Kathleen Griffith

A diary of a 21 year old named Kathleen Griffith throughout the year 1916. Living in Rathgar at the time and belonging to an upper middle class family, the diary provides an insight into the emotions felt by those who saw no need for change. Kathleen describes both herself and her fiancé Joe McCauley’s experiences. From queuing for bread to the rumours of leaders being shot it shows the societal confusion during the 1916 Rising.

Presented at the Wicklow Life 1916 Public Collections Day by  Niamh Denise Griffith who is a grandchild of Kathleen Griffith.

Kathleen Griffith and her fiancé Joe McCauley

Studio photograph of Kathleen Griffith


The Diary


Monday 24th

“The Rebellion”!! Some of the family at the Races when the news broke – got home safely – grandpa worried it was all so unexpected.

Tuesday and Wednesday 25th +26th

Murder & Chaos everywhere in the city – we can see the reflection of the flames in the night sky & hear the rumble of falling houses. Hammam Hotel in Upper O’Connell St. is gone Turkish Baths etc

First two pages of diary

Thursday 27th

Joe Mc getting us supplies of bread by standing in a queue at Rathmines Bakery everyday.

Friday and Saturday 28th + 29th

May’s music shop Stephens Green reoccupied and like a shambles tunnelling from one house to another – musical instruments, harps, pianos, violins, etc etc broken up for firewood & trays of cakes commandeered from local shop & drafted in for food – an altar in one corner. Madame Markievicz in charge of the Rebels in Col. of Surgeons. 

Sunday 30th

Joe & Jack Kelly etc ventured down over Portobello Bridge & nearly got shot by snipers – Took shelter in a door way near Lambert’s (the vets).

Second two pages of diary

Monday 1st 

Joe Mca ventured into town awful scenes of destruction. Dead horse lying on O’Connell Bridge – No one to remove it or no means of doing so.

Tuesday 2nd

Michael Lynch one of those fighting inside the g.p.o. Joe still queues for bread for us & his own family.

Wednesday and Thursday 3rd + 4th

I ventured down to try for some meat for the family in Eastman’s. Firing started & the butcher pulled down the door & recured it. We all had to wait until it was safe to go home.

Friday 5th

Will this ever be over, Joe has been very good about getting us what food he can. Bread queues are so long every day & bread rationed. I believe O’Connell St. is in ruins.

Saturday 6th

Some of the leaders asserted all kinds of rumours of shootings.

Sunday 7th

Michael Lynch and his sister among those fighting in the g.p.o. 


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