Our friendly and excellent guides are available as Step On Guides for any visiting tour or coach operators who may like a unique, entertaining and educational tour of Irish History and the events of Easter Week 1916.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


From August 1st 2011, the Tour winter Schedule will be in operation. Tours will operate from August to March on a demand basis. Reservations should be made at or by telephone. If you have a party of 10+ contact us and we will arrange a time, day and pick up point to suit your party. The regular weekend tour times will operate from Friday March 2nd 2012. Thank you for your patience and we hope those who have enjoyed the tour so far in 2011 will pass on the good word. Slan

Thursday, July 28, 2011


A typo has been pointed out to me that on some of the early print editions of the Tour Flyer the Sunday times are listed as Noon and 4pm when that should have read 3pm. Apologies for any confusion caused.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Johnny O’Connor was second generation Irish. His father’s parents hailed from counties Cork and Kerry and his mother’s from Cork and Galway. His grandparents had left Ireland seeking a better life after the famine of the mid 19th century. Johnny’s parents Jack and Mary lived in the East end of London where they had been born and grew up together knowing each other from their early school days. Both his parents were tailors and proud to be Irish with their house full of ‘Irish-Ireland’ traditions with history and music to the fore. The O’Connor family was made up of four sons and four daughters and their house was used as an IRA safe house during the War of Independence for IRA men on the run. In 1920 another son Joseph crossed the Irish Sea to help the cause and spent a number of years in prison. Mary O’Connor died in 1951 aged eighty four.

Johnny O’Connor joined the Irish Volunteers unit based in London. Initially there were two units founded in London, one on either side of the River Thames. Originally boasting over five hundred volunteers, the outbreak of World War One and the exodus of Irish men to fight for the British Army led to the merging of the two companies that now had just one hundred men. These men were trained by men like brothers Joe and Martin Cassidy in St. George’s Hall near the Elephant and Castle. One of O’Connor’s fellow Volunteers at the hall was one Michael Collins who would later have such a pivotal role in the formation of the Irish state. After a visit to the Volunteers headquarters at No.2 Dawson Street and to Bulmer Hobson, the organisations Quartermaster by the Liverpool Volunteers’ commander Liam McNieve found that the idea of setting up a central location for the units in Britain was met with resistance. McNieve had heard about an offer from the Plunkett family to use some of their land at Larkfield as a base for the men from London and Liverpool and after an inspection that offer was taken up. Monies that were gathered in Britain and out of the personal cash of the Plunkett family was used to purchase mattresses, blankets and food supplies.

On January 15th 1916 O’Connor made his way across the Irish Sea for the very first time from London by ferry through the Welsh port of Holyhead. Johnny reported that ‘ninety five percent of us had no relatives in Dublin and very little cash’. On his arrival at the North wall he made his way to Neary’s Hotel on Parnell Street. For one pound a week, O’Connor had his own room and three square meals a day. After a raid on the hotel when a cache of weapons was found in the room occupied by Gilbert Lynch, Michael Collins arrived at the Hotel and told the Volunteers staying there that they should pack their bags and to make their way to Kimmage. Larkfield was already heavily fortified when O’Connor arrived and their days were taken up with military drilling and weapons training. On one occasion in February the British authorities attempted to investigate the happenings at the estate but a couple of warning shots from the sentries sent the British scurrying away.



Through the research for this project I have read nearly 1500 Witness Statements held at the Military Archives, read dozens of books and 100's of articles and much of the knowledge that has been gathered will not be used on the tour, so if there is anyone who is planning an academic project or thesis and if there are any questions I could help with or problems I can solve or point you in the right direction please do not hesitate to get in touch. Even if there are any general questions connected to the Easter Rising or the War of Independence please free to get in touch and ask.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Should the GPO be turned into a public Museum with the artifacts currently scattered through Kilmainham Jail, Collins Barracks, The National Museum, The National Archives and the National Library be gathered and displayed in one place to honour those who fought and died? Should the Government not be concentrating on this rather than spending millions on the former Irish Parliament building now owned by the Bank of Ireland?

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Come November 2011 when a new President of the Republic of Ireland takes the oath of office and if today’s opinion polls are to be believed, Senator David Norris will be the man in the Park in 2016, the centenary of the Easter Rising. One of the most remarkable points of this story is the fact that Mr. Norris is a proud gay Irishman and if historians and researchers are to be believed it will be 100 years since another gay man held the post of the President. Some historians believe that Padraig Pearse was homosexual. They point to an Irish language poem, Little Lad of Tricks that he wrote with the lines:
'There is a fragrance in your kiss
That I have not found yet
In the kisses of women
Or in the honey of their bodies.'

