Éamonn Ceannt was one of the founding members of the Irish Volunteers. His unit saw intense fighting during the Rising but surrendered when ordered to do so by his superior officer Patrick Pearse. Ceannt was held in Kilmainham Gaol until his execution by firing squad on 8 May 1916, aged 34.
The son of a Head Constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary, by the age of twenty-five, Éamonn Ceannt was married with a young son. He played the uilleann pipes and was passionate about the Irish language. His commitment to a politically independent, Gaelic-speaking Ireland led him from the classrooms of the Gaelic League to the National Council of Sinn Féin and the senior ranks of the Irish Volunteers. He was a member of the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which planned and carried out the Rising of Easter 1916, outright rebellion against the world’s biggest imperial power.
During Easter week 1916, he was Commandant of the 4th Battalion of the Irish Volunteers and a signatory to the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. His severely depleted battalion held the strategic South Dublin Union until ordered to surrender. He was executed by firing squad on 8 May 1916.
'an epic new series of books' - RTE Guide on 16Lives
This series of sympathetic biographies attempts to show the day-to-day lives of the rebel leaders and the Ireland in which they lived … These two biographies are valuable additions to the historiography of the Rising and revolution, especially in highlight the diverging ambitions, desires and visions of the men who organised it’
extremely thorough, with an almost what-Éamonn-did-next feel about the writing. Perhaps because we knew so little about him, however, it leaves the reader with a feeling of sympathy for someone who was first and foremost a husband and father, a worker and more-than-competent writer, rather than a militant revolutionary