Finding contemporary records and accounts of the 1916 Rising can be challenging. Many of the sources used to reconstruct the 1916 Rising and identify the participants and victims were compiled in the aftermath or the years and decades that followed. However, the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log is a contemporary record of the calls that came into the watch room at the Dublin Central Fire Station on Tara Street, providing a live account of outbreaks of fire and violence around the city during Easter Week. Importantly, the Log recorded details of the injured and deceased who were brought to hospitals from locations around the city.
About the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log
The Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log, which was apparently rescued from a skip, was acquired by Dublin City Library and Archive, where it is on display. A digital copy of the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log can be viewed online.
The book is only 26 pages long and commences at 10am on 24th April 1916. The last entry is 10pm on Sunday 30th April 1916. It is a continuous record of the communications that passed through the new watch room, a hub of communication and alarms for the emergency services for the city of Dublin, which was part of the new central fire station and opened in 1907.
The Dublin Fire Brigade purchased its first motor ambulance in 1914 and by the time of the 1916 Rising was in possession of three motor ambulances, all of which were set to work when the calls started coming in after midday on 24th April.
The first page of the log book demonstrates that everything is quiet until about 12.30pm. In the next hour about 9 calls for the ambulance were recorded from Stephen’s Green, North Earl Street, Dame Street, Merchant’s Quay and Benburb Street, among others. At 1.52pm the ambulance returned and reported collecting five soldiers of the 5th Lancers from Charles Street, John Kelly of Rathfarnham from Abbey Street and one soldier of the 5th Lancers from Sackville Street. Four of the soldiers from the 5th Lancers were dead, two of the soldiers were wounded and John Kelly was wounded in the ‘Stomack’. They were all left at Jervis Street Hospital. Three minutes later another ambulance returned and reported collecting Alexandra Wilson and James Hoare from North Earl Street and delivered them to Jervis Street Hospital. Alexandra Wilson from 23 North Brook Avenue was 18 years of age suffering from a bruised shoulder after being struck by a rifle and James Hoare of 25 North Cumberland Street was only 13 years of age. He cut his nose when plate glass fell on him.
Who Appears in the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log
The log recorded the name, age and address of the patient, the details of their condition and where they were collected and the hospital where they were deposited. However, in many cases the names of the deceased or unconscious patients were unknown and the bodies were described simply as ‘male’ or ‘female’ with a suggestion as to their age.
This log book is not only a record of the dead and injured attended to by the ambulance service, but also a record of what was happening in the city. At 3.58pm a call was received from the Ordnance Department at Island Bridge reporting a fire in the Magazine Fort in Phoenix Park. One minute later the motor left to attend the fire but returned at 4.06pm because the street was barricaded at Church Street Bridge and the Volunteers who held the bridge refused to let the Fire Brigade pass.
As the week progressed the city became more and more dangerous for the fire brigade, with presumably barricaded streets making it difficult or impossible to reach certain areas. The log book is a record of the calls that came in reporting fire or requesting an ambulance with ‘didn’t attend’ written below. Lieutenant Myers, second in command of the Tara Street Station, forbade the fire brigade and ambulance from attending within the area of the Rising because it was too dangerous.
The log book is fascinating reading and is a small but valuable record of members of the public and British soldiers who were assisted by the Fire Brigade Ambulance Service during the 1916 Rising. The Volunteers did not use the ambulance service because each Volunteer garrison had its own compliment of nurses. However, the log book still identifies a small number of Volunteers and it is impossible to say how ‘active’ some of the wounded civilians might actually have been. If you are looking for an ancestor who might have been wounded or killed during the 1916 Rising it would certainly be worth spending half an hour browsing this source for a possible reference. This source conveys the urgency brought by an avalanche of calls for emergency services from all over the city and the frantic collection of bodies of wounded and dead to be deposited at the hospitals around Dublin.
One Shooting Victim Who Appears in the Log
This is the story of one such Dubliner who was injured on 24th April. Mabel McGlynn was born Mabel Constance Glynn in Dublin in 1892 the daughter of John Glynn and Alice Jane Gilmore. She had siblings; Mary and Sylvester and half siblings from her father’s first marriage; John, Jim, Peter and Denis. On 19th December 1899, when Mabel was 7 years of age, her mother died in the North Dublin Union Workhouse. At the time of the 1901 census the Glynn family were residing at Charlemont Mall and Mabel was attending school. Her father, John, a plasterer, bricklayer and building contractor died in 1906. By 1911 Mabel is residing at Brighton Gardens in Terenure with her older half siblings, James, Peter and Elizabeth and her younger brother Sylvester Thomas. Her brothers were all described as plasterers, their father’s trade. Mabel’s occupation was described as ‘photography’.
On 24th April 1916 at 9.14pm a William Carey called for the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance to go to Stephen’s Green West. William Carey is believed to have been a servant of the Church of Ireland Bishop of Dublin James Peacock, who resided at 16 Stephen’s Green, possibly a household with a telephone. At 9.48pm the ambulance returned, having collected Mabel McGlynn from Stephen’s Green she was suffering from a bullet wound in the left leg. According to her family she was shot on or near the steps of the Unitarian Church. She was described as 26 years of age and residing at 20 Home Villas in Donnybrook. The ambulance brought her to 35 Rathmines Road.
