Galway 1916 Participants list

Dr. Bernard Kelly and Tomás Kenny

The estimates of the men and women involved in the 1916 Rising in Galway vary from 350 to over 1000. The reason for the wide disparity are two-fold: because accurate records of IRA and Cumann na mBan membership for the 1916 period in Galway are patchy at best, and because not all those who joined the rebellion were actually members of either organisation. For instance, while the rebels camped at the Agricultural Station near Athenry, their numbers were continually swelled by many men and women who joined them as individuals, rather than being officially mobilised. Some could not reach their own units and made their own way to the camp, while others simply impulsively joined when they heard news of the Rising. What is certain is that there were not nearly enough arms for all those who did take part in the rebellion in Galway, and some witness accounts speak of men turning out carrying pikes or having no weapons at all.

The below list has been compiled by Dr Bernard Kelly and Tomás Kenny. It is, for the reasons outlined above, an incomplete one and it cannot claim to be comprehensive. It has been assembled primarily using the Military Service Pension Collection, available at the Military Archives. This has been combined with names mentioned in the witness statements, available the Bureau of Military History, and some secondary sources, such as the Irish Times Sinn Fein Rebellion Handbook. It is heavily weighted towards the east side of the county and contains few individuals from the west of Galway city. This reflects the bias in the Military Pensions Service Collection towards awarding pensions to those who were classified as being in action, which has resulted in a major gap in our knowledge of the period. We therefore welcome suggestions for additions or corrections and can be contacted at either v1bkell2@staffmail.ed.ac.uk or tkenny@kennys.ie.

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