Muriel and Thomas McDonagh

“For about a fortnight before the Rising my husband did not sleep in our house, No. 29 Oakley Road. There had been some detectives watching the house for some time previously. For the last week he would run in in the morning and say that he would not be able to stop for breakfast. I saw him for some time every day.… On Saturday my husband took a whole suit-case of things with him, including his uniform and emergency rations.

I saw my husband on the following day (Easter Sunday) about 4 o’clock. He came to the house at that hour. Five minutes after he came the two Pearses arrived and remained with him for about twenty minutes. After that my husband got a taxi and went to John (Eoin) MacNeill’s. He came back about 8 o’clock. I only saw him the presence of friends who were with us. He left the house about 10 o’clock. He had the taxi waiting for him at the door. He said: ‘I may or may not see you tomorrow – if possible, I will come in the morning.’ He did not say anything about the Revolution. I never saw him afterwards.

… A friend of ours saw him in Jacob’s, and said that the Volunteers they were in great form – that the only complaint they had to make was that they need not have needles for their gramophone, and that the soldiers did come out to fight.

Muriel learned of her husband’s execution in one of the stop-press editions of the daily newspapers.

In a press interview in the aftermath of the executions, Muriel is recorded to have remarked to a reporter: “Someone told my little son… that the soldiers had killed his father – that was very unwise. Now the child screams at the sight of a soldier, and hides his face. He worshipped his daddy. I shall tell him the true story when he grows up.

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