During the week of the Easter Rising more civilians died as a result of the fighting than British Soldiers or Rebels.
George Alexander Playfair
Playfair George Alexander aged 23. He was born in Canada. He was the older of two sons of the Commanding Officer of the Magazine Fort in the Phoenix Park Dublin. After the Magazine Fort was raided and an attempt was made to blow it up George Playfair was shot as he entered a house in Islandbridge Barracks, he was shot by a Volunteer who believed Playfair was attempting to raise the alarm after the attack on the Magazine Fort. Playfair was shot in the abdomen and died in hospital some nine hours after he was shot.
It is a popular myth that the first causality of the Rising was the 14 year old brother of George Playfair Gerald Playfair. I know there are witness statements and various histories which record this popular myth as fact but Gerald Playfair went on to marry in Canada in 1923.
George Alexander Playfair is buried in the cemetery of what was The Royal Hibernian Military School in the Phoenix Park, the school closed in 1924 the building is now occupied by Saint Mary’s Hospital. The inscription on the headstone reads: In Loving memory of ALEC, elder son of Major G R Playfair, Royal Magazine Fort, who lost his life in the Easter Rebellion 1916 Aged 23.
Mrs Margaret Naylor
On the 29th of April 1916 Margaret Naylor was hit by a stray bullet when caught in the cross-fire between Rebels and the British Army while she was crossing the Rings End Draw Bridge with her sister Mary Bridget Liscombe. She is buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery Dublin. Mrs Naylor’s Husband John was killed in action on the same day when he was gassed in France while serving with the 8th Battalion The Royal Dublin Fusiliers, he was 36 years old. Service number 14578 buried commemorated Loos Memorial France.
John Naylor had two brothers killed while serving in WW1:
(Image John O'Grady)
Owen Donnelly was shot dead near Kilmainham on Thursday the 27th of April 1916, he lived in South Summer street Dublin and was about 57 years old and a native of county Tyrone. He was an old soldier having served 21 years and was an out pensioner and the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, he is buried in the grounds of the hospital, his grave is unmarked. He had three sons serving in the British Army at the time of his death.
Nurse Margaret Keogh
Nurse Margaret Keogh was shot dead in the South Dublin Union. Nurse Keogh was on an upper floor with another nurse, on hearing shooting on the ground floor nurse Keogh went to check on her patients, as she descended the stairs she was shot dead by two British soldiers.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Rising Deansgrange cemetery marked the graves of the civilian victims.
The following is the list of known persons whose deaths resulted from bullet or gunshot wounds, and whose remains were interred in Dean's Grange Cemetery:
Abslone Scherzinger (AKA Shergine Joseph and Shergoing). He was a clock maker from Germany, he was killed in Percy Place which is close to Mount Street Bridge on Wednesday the 26th of April. He was 68 years old and lived at Haddington Road Dublin.
Browning, Francis Henry aged 47, 17 Herbert Park, Donnybrook.
Carroll, James Joseph aged 24, the Municipal Buildings, Kingstown. Single, Roman Catholic worked as an engineer died on the 28 ofApril 1916 (A7W)
Cunningham, Andrew aged 24, 77 Park View, Pigeon House Road. Dublin. Married, Roman Catholic, died on the 1st of May 1916, occupation Silk weaver. (Also recorded as one of the Rebels killed see Rebels Killed 1916)
Doyle, John aged 20, 104 Ringsend Road, Dublin. Died on the 1st of May 1916, Roman Catholic, worked as a painter (E1 30 W).
Gregg, William aged 64, 2 Simpson's Lane, Irishtown. Married, Roman Catholic, died on the 26th of April 1916, occupation Bottle Maker. (Although the Glasnevin Necrology records him as having died on the 29th newspaper reports record he died on the 26th.)
Kelly, Mary aged 12, 128 Townsend Street, Dublin. She died from a gunshot wound and was killed in Lombard Street on the 30th of April.
McCarthy, John aged 54, Island Bridge Barracks, Dublin. Died on the 23rd of May 1916, Married, Roman Catholic.
McIntyre, Patrick aged 38, Newspaper Editor, 21 Fownes Street. Dublin, shot by the military in Portobello Barracks.
