Tribute to 1916 British soldiers removed in Dublin

Floral display had been left to honour those who died in the Battle of Mount Street Bridge

 

A floral tribute to the British soldiers who died at the Battle of Mount Street Bridge during the 1916 Rising has been removed.

Former British soldier Alan Barry, who put it there, said he was “disgusted” by its removal and he said the 216 Sherwood Foresters who were killed or injured during the Dublin battle deserved to be remembered.

The battle saw the worst British casualties of the Rising when 17 Irish Volunteers ambushed two columns of Sherwood Foresters as they approached the city centre.

Twenty-eight British soldiers were killed that day. Many of them had not finished basic training and thought they were on their way to France.

Mr Barry said he was motivated to leave the poppy wreath at the memorial to the Volunteers who died at Mount Street Bridge because of the gesture of Freya Connolly, the great-granddaughter of Sean Connolly - the Irish Citizen Army volunteer who shot dead Constable James O’Brien.

At a commemoration service for Constable O’Brien at Dublin Castle on Sunday, she left flowers on behalf of the Connolly family.

Mr Barry said the dead of both sides in the Easter Rising ought to be remembered and he was furious that his tribute had been removed.

The inscription he left on the wreath read: “The men of the 2nd/8th battalions Sherwood Foresters regiment who fell in action on Mount Street Brige, four officers and 216 other ranks, 26th April 1916. Let’s hope this wreath is left as a mark of respect.”

Mr Barry put the wreath there at 7am on Tuesday morning to mark 100 years to the day since the Battle of Mount Street Bridge.

He said the wreath remained in place most of the day but he believed it was removed by republicans who came to the memorial in the evening time.

He said: “It is right that the volunteers should be remembered too, but why can’t we remember the dead from both sides? I know that the vast majority of Irish people respect what I am trying to do. Why are people still raking over the past. Why do they not just get over it, for Christ’s sake?”

Mr Barry said he was born in Dublin and is proud to be Irish.

His grandfather John Barry had been a rebel in the Rising and carried messages between Boland’s Mills and the College of Surgeon.

He was allowed unhindered access across the city because he had polio.

Memorial service

Separately, a memorial service was held to remember Supt Holden Stodart of St John Ambulance, who was also killed at the Battle of Mount Street Bridge.

He was shot near Northumberland Road after he went with a stretcher party to treat a wounded soldier. The shot killed him instantly.

St John Ambulance Brigade district superintendent William G Smith described Holden Stodart as a “most zealous and conscientious officer”, who died while proceeding with a stretcher party to the relief of a wounded soldier.

Approximately 60 people turned up for the memorial service at Mount Jerome Cemetery, where Stodard is buried.

Among those in attendance was the Deputy Lord Mayor Greg Kelly and representatives from St John Ambulance, the Irish Red Cross, the Civil Defence and Dublin Fire Brigade.