Michael Collins Haunts Around Dublin and Elsewhere

CREDITS to :
James Langton, Ron Daly, Joe Connell Author of Dublin in Rebellion, Chrissy Osbourne author of Michael Colllins  A Life in Pictures, Bill Martin Collins22 Society

James Langton has contributed the following information and pictures, James does outstanding work on the Irish War of Independence area. Thanks James for all your work and effort and for sharing it with everyone.

1 Brendan Road Donnybrook.
Home of Batt and Maire O’Connor. O’Connor was a builder and built Brendan Road naming it after the patron Saint of his native Kerry. Michael Collins often stayed here.

Michael Collins 1

4-5 Wicklow Street

Wicklow Hotel, next to Weirs and one building away from Grafton Street. On Easter Monday, John McBride was on his way to have lunch here with his brother who was to be married, when he unexpectedly met a volunteer column led by Thomas McDonagh at Stephens Green and was told the Rising was underway. He was ‘invited’ to participate, and that is how he ended up in Jacobs. It was a complete accident for which he was later executed.
This was a usual meeting place for Tom Cullen, Dave Nelligan, Liam Tobin and Michael Collins. Paddy O’Shea from Kerry was the waiter and often passed messages. William Doran, the porter, betrayed the IRA/Volunteers and was killed by the squad outside the hotel on the 29/Jan/1921 on Collins’ orders. Squad member, Joe Dolan arrived at the hotel in a taxi, and when Doran picked up the luggage he was shot. When Dorans wife later put in a claim on behalf of herself and her children, Collins arranged for her to be paid from Sinn Féin funds and they (his family) never knew the true circumstances of his betrayal.

Michael Collins 2

5 Cabra Road

Home of Michael Foley, and where Michael Collins first met Ned Broy.

michael collins 3

5 Merrion Square

 



5 Merrion Square

5 Merrion Square
Home of Dr Robert Farnan, a prominent gynecologist. DeValera stayed here on the 26/March/1919, his first night home from England following his escape from Lincoln Jail, and also in December 1920 when he returned from the US.
Michael Collins met Archbishop Patrick Joseph Clune of Perth, Western Australia here on the 7/Dec/1920 at Prime Minister David Llyod George’s behest to discuss Peace feelers. Archbishop Clune was an uncle of Conor Clune, who was tortured and murdered in Dublin Castle on Bloody Sunday

michael collins 9

5 Mespil Road. (no longer there)- Close to Leeson Street Bridge.
Was used by Collins as a primary office and also a Department of Inteligence office.
It was raided on the 1/April/1921. Jenny Mason was the secretary there.

michael collins 8

6 Brendan Road Donnybrook
House owned by the Dáil and frequently used by Michael Collins.

michael collins 22

9 Morehampton Road
House owned by Batt O’Connor. Mrs Andrew Woods lived here. Michael Collins often stayed here.

michael collins 44

10 Exchequer Street
Irish National Aid Association, first under the direction of George Gavin Duffy and Alderman Patrick Corrigan, combined with Kathleens Clarke’s Dependants Fund, to form the Irish National Aid and Volunteers Dependants Fund. Clarke hired Michael Collins to work here after the Rising starting on the 19/Feb/1917. The office then moved later that year to 32 Bachelor’s Walk.

michael collins 87

13 Dame Street
Callaghan and Sons, military tailor and gunsmith. Many British Officers were outfitted here. In 1922, Free staters used this establishment for outfitting as well. Michael Collins bought his uniforms here.

michael collins 77

16 Moore Street
Plunket home and poultry shop. The rebel forces fled the GPO in O’Connell Street for Moore Street on the 28/April/1916 and spread themselves throughout the terrace. The following day, Padraig and Willie Pearse, Tom Clarke, Joseph Plunket, and Séan MacDermott congregated alongside James Connolly’s bedside in number 16 to determine the course of negitiation to undertake. From here, Elizabeth O’Farrell and ultimately Pearse eventually approached British forces to declare the surrender.

michael collins 44

16 Rathdown Road
The Belton family home. Séan Hurley found Michael Collins a room here on Collins’ return here from London in January 1916.

