Joe Duffy, our grandfather, fought with the Irish Volunteers from Liverpool in 1916. Here is a newspaper article that was printed in 1965. The fact that these brave men paid their own tram fares on the way to take on the English army shows the quality of their character.
THE FERMANAGH HERALD
Fermanagh men who fought in Easter Week, 1916.
Joe Duffy was born in Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh.He went to Liverpool at the age of 15 years.Three years later he joined the I.R.B. which was regarded as a very select society, its members being carefully selected.Later he joined the Irish Volunteers on their formation in Liverpool.In 1916, orders were issued to all members of the Volunteers to proceed to Dublin and to report to Capt. George Plunkett at Kimmage Garrison.Also in this camp were several wanted men who were on the run.It was from here states Mr. Duffy, that the ill-fated party left to meet Roger Casement and to receive the German arms from the "Aud".Mr. Duffy was one of the escorts that accompanied them as far as the outskirts of the city.
"All was ready for Easter Sunday", says Mr. Duffy, "then all was called off, but we were standing by all weekend and on Monday we marched out at approximately 78 strong boarded a tram at Harold's Cross, each paying his own fare to O'Connell Bridge where we got off and marched to Liberty Hall and were then divided into four companies.From Liberty Hall we marched via Abbey Street into O'Connell Street, accompanied by all of the G.H.Q. Staff.No1 Company marched past the G.P.O.No 2 and No 3 faced the G.P.O. and entered the building and No 4 company, of which I was a member, covered the rear.The flag was hoisted, the Proclamation of Independence was read by P.H. Pearse at and the Republic began."
"From then until late evening we were joined by several units and individuals from the four Dublin Battalions.I was then attached to the 2nd Battalion and fought in the Fairview area until Tuesday night when we were ordered back again to the G.P.O. where fighting was fairly hot at this time especially near Amiens Street Station and the side streets off Talbot Street.On Thursday evening most of the lower end of O'Connell Street was in flames and on Friday morning the G.P.O. joined the fire.It got so hot on Friday evening in the G.P.O. that we retreated via Moore Lane into Moore Street where we surrendered on Saturday evening".