Éamonn Ceannt's last letter

To his wife Áine from his cell the night before his execution for his part in the Easter Rising 1916

Hilary Kiely/GMIT/GCC

Letter from Éamonn Ceannt to hos wife Aine on the morning of his execution
National Library of Ireland

13 Alphonsus Road

2.30 a.m.


My dearest wife Áine,

Not wife but widow before these lines reach you. I am here without hope of this world and without fear, calmly awaiting the end. I have had Holy Communion and Fr. Augustine has been with me and will be back again. Dearest “silly little Fanny”. My poor little sweetheart of — how many — years ago. Ever my comforter, God comfort you now. What can I say? I die a noble death, for Ireland’s freedom. Men and women will vie with one another to shake your dear hand. Be proud of me as I am and ever was of you. My cold exterior was but a mask. It has served me in these last days. You have a duty to me and to Rónán, that is to live. My dying wishes are that you shall remember your state of health, work only as much as may be necessary and freely accept the little attentions which in due time will be showered upon you. You will be — you are, the wife of one of the Leaders of the Rebellion. Sweeter still you are my little child, my dearest pet, my sweetheart of the hawthorn hedges and summer eves. I remember all and I banish all that I may be strong and die bravely.  I have one hour to live, then God’s judgement and, through his infinite mercY, a place near your poor Grannie, and my mother and father, and Jem and all the five old Irish Catholics who went through the scourge of similar misfortune from this Vale of Tears into the Promised Land. …

Adieu, Eamonn

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