One hundred years ago the world was a different, smaller world and the leaders and organisers of the 1916 Rising if alive today would have probably made the front pages of the Sunday tabloids. Pearse was suspected of homosexual tendencies as was Roger Casement. Thomas Clarke was married to a woman twenty years his junior and Connolly would probably been labelled a communist sympathiser.
The President of Ireland must be born within Ireland but of course James Connolly was born in Scotland and Thomas Clarke born on the Isle of Wight would either man have been allowed to become President had the Republic succeeded in 1916?

Friday, July 22, 2011


With a large array of knowledge and research, if there are any questions that I can help students or researchers answer on the 1916 Easter Rising, please e mail me or use our facebook page to ask.


A remarkable story surrounds the Military Medal awarded to Miss Louisa Nolan for the part she played as a civilian in helping British soldiers involved in the Easter Rising, 1916. Specifically it was in recognition 'for her bravery in tending wounded officers and men at Mount Street Bridge during the fighting there on Wednesday of Easter Week. Miss Nolan went calmly though a hail of bullets and carried water and other comforts to the wounded men. She is the daughter of ex-Head Constable Nolan of the Royal Irish Constabulary, who resides at Ringsend.'

At the time of her award Miss Nolan was employed at the Gaiety Theatre and after the rebellion she travelled to London where she appeared as one of the 'Ladies of the Chorus' in 'Three Cheers', a review at the Shaftsbury Theatre [The Stage 28 December 1916] in which Harry Lauder also appeared (though the show was temporarily closed owing to the death in action of Lauder's only son, Capt J. C. Lauder, of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders). The Sinn Fein Rebellion Handbook, compiled by the Weekly Irish Times, Dublin contains an entry in the 'Who's Who in this Handbook' section:

'Two of her sisters are nursing in England, one brother is in the army and another in the navy and a third was killed in August [1915] last on the Western Front. On Saturday 24th February 1917 Miss Nolan was decorated with the medal by His Majesty at Buckingham Palace.'

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Easter Rising Coach Tour: THE UNFRIENDLY BARMAN

Easter Rising Coach Tour: THE UNFRIENDLY BARMAN: "When Sergeant Doyle was sent with a number of men to seize J T Davy's Public House on Portobello Bridge, their objective was to prevent Brit..."


When Sergeant Doyle was sent with a number of men to seize J T Davy's Public House on Portobello Bridge, their objective was to prevent British Army reinforcements being deployed from the barracks in Rathmines. One of the men with Doyle was James Joyce (no relation to the writer) and he would invaluable to the mission as he worked in JT Davy's as a barman/porter. Joyce was on his last warning at work as he kept on taking days off to go training with the Volunteers. He had not appeared for work on Easter Monday and when he entered the bar Davy confronted him and told him that he was not going to out up with his absenteeism any longer and that he was sacked to which Joyce replied 'an you my friend have ten seconds to vacant this premises'. Davy refused initially to leave his pub but Joyce levelled his Mauser pistol at the large mirror behind the bar and fired. Davy and the remaining customers left. What happened next is one of the most amazing stories of the 1916 Easter Rising and will be explained exclusively on board the tour.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Reservations are now being taken for the busy August Bank Holiday weekend tours on Friday July 29th at 3pm. Saturday 30th at Noon and 3pm and Sunday at Noon and 3pm. Come and enjoy this unique sightseeing tour in Dublin.


What would an Irish Volunteer have tweeted on Easter Monday 1916 from the GPO?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Sean Healy was just fifteen years old when a soldiers bullet claimed his young life. Born in 1901 in Phibsboro on Dublin's Northside, Sean had left school at an early age and did an apprenticeship with his father in the plumbing business. On Easter Monday as a member of Na Fianna Eireann he waited in vain for his mobilisation orders and so on Tuesday he went out to join the rebellion. He found himself in Thomas McDonagh's Jacobs Factory Battalion. On Tuesday afternoon he was sent with a dispatch for the commander of rebel forces at Phibsboro Bridge. As he was close to home he called into his mother to reassure her that he was alright. He left and had walked only a shot distance to Byrne's Corner when he was shot dead. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Friday, July 8, 2011


With adrenalin pumping through their young veins some of the first casualties of the Easter Rising were caused by accident. The first fatalities of the Rising were Con Keating, Donal Sheehan and Charlie Monaghan who were drowned at Ballykissane Pier in County Kerry on their mission to meet with the German arms shipment. When the rebels stormed the GPO accidental discharging led to a number of casualties and one rebel who used the butt of his shotgun to attempt to gain entry to a room on the second floor, blew the left ear off himself when the knock on the door discharged his weapon. Other casualties were caused by the improper detonation of homemade explosives.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Imagine what went through the mind of a naive 18 year old boy who waved goodbye to his weeping mammy and hopped on a tram into O'Connell Bridge to join his comrades about to go into battle against the might of the British empire. The adrenalin, the hype, the fear, the excitement and awful spectre of his young life cut short.