Today marks the final executions by firing squad of leaders of the 1916 rebellion. The final two of the Easter Proclamation signatories were executed 100 years ago today by British firing squad in the yard at Kilmainham Jail. These were Sean Mac Diarmada, who was commander at the GPO and the great Marxist and revolutionary workers’ leader James Connolly who was in overall command of Dublin.
Connolly had been wounded in the fighting and the wound had turned gangrenous. He couldn’t stand so was propped up in a chair and tied to it in order to be executed.
A doctor had said it was unlikely he would live more than a few days, but the British were keen that, rather than he die, they get to execute him. Connolly’s execution was also called for by the leader of the Dublin capitalist class and prominent Irish Nationalist Party supporter, William Martin Murphy.