By Eamon Murphy:
Matthew or ‘Matt’ Connolly joined Fianna Eireann in 1911 and spent three years there until he joined the Citizen Army in 1914. During the Rising he fought in Dublin City Hall under the command of his brother, Sean, who gave his life at that post.
Matt recalled the events in City Hall, “I saw Seán coming towards me, with one sleeve of his tunic rolled up to the elbow. He had what, at first, appeared to be a red handkerchief bound round his forearm. I asked what it was for, and, holding out his arm, he said, “Look at the blood I’m shedding for Ireland!” He had been wounded, and the handkerchief was soaked with blood. I offered to dress the wound properly, as I had a first-aid kit on my belt, but he made light if it, saying that it was only a revolver shot and would be alright soon.”
His father, two other brothers and sister Katie were also all involved in activities with the ICA during Easter week.
During the War of Independence he was attached to the London Battalion of the IRA.
Matt was educated at the national school, North William Street, Dublin, and at Pembroke technical school. He was dismissed from the technical school because of his part in the Rising. In 1926 he emigrated to the USA and lived there until his return to Dublin in 1932. Later on he was an architect with the Board of Works (now OPW). He was the architect responsible for the upgrading of the GPO, the Four Courts and other national buildings for the 1966 commemoration ceremonies.