Friday 28 April, 1916.



























































Sackville Street in flames.....taken by a 'Daily Sketch' photographer under fire

Thursday night saw continuous shelling of O Connell Street while at the same time the cordon around the Four Courts and the GPO gradually tightened. By Friday morning much of the GPO is on fire and sections of the roof are collapsing. It is obvious to the rebels inside that they will have to evacuate the building. One plan being considered is to tunnel through adjoining buildings and join up with the Four Courts garrison. However, this is not possible because of the worsening military situation.

A column outside the GPO today showing bullet holes

Eventually it is decided to try to escape via Henry Street and establish a new headquarters somewhere near here. The narrow streets around Henry Street and Moore Street are filled with smoke from the burning buildings. There is a great deal of confusion. In addition, nobody is quite sure exactly where the British military cordon is. Several groups of rebels try to make their way down Henry Street but come under heavy fire. One of the casualties is The O Rahilly who had come to Liberty Hall on Easter Monday.

The GPO and Henry Street pictured today
Pearse and Connolly are in the last group to leave the GPO. Because of his injuries, Connolly is carried on a stretcher. They find shelter in a grocer's shop at the corner of Henry Place and Moore Street. Included in this group is Nurse Elizabeth O Farrell who later plays a key role in the surrender of the rebels.
Unknown to the rebels, General Sir John Maxwell arrives in Dublin from England at 2 pm that day. He now takes over command and issues a proclamation promising tough action against the rebels. The military are unaware that the GPO has been abandoned and continue their attacks on the building. By Friday night the GPO is nothing more than a shell.

The GPO photographed immediately after the rising.

Fierce street fighting continues especially in the North King's Street area as the military begin to close the cordon. With the increased military pressure, many rebels take to the roofs and operate as snipers. Moving from building to building, they are able to strike at will and prove difficult targets for the military.

*Mary Louisa Hamilton Norway staying in the Hibernian Hotel in Dawson Street wrote about
the danger from snipers.
"Today about lunchtime a horrid machine-gun suddenly gave voice near us. We thought it was in this street, but it may have been in Kildare Street; also the sniper reappeared on the roofs, and this afternoon was opposite my bedroom window judging from the sound. I pulled down my blinds. A man might hide for weeks on the roofs of these houses among the chimney stacks and never be found as long as he had access to some house for food. When we were working in my room this afternoon he fired some shots that could have not been more than twenty yards away."
Mary Louisa Hamilton Norway The Sinn Fein Rebellion as I saw it

 Talking Points
Even when the rebels had abandoned the GPO the military kept firing at the building - what does this tell us about their knowledge of what was going on inside the GPO?
What dangers did the rebels face in trying to escape from the GPO?
What dangers did snipers pose to civilians and the military?
At this stage, was there any doubt about the military outcome of the rising?

 To Do
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