Mabel McGlynn described herself as a photographer on her 1911 census return. Is it possible that she was in the Stephen’s Green area taking photographs of the uprising, although it would have been dark by 9pm, when she was shot. She was brought to 35 Rathmines Road, which, according to Thoms Dublin Directory was the location of James J. O’Rourke Urban Electric Company, but may have also been a dwelling house. Mabel was very likely involved in the uprising. According to her grandson, Mabel’s half brother, John McGlynn fought with Eamonn Ceannt in Jacob’s Biscut Factory. He was interned at Frongoch after the Rising and during the War of Independence, Mabel’s home at Donnybrook was raided by the ‘Black and Tans’ twice.
The Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log does not explain why Mabel McGlynn was brought to what appears to be a private dwelling. However, heavy fire at Stephen’s Green may have prevented the ambulance from getting to Mercers Hospital. In the same hour the ambulance collected three other patients, Mrs. Fleming and Mrs. Smithwick, who were also caught up in gunfire at Stephen’s Green as they returned from the Fairyhouse races and a 27 year old Lieut. Blake, who was collected from the Dolphin Hotel. These three were brought to 33 Fitzwilliam Square. It is quite possible that Mercers Hospital was over run or inaccessible at this time.
The Injured Who Appear in the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log
The following is a list of those whose names were recorded in the log book after being transported by the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance during Easter Week. They are listed as their names appear in the log book. Each entry records the time when the report was entered and the location, in most cases, where the injured was found. The name, age and address of the injured party, the hospital to which they were taken and a description of their wounds. I have expanded the short hand addresses and in some cases reformatted the entry for consistency. A digital image of the original entry from the Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance Log can be viewed online.
Monday 24th April 1916
- 1.52pm Abbey Street: John Kelly of Rathfarnham to Jervis Street Hospital wounded in Stomack [sic]
- 1.55pm North Earl Street: Alexandra Wilson aged 18 of 23 North Brook Ave to Jervis Street bruised shoulder struck with rifle
- 1.55pm North Earl Street: James Hoare age 13 of 25 North Cumberland Street to Jervis Street cut on nose plate glass fell on him.
- 4.12pm: Mr. Patterson and Mr. Aungier from Shelbourne Hotel to No. 33 Upper Fitzwilliam Street.
- 5pm: Pte. Michael Traynor aged 30 of the R.I. Regt. In Jervis Street Hospital with bullet wound in left side.
- 5.54pm: Mary Geehan aged 65 of 4 Sandycove Ave in Dunns Hospital with heart failure.
- 7.25pm Amiens Street: James Boylan aged 45 of St. Mary’s Avenue to Jervis Street Hospital fractured leg run over by car.
- 7.25pm Wharf Road: Private James Boland of Inniskillen [sic] Fus. with shot would in leg No. 9823.
- 9.14pm: Mrs. Fleming and Mrs. Smickwick at 33 Fitzwilliam Street.
- 9.30pm Dolphin Hotel: Lieu. Blake aged 27 at 33 Upper Fitzwilliam Street with shot in right arm.
- 9.48pm Stephens Green: Mabel McGlynn aged 26 of 30 Home Villas Donnybrook to 35 Rathmines Road with bullet wound in left leg.
- 11.04pm Glorneys Buildings: Joseph Booth aged 40 of 1 Upper Dorset Street to Jervis Street Hospital with bullet wound right leg.
- 11.04pm Glorneys Buildings: Henry Bishop aged 19 of 24 Summer Hill to Jervis Street Hospital with bullet wound in right leg.
- 11.04pm: Mrs. Cremin from Jervis Street Hospital to 91 SC Rd.
Tuesday 25th April 1916
- 1.05am Fairview: Fredrick Kinsella aged 30 of 10 Vernon Avenue to Jervis Street Hospital with bullet wounds in legs
- 1.05am Fairview: John Bowie aged 20 of R.N.R. Portsmouth Barracks to Jervis Street Hospital with bullet wounds in legs.
- 1.05am Fairview: Richard Doody aged 26 of 3 North Brook Avenue to Jervis Street Hospital with bullet wounds in legs.
- 1.42am: Mr. Connor age about 40 of the Limeworks Carlow in Meath Hospital with bullet wounds.
- 7.21am: Thomas Casey aged 30 of Townsend Street to Jervis Street Hospital, dead, shot in chest.
- 8.29am: James Smith to Mercers Hospital with wounds.
- 9.23am Amiens Street: Henry Hogan age 45 of 35 Bessboro Avenue North Strand to Jervis Street Hospital with injury to spine fell off chair.
- 10.18am Wellington Quay: John Brocklebank age 17 of 6 Summer Street to Jervis Street Hospital with bullet wound in right leg.
- 12.16pm: Sergt. John Hughes D.M.P. aged 47 to Mercers Hospital with arm shattered by bullet
- 12.16pm: Michael Doherty aged 35 of 10 Mayor Street to Mercers Hospital with bullet wounds in body and head.