Michael collins 16 Rathdown Road

19 Mountjoy Street
Susan Killeen , a girlfriend of Michael Collins before he met Kitty Kiernan lived here with the family of her uncle Patrick.

michael collins 19 Mountjoy Street

21 Dawson Street
Home of Eileen McGrane, she was a lecturer at National University (UCD), The house was raided on the 31/Dec/1920. McGrane was imprisoned in Mountjoy Prison , then sent to England to Walton Prison in Liverpool, then returned to Mountjoy. It was here that documents were found belonging to Ned Broy which led to his arrest. It was a part time office of Michael Collins and Ernie O’Malley.

Michael Collins 21 Dawson Street

21 Duke Street
Davy Byrne’s Pub. Frequented by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, as well as Brendan Behan and Padraic O’Connor later.

21 Duke Street

23 Brendan Road, Donnybrook
Susan (Sinead) Mason, secretary of Michael Collins lived here with her aunt . Collins often stayed here.

30 Mountjoy Street
(across from Aras na nGael), Home of Madeline (Dilly) Dicker, a ‘girlfriend’ of Michael Collins before Kitty Kiernan. She lived here with her father Edwin. Dilly was an ardent Nationalist, and a member of Sinn Féin and Cumann na mBan. She undertook many risky tasks for Collins.

36 Westland Row
Oriel House, HQ of Special Branch, a unit of the Irish Free State’s Detectives section. It was under the command of Liam Tobin in the early years. Of a semi-military character, it was the nucleus of a special detection and inteligence unit, and reached a strength of about 125 by the end of the Civil War. In February of 1923, all units of detectives and inteligence were merged under Joe McGrath with a compliment of about 350. In that same month, the unit moved to 68 Merrion Square. Dave Nelligan, Ned Broy, James McNamara and Tom Cullen worked in the unit after the Civil War.

39 Parnell Square


39 Parnell Square
(Rutland Square), Home of Dr. Paddy Browne of Maynooth College,(later President of university College Galway) from where Michael Collins watched the raid on Vaughans on the 20/Nov/1920, during which Conor Clune was arrested. Earlier that evening, Collins had a meeting at the Gaiety Theatre Bar.

40 Herbert Park, Ballsbridge
Home of the O’Rahilly; Michael Joseph O’Rahilly. His wife was nancy Marie Browne O’Rahilly, (Known as Nannie), originally from Philadelphia. She was on the provisional committee of Cumann na mBan . He was Eoin MacNeill’s publisher. On 2/March/1919, a meeting was held here about the establishment of Dáil/Republican Courts in the Pembroke and south city areas. Margaret Buckley Áine Ceannt, Kathleen Clarke, Áine Heron, Helena Molony and Hanna Sheehy Skeffington were among those chosen to sit as judges.
Margaret Buckley nee Goulding was President of Sinn Féin from 1937 to 1950. Originally from County Cork, she joined Inghinidhe na Éireann as a teenager. Arrested after the Rising. She was released in the amnesty of june 1917 and played a prominent role in the reorganization of Sinn Féin. She opposed the Treaty and was interned in the North Dublin Union, Mountjoy and Kilmainham where she went on hunger strike, and her book, Jangle of the Keys is the classic history of the suffering of the imprisoned women. During her imprisonment, she was elected OC of the prisoners of Mountjoy, QM in the North Dublin Union and OC of B wing in Kilmainham. She was an active member of the Womens’ Prisoners’ Defence League.
Early in 1921, a meeting was held here at this house to finalize plans for the taking of the Custom House. (Eamon DeValera’s first choice was to capture Beggars Bush Barracks, but Oscar Traynor deemed it impractable). The meeting included Piaras Béaslaí, Cathal Brugha, Michael Collins, deValera, Sean McMahon, Liam Mellows, Richard Mulcahy, J.J (Ginger) O’Connell, Eoin O’Duffy, Diarmuid O’Hegarty, Gearóid O’Sullivan, Séan russell, Austin Stack and Oscar Traynor.

.

40 Herbert Park

41 Abbey Street Upper (rebuilt)
Bannon’s Pub was here, where Michael Collins first met Dave Neligan (The spy in the Castle).

42e Pearse Street.
Antient Concert Rooms. This was an IRA/Volunteer Department of Inteligence Office and was the first HQ of the Squad, but Michael Collins infrequently came here.