Stewart, Bridget aged 11, 3 Pembroke Place Ballsbridge. She died in the Royal Hospital Baggot Street, cause of death was gunshot wound to the chest, haemorrhage and shock.
Sweny, William Lional. Born in 1902. He was 16 years old when he was shot on the 28th of April. He lived at 1 Lincoln Place Dublin. His father owned a pharmacy. He is buried in Deansgrange, for many years his body was unidentified.
Synnot, George aged 59, 98 Haddington Road Dublin. Died on the 30th of April 1916. He was a member of the Church of Ireland, occupation clerk. He was shot dead when he left his house on Haddington Road to buy tobacco, shortly after leaving his home he was hit three times with buck shot. He was taken into Beggars Bush Barracks by Major Harris where Captain Hackett of the Royal Army Medical Corps attended to him. He was a native of County Westmeath and is buried in Deansgrange cemetery Dublin. Also recorded as Synnott.
The bodies of the following, whose addresses are not recorded were brought from Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital for interment:
Byrne Josep, 65 Townsend Street.
Carrick William, Little is known of William Carrick, there are no details of his age, religion, occupation or other information recorded about him. His death is recorded as the 1st of April 1916. He is buried in a mass grave with a British Soldier, two Volunteers and another two civilians. (V2 25 N)
Clarke Joseph, aged 72. (Possibly from Power’s Court off Upper Mount Street Dublin)
Kenyon Thomas. Aged 67 years old when he died.
The following bodies were brought from Saint Vincent’s Hospital Dublin for burial in Dean’s Grange.
O’Flaherty Christopher. Pembroke Road, Dublin. Ex-Head Constable RIC, shot by a sniper through the eye while standing at his front door at Pembroke Road on Easter Tuesday.
Flynn John. aged 63, Dodder View, Dublin. An
The following are believed to have been buried in Deansgrange but as the burials were not registered the location of the graves is unknown. This memorial stone was erected in 2016 to remember them.
Pte Edward Byrne
Two Dun Laoghaire men killed at Ashbourne
While the fighting raged in Dublin the R.I.C. barracks in Ashbourne County Meath came under attack from the Rebels. Under the command of Thomas Ashe the Volunteers surrounded the barracks but came under attack from an R.I.C. patrol and had to defend themselves. As the battle raged two commercial travellers from Dun Laoghaire attempted to drive their car through the village of Ashbourne. Both men were killed in the cross-fire.
James Joseph Carroll
James Joseph Carroll, aged 24 from 9 Georges Place Kingstown. Died on the 28th of April 1916 and is buried in Deansgrange.
Gerald St John Hogan Gerald Hogan aged 26 from 9 Summerhill Road Kingstown. he is buried in Deansgrange Cemetery.
On the morning of Tuesday the 25th of April a car travelling towards the city centre was ordered to halt by Volunteers as it approached Mount Street Bridge. Anticipating British reinforcements would use this route when travelling from Kingstown the Volunteers had set up an ambush. The car was driven by a Captain of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who, that morning was giving a lift to an official of the Bank of Ireland College Green. As the car crossed the Bridge Volunteers in Clanwilliam House opened fire, the Bank Official was shot and fatally wounded, he was taken to Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital where he died later that day. The dead man was Richard Waters of Recess Blackrock County Dublin. He was 48 years old when he died.
Margaret McGuinness, died from wounds received during the fighting in Dublin. She died on the 3rd of April 1916 and is buried with her husband in Deansgrange Cemetery who had passed away two years earlier. She was 50 years old and from 3 Pembroke Cottages, Dublin.
North King Street Massacre
Father and son Thomas and Christopher Hickey were both killed in what became known as North King Street Massacre. As soldiers of the South Staffs regiment attempted to move up North King Street they came under heavy fire from the Rebels and were unable to make any progress. In order not to looses the lives of any more soldiers the soldiers were ordered to make their way up the street by tunnelling through the houses.
The soldiers of the South Staffs spent considerable time breaking through the walls of the houses and by the time they reached the Rebel’s position the Rebels had gone. In their frustration at not catching the Rebels the soldiers of the South Staffs turned their anger on the residents of North King Street. 15 men and boys were rounded up and either shot or bayoneted to death.
