Markievicz and Mallin


Sir, – In his review (Books, February 17th) of our work, Those of Us Who Must Die: Execution, Exile and Revival After the Easter Rising, Frank MacGabhann contends that “... the book is marred by the failure of the authors to mention the controversies over the accounts of the courts-martial of Constance Markievicz, who, according to William Wylie’s account written years later, pleaded for her life on the basis that she was a woman, and of Michael Mallin, who, according to the trial record, told the court martial that Markievicz was in command of the St Stephen’s Green Garrison. These should have been treated and discussed, if only to be ultimately rejected.”

On page 280 of the book, readers will note: “It has often been suggested that Michael Mallin could have inadvertently put Countess Markievicz in front of a firing squad by making this statement to the court. But there are a number of factors worthy of consideration, (1) Word had been spread among those waiting for trial from the very first day that they were to contest the charges. (2) Mallin would have known that Markievicz had already been tried, and could reasonably have assumed that she had already been sentenced; prisoners were usually told their sentence by the following day. (3) When we look at other trial records or witness statements, it becomes evident that when a Volunteer was asked the name of their commanding officer, they would give the name if the officer had already been tried. It appears that Mallin took the only option available to him, which was to give the impression he was not in command, believing that Markievicz, having received her sentence, could not be tried again.” – Yours, etc,



Kinnegad, Co Westmeath.