Volunteers at their Citizen Army comrades.
When The Clock Struck in 1916 – Close-Quarter Combat in the Easter Rising by Derek Molyneux and Darren Kelly, is published by the Collins Press, at €17.99.