Tuesday, April 11, 2006


The seven signatories - Eamonn Ceannt

"I shall die, like a man for Ireland's sake."

Note written by Eamonn Ceannt to his wife, May 7th, 1916.

Continuing United Irelander's focus on the seven signatories of the Proclamation of the Republic as we count down to this Sunday's military parade, today I will take a look at perhaps the least-known of the seven signatories, Eamonn Ceannt.

Ceannt was born Edward Thomas Kent in Glenamaddy, Ballymore, County Galway, one of seven children. His father, ironically, was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary. When he retired in 1892, he moved his family to Dublin.

It was there that young Edward became interested in the Irish Ireland movement. He joined the Gaelic League, adopting the Irish version of his name (Eamonn), and becoming a master of the uilleann pipes, even putting on a performance for Pope Pius X. He was employed as an accountant for the Dublin Corporation.

Sometime around 1913 Ceannt joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and later was one of the founding members of the Irish Volunteers. As such he was important in the planning of the Easter Rising of 1916, being one of the original members of the Military Committee and thus one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation of the Republic. He was made commandant of the 4th Battalion of the Volunteers, and during the Rising was stationed at the South Dublin Union, with more than a hundred men under his command, notably his second-in-command Cathal Brugha, and W.T. Cosgrave.

His unit saw intense fighting at times during the week, but surrendered when ordered to do so by his superior officer Padraig Pearse.

Ceannt was held in Kilmainham Jail until his execution by riring squad on May 8th, 1916, aged 34.

This Sunday let us remember this brave man.


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