Saturday 29 April, 1916.






















































On Saturday a decision is made to seek terms of surrender. At 12.45 pm Nurse Elizabeth O Farrell emerges from the shop in Moore Street with a white flag. The shooting subsides and she is brought to General Lowe bearing a message from Pearse that he wants to discuss terms of surrender. General Lowe sends her back with a demand for unconditional surrender. At 2.30 pm Pearse, accompanied by Elizabeth O Farrell, surrenders to General Lowe at the top of Moore Street.

Patrick Pearse, with Elizabeth O Farrell partially hidden in background, surrenders to General Lowe

*On Saturday, James Stephens wrote
The rifle fire was persistent all day, but, saving in certain localities, it was not heavy. Occasionally the machine guns rapped in. There was no sound of heavy artillery. The rumour grows that the Post Office has been evacuated, and that the Volunteers are at large and spreading everywhere across the roofs. The rumour grows also that terms of surrender are being discussed, and that Sackville Street has been levelled to the ground.
At half-past seven in the evening calm is almost complete. The sound of a rifle shot being the only heard at long intervals.
James Stephens The Insurrection in Dublin

On surrender, Pearse is taken to General Maxwell who demands that he write out surrender orders for the other rebel commands around Dublin. Connolly is instructed to do likewise for the men under his command in the Irish Citizen Army. These orders are then taken to the different rebel positions in the city by Elizabeth O Farrell. By 3.45 pm on Saturday afternoon, the rising which began at noon on Monday has effectively come to an end. All rebels are now instructed to lay down their weapons and line up in O Connell Street.

*On Saturday, Joseph Sweeney was one of those who surrendered
We filed out onto Moore Street and were lined up into fours and were marched up O'Connell Street and formed into two lines on each side of the street. We marched up to the front and left all our arms and ammunition and then went back to our original places. Officers with notebooks then came along and took down our names. A funny incident happened there. One of the officers just looked at one of our fellows and without asking him anything wrote down his name and then walked on. After he had gone a certain distance, somebody asked this fellow, 'Does that officer know you?' 'That's my brother,' he said.
The following morning we were put into formation and marched down O'Connell Street, past the GPO, which still had the tricolour flying from it, and past Clery's, which still had the Plough and the Stars. We got a very hostile reception along the way. At this stage we had very little sympathy in the country as a whole.
Joseph Sweeney Curious Journey

A Group of British Officers with the Captured 'Irish Republic' Flag from the GPO


The Easter Rising brought large scale death and destruction to the streets of Dublin. In all, 142 British soldiers and police were killed while 64 rebels were killed. A total of 254 civilians were killed during the week, many of them caught in crossfire. An estimated 2,000 people were injured during the fighting. In addition to the loss of life, large sections of the centre of Dublin had been destroyed especially in and around O Connell Street.

O Connell Street photographed after the fighting.

General Maxwell decided to pursue a tough policy against the leaders of the rising. Following court martial, Pearse, McDonagh and Clarke were executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol on the morning of May 3rd. This was followed in later days by the execution of the remaining signatories of the Easter Proclamation and any others thought to have been involved in its planning. In addition, General Maxwell ordered the arrest and imprisonment of a further 3,500 people thought to be sympathetic to the rising. This meant that about three times the number who took part in the rising had now been arrested.

The executions continued until May 12th. At this stage, 15 of the leaders and those thought to have been involved in the planning of the rising were dead. The determination of General Maxwell to continue with these executions gradually started to shift public opinion onto the side of the rebels. By May 10th, newspapers such as The Irish Times and The Irish Independent, both of which strongly condemned the rising, were calling for an end to the executions. General Maxwell ignored these calls and James Connolly and Sean MacDermott were executed on the morning of May 12th.

 Talking Points
Was it surprising that the greatest casualties were amongst civilians?
Joseph Sweeney mentioned 'a funny incident' when he was surrendering - what was strange about it ?
Why did General Maxwell pursue a tough policy against the leaders of the rising?
What effect did this tough policy have on public opinion?

 To Do
To see many of the artifacts mentioned on this website why not visit The National Museum of Ireland in Kildare Street and Kilmainham Gaol Museum