O’CONNELL SCHOOL, THE 1916 RISING AND THE VOLUNTEERS’ PLAQUE

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More than 130 men and youths who were educated by the Christian Brothers at
O’Connell Schools (OCS) Dublin, took part in the Easter Rising in 1916. Three of them
were among the leaders who were executed – Éamonn Ceannt, Con Colbert and Seán
Heuston. One past pupil, John Dwan, was killed in the fighting.
Éamonn Ceannt: Rugadh i nGaillimh ē sa bhliain 1881, bhī sē ar dhuine de bhuanaitheoirī Ōglaigh na hĒireann agus bhī suim aige i gcultūr agus i dteanga na nGael agus
i stair na hĒireann. Throid sē ag Aontas Bhaile Átha Cliath Theas, Ospidēal San Sēamas
sa lā atā inniu ann.
Con Colbert: Rugadh i Luimneach ē sa bhliain 1888, bhī sē gnīomhach i ngluaiseacht
na poblachta agus i gceannas ar lucht an Ēirī Amach sa drioglann i Lāna Mhuire Mhaith.
Seán Heuston: Rugadh sa bhliain 1891 ē, bhī baint aige le hoiliūint na ndaltaī i gColāiste
Eanna. Ghabh sē Institiūid an Dēirceachais in aice le Stāisiūn Traenach Heuston, atā
ainmnithe ina onōir.
As part of the school’s centenary commemoration of the Rising, it was decided to carry
out a major study of all these men and to examine their role in the rebellion. Among the
better known names covered in the study are those of Seán Lemass, who became
Taoiseach, and Seán T. O’Kelly, who became President of Ireland. Former pupil Seán
Boyne, was asked to assist with this project and he kindly volunteered his services.
Working from a list of OCS participants drawn up by the late Brother William Allen in
1968, Seán traced the background of most of the participants and his work is beautifully
put together in his book entitled Easter 1916; The 134 Volunteers from O’Connell School,
Br. Allen’s List.
The 1916 Volunteers’ Plaque at the school entrance path was put together to remember
and acknowledge all the past pupils of O’Connell Schools who took part in the 1916
Rising. The plaque is called the Volunteers’ Plaque because the 134 volunteers risked
their lives to bring about an Irish Republic; some of the volunteers were mere boys at the
time. The youngest, Anthony Swan, was aged just 15 and of the 134 volunteers,
approximately 50 were aged 21 or under. John Devoy, from Co. Kildare aged 74, was
the Fenian Leader in the U.S.A. and the strategist, organiser and stoker of the 1916
Rebellion. Inscribed on the plaque is the sentence ‘D’adhain siad an tine bheo’. This
literally means “They stoked the fire, they brought the fire back to life” – a fire that had
been lit over 700 years ago. On this occasion, with others, they succeeded in bringing
about an Irish Free State