Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Laois IRA 1916

By kind permission of Mr Michael Purcell

O.C. Leix No. 1 Brigade,

Action in Laois 1916.

Unsurprisingly, the first shot of the Rising has more than one claimant. One claim that has many supporters is that the first shots came from the Volunteers of Laois, who destroyed a section of railway track at a place called Colt Wood on the night of April 23rd ? the day before the Rising began in Dublin. A monument to the event was erected near Colt Wood in an area called Clonadadoran.

The monument bears three plaques: a copy of the proclamation; a picture of a derailed train; and a dedication which names the Volunteers and reads:?

On Easter Sunday night, 23rd April, 1916, acting under the direct orders of Patrick Pearse, the Laois Volunteers participated in the demolition of a section of the Abbeyleix-Portlaoise railway line at a location near here. The purpose of this exercise was to prevent British military reinforcements from reaching Dublin via Waterford after the Rising had started. This demolition was followed by the firing of the first shot of the 1916 Rising.?

Other activities engaged in by the Laois Volunteers included an attempted similar demolition of the Carlow-Kildare railway line and a raid on the Wolfhill RIC Barracks.In 1916 volunteers who were detailed to carry out operations in Colt Wood included, Patrick J. Ramsbottom, Laurence Brady, Colum Houlihan, Thomas F.Brady, Patrick Muldowney, John Muldowney and Michael J. Sheridan. These were all from Portlaoise.

The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

Transcribed by M. Purcell c2010.
Old newspapers in the PPP.

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