44 Mountjoy Street
The Munster Private Hotel, also known as Aras na nGael or Grianan na nGaedheal, owned by Myra T. McCarthy. She was a staunch republican from Kerry.
Sean MacDermott stayed here before the Rising. The week before the Rising, MacDermott briefed the Volunteers here who were to go to the Wireless College at Caherciveen on the Ring of Kerry to take equipment from there and to broadcast news of the Rising to the world. Present were Denis Daly (leader of the team), Charlie Monaghan, Donal Sheehan, and Colm O’Lochlainn as well as two men from Caherciveen. Denis Healy and Con Keating (skilled wireless operator), Monaghan, Sheehan and Keating were killed when their car drove off the Ballykissane Pier on the way to caherciveen.
Michael Collins lived here in 1917, as did Fionan Lynch. Even after Collins went on the run, he still left his laundry here and picked it up on Saturdays. During 1918, the British spy Timothy Quinlisk stayed here
During the Civil War, Myra stayed out of it and catered for both sides. A good example of this can be found in the book, Kerry’s Fighting Story. It states that Collins and Mulcahy would call in for breakfast and to collect laundry etc. They would be only gone when deValera and Brugha would arrive to do the same. Its amazing that there is no plaque on this building of any kind.

46 Nassau Street.
Jammets Restaurant (David Hogan wrote of ‘Kidds’ cafe which has since become Jammets), for sometime previously it was located at Andrew Street and Church Lane. It was the finest French Restaurant in all of Dublin prior to and after the Rising. Yvonne Jammet, a sculptor and painter from Paris came to Dublin with her restauranteur husband Louis Jammett. Their restaurant was the meeting point for artists and writers.
Sean MacDermott took his closest friends here for a ‘last meal’ just prior to the Rising. Often used by Michael Collins and Harry Boland, it was raided on 10/Jan/1921. Boland ate here with Collins’ former secretary Anna Fitzsimmons (later Mrs Kelly), on the 30/July/1922, and told her ‘not to worry’. Boland was shot on 31/July/1922 at the Grand Hotel in Skerries and died on 2/Aug/1922 in St. Vincents Hospital. It subsequently moved to Grafton Street in 1928.

56-58 Dawson Street
Hodges and Figgis bookshop, associated with Darrell Figgis. Susan Killeen worked here. She was one of Michael Collins’ most valuable couriers, and this shop became a veritable post office for messages to Collins.

77 Mespil Road
Mrs Julia O’Donovan’s Dairy. The Pembroke Creamery. She was an aunt of Gearoid O’Sullivan. Michael Collins often used her home here and in Rathgar as shelters, particularly for those coming from Cork. Collins also used her accounts to hide Dáil funds.

77 Rathgar Road
Home of Julia O’Donovan. Collins often stayed here.

89 Botanic Road, Glasnevin
Home of Séan (Johnny) Collins when he settled his brother Michael’ estate. Michael died intestate, leaving an estate of £1,950.9s.IId. Nancy O’Brien, Michael’s cousin, lived here while employed in Dublin Castle and later married Johnny Collins.

96 Grafton Street (and corner of Wicklow Street)
Weir and Sons, jewellers. Michael Collins bought Kitty Kiernan a watch, her ‘unofficial’ engagement present at this store. As far as I know, Joseph Plunkett bought Grace’ engagement ring here.

32 Bachelor’s Walk
Second office of the Irish National Aid and Volunteers Dependants Fund, primarily run by Kathleen Clarke and Sorcha MacMahon. Michael Collins went to work as a secretary of the fund on the 19/Feb/1917, at a salary of £2.10s a week. Originally he worked in the 10 Exchequer Street office.
Collins, Tom Cullen, Bill Tobin, and Frank Thornton used the office concurently for inteligence work from 1917 to 1921. Collins used another office in the building as a finance office. Collins was arrested here on 2/Apr/1918 and was taken to the DMP’s Brunswick Street station accompanied by detectives Smith and Thornton. From here he was taken to the Longford assizes where he refused to recognize the court. Because it was not volunteer policy to avail of bail, he was then sent to prison in Sligo on 10/Apr/1918. Ultimitaly, he was freed on bail from Sligo, and it was from here he went ‘on the run’, until the Truce.

