By Anne Doyle
Bang!!! Mam Mam, where are you? We are learning all about the 1916
Rising today, did you have any relations in the Rising?, Yes, and he played
such a big part in it all that they wrote a book about him. “Yes yes yes that’s
brilliant, I bet no one else will have as good a story as me tomorrow”. Do you
have the book? Can I bring it in tomorrow? Do you want me to tell it to you
so you don’t have to read the entire book tonight?
His name was Diarmuid Lynch and he was my uncle. He was born in Cork 140
years ago, he immigrated to America to find work and while there he acquired
American Citizenship. When he eventually came home he joined an
organisation called the I.R.B. who were secretly fighting against the British.
Diarmuid fought in Dublin and was the last man to leave the G.P.O. after
Pearse surrendered, he was due to be shot like the other leaders but was not
as he was an American citizen. Now he was the most senior leader of the I.R.B.
left alive after the Rising. Before the rising he was the Aide de Comp to James
Connolly and a captain in the G.P.O. Battalion, prior to the rebellion he was
described by Dublin Castle as a “dangerous agitator”.
He was sent to prison in England, but was released in 1918 and returned by
train with a group of ex prisoner’s to Cork and were greeted by a crowd of
10,000 people. He addressed them and said “As a Cork man I am glad to
return to my native city and to find that it is a Rebel Cork, a Republican Cork
and an Irish Cork”. Once back there he became active again along with
Michael Collins, Tom Ashe, Harry Boland and others in drawing up a new
constitution for the I.R.B. He was appointed “Food Controller” in Sin Fein and
agitated against food being exported to England while there were food
shortages at home. In February 1918 along with other volunteers he diverted
34 pigs as they were being trotted along the North Circular Road on their way
to the port. The pigs were slaughtered and sold to the people of Dublin. A
ballad was composed by Cathal MacDubhghaill called “The Pig Push” and was
sung around the pubs in Cork to celebrate his brave action.
He was arrested and this time was imprisoned in Dundalk jail. He was
convicted and sentenced to deportation to America. He decided to marry his
fiancée Kit (Kathleen) Quinn from Co. Kildare so she could join him in America
He applied for parole to do so but was refused but was determined, so one day
Kit arrived with her half-sister Carmel and Fr. Aloysius Travers, she had also
applied to visit Michael Brennan and Frank Henderson two other volunteers
who were imprisoned there. With these witnesses they were married by Fr.
Travers. Word leaked out and the Governor was furious so plans were made
for his immediate deportation. When the train reached Aimen’s St. a large
crowd had gathered including Michael Collins, Eamonn de Valera and Harry
Boland other Volunteers and the public. He was transferred to a car and
brought to the Bridewell Station, his new bride and Michael Collins travelled
with him and as the cars moved out De Valera shouted out “Diarmuid you
have set a new style of wedding by taking your bride to the Bridewell”
He was deported shortly after that.
I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow now, and Mammy is he still alive? No,
he died in 1950. Now go to bed, good boy.