Vincent Poole

Vincent Poole was born in Dublin on 20th February 1881 & baptised on 9th March 1881. He died on 25th June 1955 Vincent is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.

He was a member of the Irish Citizen Army and fought in the 1916 Easter Rising.

On 24th April Easter Monday morning, Vincent Poole took up positions at Wicklow Manure Works, Fairview, Annesley Bridge & Ballybough where he was busy doing various jobs including trying to blow up the GNR railway line and also erecting barricades into the city centre.

On Tuesday evening, they got orders and had to retire from their posts at Ballybough & Annesley Bridge as it was likely to be surrounded by the British troops.

They had to make their way back to the City Centre and when they reached the G.P.O, Padraig Pearse, Thomas Clarke, Commander James Connolly and the men gave them a great welcome and congratulated them on the march from the outpost. Then Commander James Connolly informed the remaining group of men to occupy the block of buildings from Prince’s Street to Abbey Street which included the Metropole Hotel, Eason’s and Manfield’s Boot Store which was on the corner of Abbey Street. The instructions were to dig a hole through each of the buildings until we got to the corner of Abbey Street.

At Manfield's boot shop there were strong barricades erected as the windows were directly facing the buildings down Abbey Street which were being taken over by the troops. There were many troops on the roofs of those shops and buildings we opened fire and some of these snipers fell to the ground.

So continuous was their fire at this time that the barrels of the rifles became overheated. It was then Vincent Poole had an excellent shot as he had served in the British Army and in the South African campaign (Boer War Royal Irish Fusilliers 1899) proposed that, in the absence of any suitable oil for cooling the rifles, that they should open some sardine tins and use this oil. This was done, with the result that the men were able to continue in action. They were under continuous fire.

When they got the word from Oscar Traynor that they had to retire to the G.P.O. for instructions, as the GPO had been bombarded all day by artillery and was on fire which had taken a good hold on the GPO buildings the order was given to evacuate. It was then for the first time we of the Mansfield post heard of the wounding of James Connolly.
They had to make a run into a small lane opposite Henry Street in batches and at short intervals while under heavy fire from machine guns. On reaching the lane they found themselves outside a mineral factory but then discovered that they had to turn into another lane to reach the houses in Moore Street while under fire all the time by the British troops.

They entered a house were the wounded were safely looked after, including Commander James Connolly. Then Oscar Traynor told us that we had to get to the end of the street through the walls of the houses we worked ourselves into exhaustion until we reached Miss Matassa’s Ice Cream Parlor at No. 25 Moore Street at which point we got orders to stop. This was Saturday morning, 29th April 1916. All of us were pleased at the order to rest and just threw ourselves on the floor from pure exhaustion.

After we woke up from our first proper sleep for several days we were given the news that the order was to surrender. Devastated at this news and sad after all our hard work, a discussion took place amongst us about handing up our arms & both volunteers & Irish Citizen Army Men decided to smash their precious rifles, as they had to make sacrifices and bought the rifles with hard save pennies, while others chose to bury them in the gardens of the Moore Street buildings.
We were all lined up and kept under watch by the British troops while one of the British officers took our names, address and occupation. All during the night other volunteers now prisoners joined us as some had been in strong positions, but accepted the order to surrender.
We were held at the gardens of the Rotunda. The next morning Sunday April 30th we were marched through Dublin to Richmond Barracks in Inchicore.

While in Richmond Barracks we were surprised to see Dublin Metropolitan Police come into our room with C.I.D officers that were know as G – men they took Vincent Poole he was court martialled, sentenced to death & brought to Kilmainham Jail.

Poole at De Valera's release


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