106 Capel Street
Dublin Municipal Library. Thomas Gay was the librarian. Michael Collins and his men used the premises as a ‘drop’. Gay was the one who gave the information to Harry Boland about the 17-18 May 1918 ‘German Plot’ arrests. Boland passed the information along to Michael Collins, who told the cabinet. Eamon DeValer however advised that they should all remain at home that night and many of the cabinet members were arrested.

Inside 106 Capel Street

Outside 106 Capel Street

109 Richmond Road, Drumcondra
Home of Michael Lynch. Michael Collins sometimes stayed here. Joe Good lived here from 1918 onwards. IRA/Volunteers often stayed here.

147 North Circular Road

Home of Patrick and Margaret (Collins) O’Driscoll. Michael’ eldest sister. Michael often visited here. Margaret was elected to the Dáil, and served as a T.D. From 1923 to 1933.
147 NCR

Abbey Street/O’Connell Street junction
Top floor was an arms dump for the Squad.

Here you see the John Thompson doors here was once the entrance to a make believe work yard where the squad were located at all times. Collins, according to Vinny Byrne often popped into them here. Its on Abbey Street.

Following by Chris Keane:

A letter written in Michael Collins’ hand and signed “M” to Mrs Woods,
who acted as housekeeper for him at 9 St. Mary’s Road, Ballsbridge,
where he sometimes stayed. Dated 25 May 1921 he thanks her for her
trouble and there is mention of Mrs Quinn who was a candidate as a
replacement for Mary Woods, who also looked after other republicans on
the run including Liam Mellowes, Austin Stack and Desmond FitzGerald,
and who was too busy with her other activities for the movement to
continue keeping house for them. In the letter Collins expresses
doubts over Mrs Quinn’s suitability; in fact he appointed Mrs
Comerford (mother of Máire) to the position of “safe house” keeper.

Michael Collins Letter

9 St. Mary’s Road, Ballsbridge, taken 9/3/12.

16 Comments

  1. Bernadette January 14, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Dear James,

    I think you may have Julia O’Donovan’s (Nee Barry) home address incorrectly posted, as far as I know it was 12 Garville Avenue, Rathgar. She was my Great Gran aunt, and I actually have a family photo of her, my great grandad (her brother, Patrick Barry), Gearoid O’Sullivan and Michael Collins at a small family wedding the day after Bloody Sunday. Mick was either related to the Barrys or my great grandmother’s side (she was a Ward but her mother was a Brown(e) ). Aunt Ju didn’t want Mick in the photo for his own safety as there was a price on his head at the time, but he insisted and said he’d keep his head down.

    Not only did she run a dairy but she moved ammunition on the dairy cart across the city. The Barrys themselves hailed from Woodfort in West Cork.

    Well done, fascinating page,
    Bernadette

    • Margaret E. Moriarty February 13, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      I think I have the same wedding photo, given to my uncle by Julia. My great grandmother was Eliza Barry from Bauravilla who married Patrick Donovan from Cooragannive townlands in 1868. My grandmother, Elizabeth Marie Donovan (1885-1987) emigrated to Springfield MA in 1904 and her son did some genealogical research which included correspondence with Julia. The Garville Avenue address is given in her witness statement in 1951 in the Bureau of Military History 1913-1921, and in that statement she indicates that she lived in 16 Airfield Road, Rathgar in 1920. If I am reviewing my uncle’s correspondence correctly my grandmother and Julia were first cousins and the
      Garville Avenue address is on Julia’s correspondence with him in the fifties.
      This is a wonderful site.

  2. Treasa September 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    It could be interesting for some of your readers to look up the site of Bureau of Military History. I have enjoyed reading an account given by my grandmother, Aine Heron who was a Captain in Cumann na mBan & active at the Four Courts.

