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Chapters

The 1916 Easter Rising

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help welcoming the idea because it distracted both O'Rahilly and himself from more painful matters. ' The telegraph room is upstairs, ' O'Rahilly reminded him. Pearse called over a quartermaster department Volunteer named Micchael Staines and told him to take a party of six or seven men, clear the upper floors, and put them in a state of defense. Staines had hastily gathered a squad, all carrying revolvers or automatics, carefully ascended the wide staircase leading to the telepgraph office. The click of descending footsteps stopped them momenttarily until the acompanying nervous giggles assured them they were about to meet only a group of female employees fleeing the building. When the girls came into sight, most of them seemed more hiostile than they were frigtened by the guns upraised towards them. Only one girl was friendly. Recognising the well-armed Staines, she said ' Hello, Michael. That's the stuff to give them. ' Neither she nor any of the others indicated the possibility that Staines and his men might run into danger ahead. With the girls descending behind them, Staines and his men proceeded cautiously up to the landing opposite the telegraph office. Suddenly there was a sound from their rear, and whirling around, they found themselves covered by seven rifles in the hands of British soldiers. One of the Irishmen, either thinking quickly or reacting nervously, fired a pistol shot at the cluster of