Galway: “The vast majority had shotguns and a few had rifles; others had long-handled pikes”

On St. Patrick’s Day 1916, a parade of all companies of the Irish Volunteers in Co. Galway was held in Galway City. The Clarenbridge Company, under Captain Eamon Corbett,  marched from Clarenbridge to Oranmore railway station and went by rail to Galway. All the members of the company carried shotguns. On arrival at Galway we marched to the rere of the County Buildings which was the assembly point. Practically every man on the parade was armed with some kind of weapon. The vast majority had shotguns and a few had rifles; others had long-handled pikes. The parade moved off through Shop Street, circled to the right and through Newcastle hack to the assembly point. En route, we were subjected to cat-calls and jeers from the ‘separation women’, i.e., the wives of British soldiers who were serving in France, etc. R.I.C. men from every barrack in the county were present and placed themselves at different points along, the route, and in their notebooks wrote the names of men they knew who carried arms. It was from the lists so compiled that the Volunteers were arrested after the Rising. later, when the Galway prisoners were being questioned by the Sankey Commission, the chairman of the Commission told them the type of weapon they carried on the parade.

Bureau of Military History testimony of Martin Newell, Volunteer, Galway

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