    WS Ref #: 293 , Witness: Aine Heron, Captain Cumann na mBan, Dublin, 1916
    BMH.WS0293.pdf, on page 1
    … ROINN COSANTA. BUREAU OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1913-21. STATEMENT BY WITNESS DOCUMENT NO. W.S.293.2 Witness Mrs. Aine Heron, Ardtona, Churchtown, Dundrum, Co. Dublin. Identity Captain Cumann na mBan; Justice Sinn Fein Courts; Co-Treasurer Pembroke Branch. Subject (a) National activities 1915-1921; (b …

    – See more at: http://www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie/bmhsearch/search.jsp?pager.offset=430&querystr=b#sthash.tI14pwrS.dpuf

  3. Sean Hastings August 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    What ever became of Vaughans Hotel? There were some great wedding photos taken there (Tom Barry August 1921 & the less seen of Padriac O’Maille’s Sept. 1921) Mick was in both.

  4. vincent keane August 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Just to ask you to make a little correction. You show 36 Westland Row as Oriel House and this is an error. Oriel House was really on Fenian street, around the corner of Westland Row and its main entrance can still be seen there . It had also an entrance at 37 Westland Row, next door to what you show.

  5. Trasa Winters August 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Hello James,
    Just came across this site while researching Michael Collins. My father talked about Michael to us when we were all young kids growing up in Dublin. I never really paid much attention to what he had to say, shame on me, as now I have recently developed an interest in Michael Collins and his life and am reading everything I can find.
    I plan on travelling to Beal na Blath this year and these photographs you have posted have inspired me to also spend a weekend in Dublin following the footsteps of Michael. Thank you so much for sharing them. Wonderful to see them and fair play for taking them. I have a question I wonder if you can help, in a photograph I came across of Michael and Arthur Griffith posing together after the signing of the treaty, there is a wristwatch clearly visible on Michael’s wrist. It says this is the watch given to him by Kitty as a pre – engagement gift. Other reports I have read say he gave her a watch as an engagement gift. Have you an insight into which is the correct version? or perhaps they both exchanged watches! I’m just curious. Thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards,
    Trasa

  6. Rebecca Butler January 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you for this invaluable resource. The photographs and the history of each place and shot are amazing. When I finally visit Ireland later this year – I am going to print this out and bring it with me.

    I’m an American who grew up in a Boston Irish neighborhood – “Southie” – my ancestors are from County Donegal, Connemara and Galway (that I’ve been able to find so far – haven’t been able to trace them all) and my husband’s grandfather was born in County Cork and emigrated as a child or teenager around the time leading up to the rising. My grandmother (mother’s side) found the house her mother was born in in Buncrana, Donegal. My cousin (my father’s side – his mum’s sister’s son) was Councilman James Kelly of South Boston, a big Irish American politician from the 1960s until his death several years back. Also on my paternal gran’s side was the Irish American four term mayor and governor of Boston – James Curley – who had a political life from the 1910s to the 1950s and stood out as one of the first major Irish emigre/son of emigres politicians in America.

    Dublin is a place I want to visit for historical and artistic reasons, the literary haunts, the architecture, the music, and again, for the history. I’ve been immersing myself in the political and socio-economic history of Ireland from about the 1840s up until now. I read a lot about older times such as the more ancient period where the “Irish saved civilization”, etc too in the recent past.

    I know that as a foreigner, that I am an American and I can’t understand what it is truly like to be Irish or what the Irish experience is like. But I am earnestly trying to educate myself on that matter. I’m a photographer and I have always had this intense pull to this ancestral homeland and a great desire to see and photograph it – (much more so than my other ones: Scotland, Wales, England, Germany, Denmark, France). There’s the great sense of abiding injustice with the history, there’s the passion, there’s the strength of character, there’s the creative spark which launched millions of lives of Irish emigres around the world, especially in America.

    As a Bostonian – the Irish literally made us who we are today – yes even I am a mix of New England yankee ‘wasp’ and Irish Catholic as many are here – but it wasn’t until the Irish emigres became more prominent in politics and trade that the true face of Boston emerged and spoke for all members of society here, poor, working class, middle class, many disenfranchised citizens who could never break into the old Harvard boys network.

    Thank you again for a richly detailed “tour” as it were.

  7. DrBeatrice Doran September 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I have a commission to do a book on Donnybrook in old photographs and wondered if you would give me permission to use some of your photos of the Michael Collins safe houses in Donnybrook. I would of course acknowledge you under each photo used.

    Congrats on a great piece of research and also for sharing it with others.

