10 Funny Lines and Events from the Easter Rebellion
There is nothing funny about war, executions, a city destroyed, arrests, or risking one’s life but human beings have always found laughter in the most stressful of situations. Perhaps it helps them deal with a stressful situation, make them feel they are in control of something that is uncontrollable. The Easter Rebellion was no different. Add to this the fact that Irishmen are usually looking for a good laugh and you have funny lines or events that ..yes… happened during the Easter Rebellion.
1. One member of James Connolly’s army was a very small youth, probably a Fianna boy. He was allowed to carry the ‘war-purse’ because of his honesty and wore a fancy uniform with gold braid and had a fine sword. When his post was captured by the British he escaped up the chimney emerging afterwards, exhausted and almost unconscious. A kind ‘Tommy’ gave him a glass of whiskey which he nearly choked on then carried him, sputtering and coughing to the condemned Volunteers who had surrendered after the rebellion, dropping him on the floor in a heap shouting…….
“Here’s your Brigadier general!”
2. At the beginning of the rebellion Captain Mullen told the Volunteers he was leading that if they wished to hand over their rife and leave his rank they better do it now. One Volunteer dropped his rife and bolted! A Sergeant standing near Mullen sighted his rifle on the Volunteers and said, “Shall I drop him Sir?” The man spun around, looked at the gun and fainted dead on the road!
3. At Frongoch Prision in Wales the rebels of the Easter Rising passed their time doing odd things such as playing practical jokes on each other and playing games. Some of the rebels were described as “positive pests.” Joe Good accidentally flooded Dick Mulcahy’s dormitory. Extremely irate and disgusted with the shenanigans, a British guard demanded, “what is the meaning of this?” Dick cocked a smile and said, “Too much water!”
4. No one knew Michael Collins more intimately than the rebels he served with at Frogoch Prision in Wales and some wrote about his personal side in their biographies. Collins had an advantage in that he knew the British well, having lived and worked among them most of his life. He knew what he could get away with and did things like jump on a table to assault a Brit’s personality, something an Irishman would never do. He was in the habit of bribing the guards at Frogoch and they fed right into it. “The nicest thing about the British soldier,” he once said, “is his corruptibility.” and “they take bribes like a gentleman.”
5. Also at Frongoch, Joe Good remarked that when marching, the rebels were forbidden to talk to one another. Marching in a circle on paving stones three paces apart, knowing that the Governor’s house flanked by gardens was on the other side of a high wall. Bored, no doubt, Joe passed the time by muttering as he passed, “There was a little man,” and then on the next pass, “he had a little gun.” The governor cautioned him about talking to which Joe replied that he was unconsciously reciting a nursery rhymes and that it was a military prison. The governor who had only one eye, said it was no place for nursery rhymes though he was not angry.
The above stories are from Inside the GPO by Joe Good, a biography.
Hope you enjoyed them.
Part 2 with 5 more stories to come. To make sure you don’t miss it go here.