Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
Pat Purcell Papers
Laois IRA 1916 and 1922.
By kind permission of Mr Michael Purcell
As it has come to my notice that certain persons are using my rank for the purpose of deceiving the general public in connection with public notices purporting to be published on behalf of Leix No 1 Brigade I.R.A. I hereby give notice that nothing is to be considered as having official authority which does not bear my name, rank, and address as hereunder. And I give further notice that the Headquarters of Leix No. 1 Brigade, I.R.A. have been transferred from Abbeyleix to Portlaoighise (Maryborough )
(signed) M. Gray, Brigadier,
Action in Laois 1916.
Unsurprisingly, the first shot of the Rising has more than one claimant. One claim that has many supporters is that the first shots came from the Volunteers of Laois, who destroyed a section of railway track at a place called Colt Wood on the night of April 23rd ? the day before the Rising began in Dublin. A monument to the event was erected near Colt Wood in an area called Clonadadoran.
The monument bears three plaques: a copy of the proclamation; a picture of a derailed train; and a dedication which names the Volunteers and reads:?
On Easter Sunday night, 23rd April, 1916, acting under the direct orders of Patrick Pearse, the Laois Volunteers participated in the demolition of a section of the Abbeyleix-Portlaoise railway line at a location near here. The purpose of this exercise was to prevent British military reinforcements from reaching Dublin via Waterford after the Rising had started. This demolition was followed by the firing of the first shot of the 1916 Rising.?
Other activities engaged in by the Laois Volunteers included an attempted similar demolition of the Carlow-Kildare railway line and a raid on the Wolfhill RIC Barracks.In 1916 volunteers who were detailed to carry out operations in Colt Wood included, Patrick J. Ramsbottom, Laurence Brady, Colum Houlihan, Thomas F.Brady, Patrick Muldowney, John Muldowney and Michael J. Sheridan. These were all from Portlaoise.
The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.
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