    Beatrice

    Dr Beatrice Doran

    • Sean Brennan November 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Beatrice, Sean here.

      Just came across your request above. I have an interesting story where a relative of mine was doing up their house in 139 Morehampton Road in 1950’s and came across a letter written by Michael Collins to Kitty Kiernan under the floor boards. The letter is now in the possession of the national museum.

      Also my Grandfather was Mr Thomas Brennan who hailed from Kilsheelan Co Tipperary, moved to Dublin in the 1900’s as a young teacher. He was a founding member of the Keeting branch (Donnybrook/Ballsbridge/Sandymount area) of the Gaelic League of which Michael Collins was a member. He was also teacher in the boys school back of church. He married Elizabeth Cullen (my granny) from Donnybrook. The family business was Cullen’s butchers were on 79 Morehampton Road. Michael Cullen my great-grandfather built and owned all the houses on Belmont Park. My grandfathers connection with Michael Collins was such that the Black and Tans raided the family home looking for Collins thus traumatising the children. This is not documented but I have an obituary and photograph (in open air teaching pose in Ballsbridge) of my grandfather backing up the Gaelic League connection.

      Hope this is of some help.

      Take Care
      Sean.

    • James Langton February 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Dear Beatrice,
      Sorry for the late reply. Yes, I took all those photos and researched them. By all means use what you need. If I can be of any more help be sure to email me at info@irishvolunteers.org

      Kindest Regards
      James Langton

    • Sean Brennan July 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

      Beatrice / James

      Just want to make some corrections to my previous post and that it was not 139 but 131 Morehampton Road where Andrew & Mollie Woods lives (typo on my part). Also the letter found under the floor boards was not one written to Kitty Kernan but a letter concerning a practical joke Collins had played on Dick King, and intended for Sean Etchingham.

      My relative living in the house at present is concerned (and rightly so) that the correct information is put on record. Also James No 9 Morehampton Road was a house that was owned but not occupied by Andrew Woods.

      Many thanks for your understandings.

      Take Care

      Sean Brennan

      P.S. I wrote this piece on the 131 Woods house a few months back that gives a more descriptive account.

      In the early part of the last century, 131 was home to the Woods family. The Woods family were well-established in Donnybrook at the time, having built up a strong dairy and builders business. They also owned several property’s in the area in Eglington Terrace and Morehampton Road. They were very republican in their ideology citing Padraig Pearse as having a major influence upon them. Hence the name of “St. Enda’s” upon which they christened 131. Their knowledge of property in the area would have helped them with their task of procuring several safe houses for Michael Collins during the war of independence, such as 9 St. Mary’s Road a better known hideout of Michael Collins.

      The Wood’s were very well connected with other prominent republicans of the area, nearby neighbours and friends, Batt O’Connor and The O’Rahily were regular visitors to 131. Andrew Woods himself was a close friend of Arthur Griffith and De Valera. Mollie Woods herslef was a close friend of Countess Markivitz, Maud Gaunne and Charlotte Despard.

      It is recorded in Molly Woods memoirs (source http://www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie/reels/bmh/BMH.WS0624.pdf ) that De Valera helped carry the coffin of Andrew Woods from 131 “St. Enda’s” to the Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook the night before his funeral in 1929, such was the bond between the two.

      Indeed the whole family of 131 were wrapped up with the fight for Irish freedom. Tony the eldest son was imprisoned in Kilmainham jail at just 16 years of age. The younger boys, Andy and Enda and the two girls were all part of what was known as the Woods brigade of the Irish Republican Army.

      In Mollie Woods own words the house was home to leaders and men, the headquarters of Liam Mellows prominent republican and TD of the first Dáil. Liam was officer in charge of arms procurement for the IRA during the war of independence.

      131 was constantly raided by the Black and Tans, Royal Irish Constabulary and Free state forces. The Woods and their fugitives had many a close call with same. One such close call for the Woods came while Liam Mellows and a few others were there and is recorded in Robert Brisco’s book “For the Life of Me” and reads:

      “The Black and Tans thundering on the door caught them all in the parlour. Upstairs in a space between the ceiling and the roof was a whole cache of guns, bombs and ammunition. Things were very tight.