Two of the victims were buried in Deansgrange.
The other victims of the North King Street massacre were
The following reports are extracts from the inquest into the circumstances of their deaths. The military claimed that the deaths occurred because the soldiers were under sustained attack and considerable stress, claims which were rejected by the inquest jury.
Dr. Louis A. Byrne, City Coroner, in the Morgue on Tuesday, 16th May, conducted inquests on the bodies of Patrick Bealen, aged 30, who had been employed as foreman at Mrs. Mary O'Rourke's licensed house, 177 North King street, Dublin, and James Healy, aged 44, employed as a labourer at Messrs. Jameson's Distillery, Bow street, and residing at Little Green street. The bodies, which bore marks of bullet wounds, had both been disinterred on 10th May in the cellar of 177 North King Street by the sanitary authorities. At the opening of the inquest the previous Friday evidence was heard, and suggestions were made against the military who had been on duty in North King Street. The Coroner then adjourned the further hearing of evidence until Tuesday, and notified the military authorities of the adjourned sitting.
VERDICT OF THE JURY. The Coroner having briefly addressed the jury, the following verdict was returned, we find that the said Patrick Bealen died from shock and haemorrhage, resulting from Bullet wounds inflicted by a soldier or soldiers, in whose custody he was, an unarmed and unoffending prisoner. We consider that the explanation given by the military authorities is very unsatisfactory, and we believe that if the military authorities had any inclination they could produce the officer in charge.
INQUEST ON JAMES HEALY. The adjourned inquest on the body of James Healy, which was also found buried in the cellar of 177 North King Street, was then resumed. The jury returned a verdict in terms similar to that recorded in the case of Bealen.
(Photo Des White)
Another victim of the North King’s Street Massacre was James (Jim) McCarthy. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
The following list is of identified persons interred at Glasnevin Cemetery and whose deaths occurred as a result of bullet or gunshot wounds arising out of the Rebellion. The list includes several persons who were trampled to death by crowds in the Streets. Two Hundred and Fifty bodies buried in this Cemetery between Easter Monday the 24th of April and 11th July. The names are of those persons whose deaths were directly attributable to the Rising.
Kavanagh Ernest (Cavanagh). On the 25th April 1916, the second day of the rebellion, Kavanagh was shot dead on the steps of Liberty Hall. He was a political cartoonist with cartoons published in The Irish Worker, the Irish Republican Brotherhood newspaper Irish Freedom, and other publications in the early twentieth century. In addition to his work as a cartoonist, Kavanagh worked in Liberty Hall as a clerk to the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. It is recorded that he called to Liberty Hall in order to offer his services to the rebels due to feeling guilty for not joining the Rising the day before.
Kirwan John. Died on the 24th of April. Died in the area of Sackville Street at or near Elverys Shop. A report in the Sunday Independent on May 21st 1916 appealed for information on the missing John Kirwan. ‘John Kirwan, aged 15, whose mother lives in No. 3 Lower Erne Place, has been missing since Monday, April 24th. At about two o’clock on that day he left his house and was seen that afternoon enjoying himself with others in Sackville Street on the back of a big toy elephant. That was the last that was seen of him. He was very fair in complexion, of delicate appearance. He had a very marked scar over his right eye. He wore a grey overcoat and grey cap, laced boots, khaki-coloured knickers and a white tie'.
Martin O'Leary shot dead in Little Mary Street on Thursday April 27th
Patrick Stephenson senior was 50 years old, married and a father of nine children, he shot dead on Friday the 29th of April. He was employed as head stableman at Farrell’s Undertakers and had gone to Farrell’s to take care of the horses and to obtain some food for his family. The British had declared a curfew restricting anyone from being out after 6pm, Patrick senior was unaware of the curfew and as he left Farrell’s by the back door he was shot dead by a British Soldier. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery on the 2nd of May.
One of Patrick Stephenson senior’s sons Patrick Joseph (Paddy Joe) fought on the Rebel side during the Rising and was at the Mendicity Institute, he was at the GPO delivering dispatches and obtaining food when the Mendicity Institute was taken by the British. Unable to return to the Mendicity Institute he went to the Four Courts until the Friday and then to the GPO until the surrender, he was in Military custody on the 2nd of may and was unable to attend his father’s funeral.
