Extract from the Annals Loreto College 53 St Stephen’s Green 1914 - 1918


This contemporaneous account of Easter Rising 1916 captures the uncertainty, the confusion and the anxiety experienced by the religious community and the resident boarding pupils. 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. A small number of boarders remained in the boarding school throughout the Easter holidays 1916, they were the daughters of parents working/living abroad or for whom, travel home, was not feasible or too expensive. The annalist was in a unique position to record the events of Easter Rising 1916 in St Stephen’s Green, as the community room overlooked the Green. The annalist records the activities in the Green on Easter Monday, ‘men and women busily going to and fro in Stephen’s Green park and having locked the gates proceed to dig trenches. Where the trees did not hide the paths shrubs were torn up to cover the railings. The trams were next seen drawn up in line but all were empty.’ ‘Close and constant firing’, sniper fire, efforts to safeguard the boarders by moving to the rear of the building, loss of communication, food shortages, the daily attendance by various priests who celebrated daily mass and heard confession, the transfer of patients to the neighbouring St Vincent’s Hospital, the staggered observance of Truce & surrender, and the gradual resumption of normality are recorded by the annalist.

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Extract from the Annals Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham 1913 - 1916


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.

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Letter to Fr. Ryan S.J.


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.’

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Interview with Donald Gordon '1916 and Me / 2016 and Us'


Interview with Donald Gordon for '1916 and Me / 2016 and Us'. Recorded at the 'Globalising the Rising: 1916 in context' conference, O'Reilly Hall, University College Dublin.

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