      Mellows was introduced as Mr. Nolan a nephew of the proprietor Nolan and Company, an old established firm in the wholesale butter business. The enemy took him at his face value; but were questioning the Woods sharply, when there was a knock on the back door. A private opened it to a fair-haired, poetic-looking man named Sean Keating. Being a bit of dreamer, Keating did not notice the danger signals.

      “Come in, what do you want?” said the private.
      “I want to see Mr Woods.”
      “Just a minute.”

      Instead of woods the officer went to interview Keating.
      “What do you want with Mr. Woods?” he asked.
      Keating finally caught on. Grasping at a straw, so to speak, he said,
      “I want to sell him a load of hay.”

      This was about as foolish as you could get, for Woods was a mechanic with a motor repair shop back of the house and a petrol pump in front of it. Very suspicious the officer returned to the parlor.
      “Do you know of Mr. Keating.?”
      “Never heard of him.” said Woods.
      “He told me he had business with you.”
      “What business.?”
      “To sell you hey.”

      Woods thought fast. He saw that unless he denied everything and threw Keating to the wolves, they would all be lost and the guns as well – at this point guns were more valuable than people.

      “He’s a bloody liar!” Woods roared. “What would I be wanting with hey.?” he added.
      The logic was incontrovertible. Forgetting to search the house, the Black and Tans marched Keating off to Kilmainham Jail, where he stayed until the Truce. The guns were saved; but Sean Keating never lived it down. To this day we all call him. “Hey” Keating.

      When the house was being renovated in 1954 a handwritten letter by Michael Collins to his friend was found hidden under the floor of 131. This letter is now in the national archives. See http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000264246

      “St Enda’s” continued after the civil war and the story of Mollie, whose nationalism attracted her into the anti-imperialist debate that raged throughout Europe in the aftermath of the first world war and in the wake of Russian revolution, is taken up in Kate O’Malley’s book “Ireland India and the Empire”. In the book Kate writes about Mollie and the Irish-Indo radical connections from 1919-64 period.

      • al nolan December 8, 2014 at 11:30 pm

        Dear Sean, I came across this reference to 131 Morehampton Road while researching a brass plate on the rear mudguard of my 1924 Scott motorcycle.
        On the plate is written : A WOOD & SONS, 131 MOREHAMPTON ROAD, DONNYBROOK . Phone Ballsbridge 806. Use Wakefield Castrol motor oil.
        The bike has been in our family since 1952 and the plate was on it when bought. The story of Andrew Woods and family is very interesting and since he was a mechanic with a workshop/garage it’s possible he was A WOOD.
        It would be great if you had any other information, links or even photographs as the plate generates a lot of interest on vintage runs etc.
        The bike was assembled from parts in Dublin in 1949 but all engine and frame numbers date to1924 and I’m checking with the Scott Club if they have any factory dispatch records for those numbers.
        Regards, al nolan

  8. Édaín Ní Dhomhnaill April 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Valuable research you have done, Excellent document. Thankyou. I just came across my Great GrandMother’s name mentioned in your research, Áine Heron, Cumann Na mBan member and she was a judge in the Republic Courts….would love to know more about her.

    • James Langton September 11, 2012 at 5:34 am

      Dear Édaín,
      Sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. I have two photos that you might be interested in from the newspapers titled : Senator Dr Nora Connolly O’Brien (left) and her sister Mrs Inez Connolly Heron at a Connolly commemoration in which 8,0000 people and Trade Unionists marched to his grave. I also have a few other bits and pieces that you might like. Have you visited our Facebook page yet? Its a wealth of information with a fantastic photo gallery and a growing number of members.

      Kindest regards
      James Langton

      • Mrs Sheila Grainger ( nee Vaughan) February 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

        Dear James Langton, There is a photo being used of my uncle Thomas Vaughan 1897-1971, during the Iris War of Independence
        Tom is holding a Thompson machine gun next to another volunteer with same. Please could you tell me where you acquired this photo, as a lot of dignitaries in Ireland cannot put a name to these two chaps. I got your name as photographer of this copy.
        Please e-mail above and I will send you a copy.
        Kindest regards,

        Sheila Grainger( nee Vaughan )

  9. padraic fahey February 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Fantastic insight into the many premises frequented by Collins, great work.

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