Between 3 May and 12 May 1916, fourteen men would be shot to death by firing squad in the stone breaker's yard, including James Connelly, who was so badly wounded in the Rising that he had to be strapped into a chair in order to stay upright when he was placed before the firing squad on 12 May. Death by firing squad was the sentence pronounced on these men who were tried by court martial and convicted of contravention of the Defence of the Realm Acts for leading men in rebellion against the British crown.
Whether it is that you know what has taken place here, or that the stone walls which surround it are very high, but the air within the stone breakers' yard is very still. The flag which stands within it does not flutter, and the only sound you hear is the shifting of stones beneath the feet of the visitors. It sometimes seems as though no matter when you stand in the yard, even on a sunny day, the sky overhead is grey.
Metal crosses stand at either end of the yard, each one marking the site on which the men were executed. A plaque on the wall names each man in remembrance.
|The main entrance to Kilmainham Gaol|
|Looking up from the stone breakers' yard.|
|One of two crosses at either end of the yard.|
|The flag of Éire stilled.|
|The second of two crosses.|
|The plaque bearing the names of the leaders.|
|Drawn by Brigid O'Mullane (Civil war prisoner 1922-23) on her cell wall |
on the Cumann na mBan floor of Kilmainham Gaol.
|Arbour Hill: The Burial site of the 1916 Leaders.|
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