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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

O'Donovan Rossa 1913

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Early Shots of the Rising in Kerry

According to the Irish Times published on May 1st outside O’Sullivans Pub near Farranfore, Kerry two constables were shot and wounded. RIC Constable Michael Cleary (23) was shot in the right breast while his colleague Constable Thomas McLoughlin (23)  in right arm. The incident took place on Easter Saturday April 22nd, two days before the main outbreak. 

The two constables had been posting a martial law proclamation forbidding all meetings and assemblies. They were spotted by Jim Reardon a captain in the Firies Company of the Irish Volunteers. According to Michael Spillane's Witness Statement
"  He went over to read it and then tore it down. The two R.I.C. men thought to arrest him and tried to club him with their carbines. Jim Reardon drew his gun and shot them both."


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 re-board 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.   

Bovril & The Rising

Invented by John Lawson Johnson in 1870, Bovril operated a distribution warehouse on Eustace Street now at the heart of Dublin's Temple Bar. Due to food shortages in the aftermath of the Rising especially with the forced closure of bakeries, Bovril which was used to feed troops in many fields of battle from Crimea to The Boer War to the fields of France was distributed free to the citizens of Dublin.

Monday, September 7, 2015

1916 & The Brewers and Distillers

Beer and spirits was at the heart of events in 1916. Proclamation signatory Sean McDermott once worked as a barman in Belfast before turning his attention to more pressing matters. The rebels managed not to seize British Army barracks around the city or even the seat of The British Government in Ireland, Dublin Castle but did capture The Watkins Brewery on Ardee Street, The Jameson Distillery, Roe’s Distillery, Dublin City Distillery, and the Barmack Brewery and many public houses..

The Watkins Brewery raiding party was led by the teetotaller Con Colbert who was subsequently executed in the aftermath of the Rising. The brewery was unprotected except for a yard manager and was quickly captured by twenty rebels and the only counter attack they suffered from Monday to Wednesday was a large group of angry women, the wives and families of Irishmen serving in the British army, who demanded that the rebels go home ‘to their mammy’s and daddy’s’.

The Marrowbone Lane Distillery where Jameson whiskey was produced in great quantity was captured by Captain Seamus Murphy and his men. The military advantage of the distillery was the height of the chimneys and warehouses. 

A section from Eamonn Ceannt’s 4th Battalion seized Roe’s Distillery located at Mount Brown on James’s Street. Barmack’s Distillery on Fumbally Lane off Clanbrassil Street was seized by Captain Henderson. Despite the seizure of all these distilleries there was very little drunkenness from the rebels but much of the stock was looted by the poor of the city.

The Dublin City Distillery on Pearse Street was seized by Captain Cullen as part of Eamonn DeValera’s battalion who captured Boland’s Mill. DeValera hoisted the Irish flag, then a green flag with a gold Brian Boru harp at its centre on top of the Distillery. The British artillery and gunboat Helga shelled the distillery believing that this was the rebels’ location but DeValera was located in the bakery watching the British destroy the wrong target. 


We are delighted and honoured to be shortlisted for the 2015 Irish Blog of the Year and now you our valued readers can vote for us at
If you do please share and continue to enjoy the way we tell some of the untold stories of the 1916 Easter Rising

Saturday, September 5, 2015

2015 Blog of the Year short list

We are delighted and honoured to be recognised in the short list of the 2015 Blog of the Year.