- 2.08pm: Lord Dunsaney aged 36 to Jervis Street Hospital with bullet wound in jaw.
- 2.55pm: Joseph Black aged 42 of 9 Avondale Terrace S.C.R. to Jervis Street Hospital with gunshot wound in leg.
- 7.44pm Clontarf: Mrs. Culliane in 37 Eccles Street
- 7.44pm Phibsboro: Patrick Daly aged 23 of 431 Erin Terrace to the Mater Hospital shot in ankle.
- 7.44pm Phibsboro: Maggie Nolan aged 28 of 6 Lower Wellington Street to Mater Hospital shot in forehead.
- 7.44pm Cathedral Street: James McBride aged 50 of 220 Thomas Davis Street to Jervis Street Hospital shot in shoulder.
- 7.44pm Fairview: William Cross aged 14 of 20 Fairview Avenue to Jervis Street Hospital shot in side.
- 9.22pm North Wall: Dennis Kelly aged 40 of North Dock Street to Jervis Street Hospital with fracture arm by gun shot.
- 9.22pm: Mrs. Murry from 3 Rostrevor Terrace Vernon Avenue to 94 Lower Leeson Street.
Wednesday 26th April 1916
- 9.20am: Joseph Dunn aged 45 of 24 Turner’s Cottages Shelbourne Road to Sir P. Dunns Hospital with bullet wound in right side.
- 10.07am Werburgh Street: Prudence Vantreen aged 60 of 22 Werburgh Street to Mercers Hospital, dead.
- 10.58am Marlborough Street: Joseph Fitzpatrick aged about 30 of 125 Upper Abbey Street to Jervis Street Hospital wounded arm and leg.
- 12.02pm Marlboro Street: John Roberts aged 45 of 21 Newcomen Avenue to Duns [sic] wounded arm and shoulder.
- 12.55pm Marlboro Street: Michael Richardson aged 45 of Queen’s County to Mater Hospital wounded on leg.
- 12.55pm Marlboro Street: John Kirwan aged 50 of 118 Parnell Street to Mater Hospital wounded on leg.
- 2.40pm Marlboro Street: Patrick Behan aged 45 of 27 Irishtown to Mater Hospital with bullet wounds in abdomen.
- 2.40pm Marlboro Street: Leo Delahunt aged 30 of 8 North Richmond Street to Mater Hospital with bullet wound on arm
- 2.40pm Marlboro Street: Mary McKenna aged 19 of 49 Lower Gloucester Street to Mater Hospital with bullet wounds on leg and arm.
- 9.20pm Amiens Street: Jane Kane aged about 50 to Mater Hospital with bullet wounds on both legs.
- 11.30om North William Street: Sister from North William Street Convent to Mater Private Hospital with bullet wound in cheek.
Thursday 27th April 1916
- 8.34am Talbot Street: Michael Hogan aged 36 of Sherriff Street to Mater Hospital with bullet wound right hip.
- 3.49pm North Wall: Thomas Doyle aged 24 of 14 Emerald Street to Mercers Hospital with bullet wound in shoulder.
- 6.21pm Anglesea Street: John Fellon aged 40 of 13 Portobello Road to Mercers Hospital with bullet wound in back.
Friday 28th April 1916
- 8.45am: John Farrell of 159 Townsend Street to Mercers Hospital with bullet wound in hip.
- 12.30pm St Augustine Street: John Whelan aged about 50 to Stevens Hospital with rheumatic pains.
- 5.16pm Foley Street: Patrick Neill aged 14 of 17 Foley Street to Mercers Hospital with scalp wound shot.
- 5.16pm Wellington Quay: Kate Doyle aged 56 to Mercers Hospital shot in thigh.
- 5.16pm Wellington Quay: Stephen Doyle aged 57 to Mercers Hospital shot in stomach.
- 5.16pm Parnell Bridget Bella Hanely aged 4 and Bell Hanely aged 38 of 38 Meath Street both to the Meath Hospital with immersion [?].
- 6.15pm Mountjoy Square: Mrs. Porter to Holles Street Hospital.
Saturday 29th April 1916
- 3.30am: William Kavanagh aged 45 of 62 Middle Abbey Street to Mercers Hospital with gun shot wound.
- 8.10pm James Smith aged 60 of 10 [?] Francis Street to Mercers Hospital shot in the thigh.
Sunday 30th April 1916
- 7.30pm: Henry Mannion aged 23 of 5 St. Joseph’s Terrace to Mercers Hospital wound on foot gunshot wound.
Geraghty, Tom and Whitehead, Trevor, The Dublin Fire Brigade: A history of the brigade, the fires and the emergencies Dublin City Council 2004
Fallon, Lars, Dublin Fire Brigade and the Irish Revolution South Dublin Libraries 2012.
Irish Times 24th April 1916, p. 5
1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland, National Archives of Ireland.
North Dublin Union Workhouse Admission and Discharge Register 1899
Michael Donnelly, grandson of Mabel McGlynn