A collection of material related to the Easter Rising 1916 from the IBVM (Loreto) Institute & Irish Province Archives, including contemporaneous accounts of the Rising as observed by the Loreto Sisters at St Stephen’s Green Dublin and Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham. The material is collated from three separate Loreto archival collections: the community archives of Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham; Loreto College, 53 St Stephen’s Green; and M. Michael Corcoran IBVM, Superior General 1888 – 1918. The collection comprises of two manuscript community annals, a military permit, picture postcards from Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham and Loreto College, 53 St Stephen’s Green, and a typed letter from M. Michael Corcoran IBVM, Superior General 1888 – 1918.
Aerial photograph of Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham showing the farm yard (upper right hand corner of photograph, marked with an x). The Annals Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham 1913-1916 refer to two workmen employed on this farm who participated in the rising. The height from which the photograph was taken is noted as 1,000 feet. The date and title are also written on the verso of the photograph, along with the following note 'farmyard to the right where Stonepark Abbey houses are being erected 1989-1990'.
This contemporaneous account of Easter Rising 1916 captures the uncertainty, the confusion and the anxiety experienced by the religious community and their concern for their Sisters in Dublin city centre communities (i.e. 43 North Great George’s Street, 53 St Stephen’s Green & 77 St Stephen’s Green.) In 1916 the Sisters were bound by the rule of enclosure, and were not permitted to leave convent grounds, unless for medical or other appointments. The Sisters were permitted to visit other convents, but only with the prior agreement of their Local Superior. The annalist records the impact of the Rising on the community, including lack of communication & resulting rumours, food shortages, ‘Sounds of great cannonading’, fires in the city centre which could be seen in Rathfarnham, and the resulting destruction of the city centre. The annalist also records that two of the workmen (employed on the Loreto Abbey farm), participated in the rising and the annals conclude on 9th May, with an account of the arrest and questioning of other farm employees by the authorities. Reference is also made to searches and the capturing of arms in Rathfarnham village.
Letter from M. Michael Corcoran, Loreto Convent, Rathfarnham to Fr. Ryan S.J., Australia. This letter, refers to the 1916 Rising in Dublin, where three Loreto houses were surrounded by ‘fighters and two of Ours had narrow escapes from stray bullets.’ A member of the community at 53 Stephen’s Green, was awoken at 11.30 p.m. ‘by the crash of a bullet through her window pane. It struck the wall opposite and fell on her bed.’ She did not alert the rest of the community, ‘assuming, it maybe supposed, that a second stray bullet would not come the same way.’ She fears what will ‘become of our poor country’, and although she hopes peace will soon be restored, ‘many fear disaffection among the Irish regiments.’ The three houses in Dublin ‘were in great danger, but all Ours kept up their courage wonderfully, and kept at the back of the houses to avoid bullets.....The house on the north side had not enough to eat for a short time.’