At the time of the Rising another of Patrick Stephenson senior’s sons Edward Francis (Eddie) was with the British Army having served in Italy and France. Eddie came home on leave shortly after his father’s death and never went back to the British Army.*
The grave of James Jordan in Glasnevin cemetery, Christopher Jordan is also commemorated on the headstone, he is buried in the Mass Grave in St. Paul’s Section on the other side of the Finglas Road.
Christopher Jordan, 5 Grant Row, Lower Mount Street, Dublin. Shot dead by British Soldiers on the 29th of April at his home at about midday. His son James Jordan was also shot and seriously wounded in the same incident. Both men were members of the Citizen Army. The British Military surrounded the house and opened a continuous hail of fire on the occupants Christopher Jordan with his wife and eight children. His wife Elizabeth and one of their daughters managed to escape the house and get help from the Parish Priest, Father Fleming, who eventually persuaded the Soldiers to stop firing on the house. Christopher’s body was taken by the British soldiers to Hollies Street Hospital and after several days was taken with the bodies of other Rising fatalities and buried in Glasnevin in a mass grave containing up to one hundred bodies. James Jordan died two years later from the wounds he received in the incident, he left a wife and three children.
The Buckley Family
There were some unusual reports in the newspapers regarding deaths during the Rising. In the case of the Family of Mr William Buckley, solicitor, of Rutland Square his wife Frances, aged 54, buried in Glasnevin on the 26th of April and his daughter Edith aged 20 years buried on the 6th of May, both reported as dying of natural causes. Another daughter of Mr Buckley, Lucy aged 18 years, was buried in Glasnevin the cause of death being given as Hysteria brought on by the shock of the fighting.*
Mount Jerome Cemetery
The following is the list of remains brought to Mount Jerome Cemetery for interment as a result of the rebellion:
Ballantyne, John (79), 40 Merrion Square.
Bond, Henry (33), 38 South Frederick Street, employed as a clock maker. Died from gun-shot wounds.
Cowley, Thomas Kearse. (66), 93 Haddington Road and Christian Union Buildings, Died on the 26th of April.
Dockeray, Cecil E. (44), 4 Warwick Terrace, Leeson Park.
Hall, Robert C. (29), 3 Serpentine Avenue
Halliday, William. James. (23), Herberton Bridge. Visiting Dublin from Belfast he was shot dead at Dolphin’s Barn.
Hayter, Charles (77), Grand Canal Street Bridge,
Joze, Thomas Moran., Arran quay, A chemist, shot dead while going home. Mr Joze had business premises in Dame Street and Arran Quay, he was challenged by a Rebel on his way home from his place of business, when he failed to answer the challenge he was fired on, Mr Joze was severely deaf and it is thought he did not hear the challenge by the Rebel.
Macnamara, John H, (12 years 6 months), York Street.
McLoughlin, James (52).
Myers, Miss Annie (54), 13 North Earl Street.
Neil, James C. (29), 16 Fitzroy Avenue.
Neil, Mary (40), Aungier Street.
Rice, William. John (35), Glenholme Sandford Terrace.
Sainsbury, George P. (5 Years 6 Months), 54 South Circular Road.
Vantreen, Mrs Prudence (70), 23 Werburgh Street.
Warbrook, Emma (Eleanor) aged 15, 7 Fumbally Lane. Shot in the face by a Rebel at a barricade.
Wilkinson, Miss Elizabeth (60), 4 Woodstock Gardens, Ranelagh.
Mr Mackenzie, provisions merchant, Rutland Square, shot dead on Thursday May 24th while sitting beside his window.
Another three victims killed due to the Easter Rising were killed as a result of German Naval shelling on the east coast of England where the port of Lowestoft was shelled. Roger Casement had arranged with the German Navy an attack on the east coast of England to try and divert the attention away from the Rebellion in Ireland. The bombardment took place on the 25th of April 1916.
Annie Elizabeth Davey.
Sidney Herbert Davey
Robert Vernon Mumford described in reports as a baby and an infant.