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.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Germany and its people have been at the heart of Ireland politics since the start of the 20th Century. During the build up to the Easter Rising they willingly sold weapons and ammunition to both The Irish Volunteers and the Ulster Volunteers creating the scenario of a possible civil war on this island, yet their reasoning was self serving by causing problems for the British Government who they were fighting on the fields of France and Flanders. German naval officers became prisoners of war during the 1916 Easter Rising and U Boats landed men like Casement off the West Coast of Ireland.

During the Second Wold War, Germany parachuted spies and agitators into the country attempting to usurp the legitimate Government of the nation and yet again attempting to create instability on the island of Ireland.

Today our sovereign Government is answerable to the Government in Germany as our banking and financial crisis has caused a meltdown. Our budgetary plans are leaked to the German Parliament before our own Dail. The Germans are providing the impetuous for the Euro bailout of Ireland and their demands of its citizens of this nation that they once tried so desperately to create in the 1916 are crippling and sovereignty busting.

Germany has lost two world wars and was decimated both financially and structurally by both yet it is Germany who are now dominating policy in all of Europe, our once proud neutrality shattered. Their place at the epicentre of Europe that was once espoused forcibly by the Kaiser and the Fuhrer is now democratically the sole preserve of Chancellor Merkel.

Perhaps its is sad that the 35 million Irish in America have forgotten about their roots and since 1916 have done little financially or with commitment to assist their 'motherland'. We as a nation should have been able to turn to our own to help the nation. I know that everyone is suffering globally but The Irish American community have often talked the talk but never walked the walk except when perhaps financially supporting organisations who wanted to see a revolutionary and militaristic change in the Irish nation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


While Dublin was the epicentre of the Easter Rising there was some action outside the confines of the capital. Apart from Galway, Ashbourne and Enniscorthy, the Volunteers drilled and trained in Dundalk County Louth saw action as they made their way to assist their comrades in Dublin. Led by Dan Hannigan there first confrontation with the enemy as they believed was the accidental shooting a local at a rebel checkpoint when the gun belonging to Sean McEntee went off. Struggling to make any progress on foot, the company of rebels hijacked a number of cars taking punters home northwards from the race meeting at Fairyhouse. The rebels held onto the drivers as they were unable to drive themselves. Their next engagement was at Castlebellingham where they captured and made prisoners of the two local policemen. They then raided the grocery shops for provisions seizing them in the name of the new Irish Republic. While in charge of the town another policemen arrived on a bicycle but was more stubborn than his colleagues when it came to surrendering to the rebels. It was only after encouragement from his colleagues did he surrender and hand over his weapon. Just as the rebels were about to reboard the cars another car entered town with a driver and a British soldier. The soldier surrendered to the rebels only after a heated argument.

As the rebels were about to continue their journey to Dublin a shot rang out and as Sean McEntee wrote in his book he looked back at the point in the hedge where the prisoners of war were being held and saw the officer slump to the ground. It was only later at his court martial that he realised that the officer had been injured by the same shot that had killed RIC Constable Magee.

The rebels rested in the hijacked cars in a secluded field overnight and the following morning following reports of up to 5000 British troops in Dunslaughlin decided to release the drivers with the rebels conscious of doing the right thing within the new Republic gave their captives money for food and their fare home if they could get a train or bus with the rebellion in full swing.

McEntee then walked the rest of the journey into Dublin via Finglas joining up with the rebel forces in the GPO on Wednesday morning. He was sentenced to death in the aftermath of the Rising and served his commuted sentence before being released in 1917 and going on to serve as Government Minister in a number of cabinets.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011




On April 8th 1916, a notice placed in the Irish Independent newspaper it stated;
‘Following the success of last year, every unit of the Irish Volunteers will hold manoeuvres during the Easter holidays. The object of the manoeuvres is to test mobilization with equipment.’
On Holy Saturday, Captain George Plunkett informed the men at Larkfield that any of the men who wished to attend mass or take confession should do so that night at the nearby Mount Argus Church. They were nervous, their date with destiny was quickly approaching, their stomachs sat uneasily and their minds and their concentration was far from the sermon being delivered by the priest that night.

Sunday morning dawned and after the rain of the past couple of days, the spring morning was dry and calm. The arrival of the Sunday Independent left the men bemused and confused. The previous Thursday, Eoin McNeill leader of the Irish Volunteers discovered the full extent of the secret plans for a rebellion hatched by an inner cabinet of the Volunteers members who were also in the Irish republican Brotherhood.. Initially McNeill had been reluctantly in favour of the plans but upon hearing the news of the capture of Roger Casement and the sinking of the Aud be ordered the plans be cancelled. Pearse and company refused to call off the rebellion and so McNeill took matters in his own hand believing that a rebellion was at that time doomed to yet another failure no matter how heroic and placed the newspaper add. As the men at Kimmage read the notice they speculated that it
may be a special branch trick to divide and then conquer. The men waited in the courtyard most of the morning waiting for the confusion to be cleared. Eventually Captain Plunkett told the men to stand down. The men spent the rest of the afternoon digesting a number of cakes and sweets delivered to the garrison to celebrate Easter by Cumman na mBan. The men sat around in small groups discussing the runners and riders in the Easter Monday Grand National horse race at Fairyhouse. Many of the men picked out the aptly named ‘Civil War’ as their favourite. A couple of the men mused that they maybe allowed to go out in the afternoon to Croydon Avenue to watch the soccer match between Shamrock Rovers and Strandville but this was a military barracks and as far as the commanders were concerned all leave was cancelled. Some of men played cards, twenty five, trumps and poker nut as George Plunkett meandered through the men he found it hard to lift their spirits and moral.

Bank Holiday Monday, April 24th 1916, just after ten a.m., a despatch arrived at Larkfield delivered by Sean McLoughlin and immediately Captain Plunkett approached his men who were just gathering themselves together after the disappointment of the previous day. He began to read the message but before he could complete it, the men had scattered to put on what ever uniform they had and to retrieve their weapons, if they had one. The despatch ordered the Kimmage Garrison to attend immediately for parade at Beresford Place, in front of the Irish Citizens Headquarters at Liberty Hall on the Liffey Quays. The men marched off to an unknown destiny down towards Harold’s Cross past Mount Argus Church. A Dublin Tramway Company tram trundled along in the men’s direction also heading into the city centre. One of the cups of Bovril advertised on the side of the tram would have been gratefully accepted by some of the men to settle their nerves. Captain Plunkett hailed the tram and clambered aboard.
‘Fifty seven tuppenny tickets please’ said Plunkett eager to do the right thing when it would have been easier to commandeer the tram at gunpoint but he did not wish to set the wrong impression of the new Irish army. Plunkett produced two ten bob notes and moved towards the rest of the men who had taken up the unoccupied seats on board. Volunteer John Brennan prodded the driver with the barrel of his Howth Mauser,
‘and don’t stop ‘till we get to O’Connell Street.’
Fergus F. O’Kelly recounted his journey to the GPO revealing
‘I was put on a three and a half horse power Triumph (motor bike), shown how to start and stop it and sent off. I reached Beresford Place without any serious mishap and in good time.’

On the upper deck of the opened topped tram, Johnny O’Connor entertained his fellow volunteers and pedestrians below alike by playing his tin whistle with a number of traditional rousing Irish airs and a rendition of the ‘Gallant Men of 98’ written about those who fought in the 1798 Wolfe Tone led United Irishmen rebellion. He followed that with ‘The Heather Glen’ which had been used as a password at the Kimmage Garrison.
‘Good on ye Blimey!’ they roared.