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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Remembering Edward Daly

Edward Daly, one of the executed 1916 leaders, was born in Limerick this day February 25th, 1891.

The only boy in a family of ten, he came from a noted republican family; his father had taken part in the Fenian Rising of 1867; his uncle, John Daly, served 12 years in English jails and his sister, Kathleen, was married to Thomas Clarke.

Daly joined the Irish Volunteers at their inaugural meeting in November 1913.

He commanded the Four Courts garrison during Easter Week 1916, an area from the north side of the Liffey at Church Street to the Cabra area of the North Circular Road, with instructions to engage and hold the British military moving into the city through this sector.

Daly stationed 20 men in the Four Courts, sent another five parties to fortify positions in the surrounding streets, and set up his battalion headquarters at the Father Matthew Hall in Church Street.

On Friday of Easter Week, with the Four Courts garrison under heavy fire from two battalions of Sherwood Foresters on the South Quays, several battalions of the Staffordshire regiment surrounded Daly's headquarters in Church Street and several of his outposts in the North King Street area.

The ensuing battle, apart from that fought at Mount Street Bridge, was the most determined and vicious of all the engagements of Easter Week.

Although vastly outnumbered, Daly and his comrades were still in control of the Four Courts, the headquarters in Church Street, and a number of outposts in the area when Pádraig Pearse's order to surrender arrived on Easter Saturday evening.

Following the surrender, Daly, imprisoned in Kilmainham Jail, was court-martialled in Richmond Barracks and sentenced to death. At dawn on May 4th along with Joseph Pearse, he was executed by firing squad in the yard of Kilmainham Jail.

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