The O
The O'Rahilly Charge - Easter Rising 1916
Published: 2015/04/07
Channel: Sinn Féin
The O
The O'Rahilly Easter Rising Stories
Published: 2015/04/01
Channel: Easter Rising Stories
The O
The O' Rahilly - poem reading by Cormac O' Daly
Published: 2016/05/07
Channel: Cormac O'Daly
100th Anniversary of The O
100th Anniversary of The O'Rahilly Charge
Published: 2016/04/29
Channel: Easter Rising Stories
Darling Michael - The O
Darling Michael - The O'Rahilly 1916
Published: 2015/04/28
Channel: Shane Serrano
The O
The O'Rahilly Charge
Published: 2016/06/14
Channel: redek ratbar
WB Yeats and The O
WB Yeats and The O'Rahilly
Published: 2015/07/03
Channel: Easter Rising Stories
The O
The O'Rahilly
Published: 2016/08/20
Channel: WikiWikiup
JCI's Conversations with Giants in Medicine: Stephen O'Rahilly
Published: 2013/05/31
Channel: Journal of Clinical Investigation
Goodbye Darling (Short Film)
Goodbye Darling (Short Film)
Published: 2017/11/10
Channel: Irish Film Board
The O
The O'Rahilly || William Butler Yeats
Published: 2017/01/26
Channel: The Electric Audio Haven
The O
The O'Rahilly - opening title
Published: 2015/11/24
Channel: Declan Kerr
The O Rahilly by Padraig Duggan
The O Rahilly by Padraig Duggan
Published: 2016/04/13
Channel: Stormshell Entertainment
From The Brothers
From The Brothers' Lot: Biography of the Venerable Saorseach O'Rahilly
Published: 2011/08/29
Channel: elquebin
The O
The O'Rahilly's widow, 1919
Published: 2010/10/29
Channel: humphrysfamilytree2
The O
The O'Rahilly Salute 100 years on
Published: 2016/04/26
Channel: Easter Rising Stories
The Science of Fat with Stephen O
The Science of Fat with Stephen O'Rahilly and Donal O'Shea
Published: 2014/07/07
Channel: Science Gallery Dublin
The O
The O'Rahilly re inactment
Published: 2016/04/08
Channel: Sean Brennan
Ronan O
Ronan O'Rahilly
Published: 2014/03/30
Channel: Brian Greene
The O
The O'Rahily Charge & The Battle Of Moore Street ( 2015 Sinn Fein Cabra reenactment society)
Published: 2015/04/07
Channel: Paul Murray
Goodbye Darling Trailer - After 16 Collection
Goodbye Darling Trailer - After 16 Collection
Published: 2017/04/10
Channel: Irish Film Institute
The O
The O'Rahilly House Euro16 Sweep
Published: 2016/06/03
Channel: Clayton Dylan
Proinsias O
Proinsias O'Rathaille Remembers The O'Rahilly Easter Monday 2016
Published: 2016/04/14
Channel: Easter Rising Stories
Dramatic scenes in Dublin as Irish rebels attempt to break through British lines
Dramatic scenes in Dublin as Irish rebels attempt to break through British lines
Published: 2015/04/05
Channel: Sinn Féin
European Hormone Medal Lecture: Stephen O
European Hormone Medal Lecture: Stephen O'Rahilly
Published: 2015/08/05
Channel: European Society of Endocrinology
The O
The O'Rahilly and McEllistrem connection in Ballylongford, Co.Kerry, Ireland. Part 1
Published: 2016/09/07
Channel: Ballylongford Snaps
Keegan O
Keegan O'Rahilly Golf Swing
Published: 2009/10/30
Channel: keegangolf
Radio Caroline Founder Ronan O
Radio Caroline Founder Ronan O'Rahilly on "To Tell the Truth" (March 3, 1965)
Published: 2013/11/24
Channel: rrgomes
Ronan O
Ronan O'Rahilly speaking on French National TV - Ronan O'Rahilly fondateur de Radio Caroline sur FR3
Published: 2013/09/15
Channel: OffshoreEchos
O'Rahilly House World Cup Sweep
Published: 2014/06/10
Channel: byardo
The O
The O'Rahilly and McEllistrem connection in Ballylongford, Co.Kerry. Ireland Part 2
Published: 2016/09/09
Channel: Ballylongford Snaps
Is obesity genetic? | Prof Sir Stephen O
Is obesity genetic? | Prof Sir Stephen O'Rahilly
Published: 2013/09/16
Channel: UCD - University College Dublin
Highlights - TITIEVSKAJA Aleksandra vs O
Highlights - TITIEVSKAJA Aleksandra vs O' RAHILLY EGAN Mia (EYC 2017)
Published: 2017/08/13
Channel: Arto Luukkainen
The O
The O'Rahilly and McEllistrem connection in Ballylongford, Co.Kerry, Ireland. Part 3
Published: 2016/09/09
Channel: Ballylongford Snaps
The Dying Rebel
The Dying Rebel
Published: 2007/07/18
Channel: TheOMaolagan
O'Rahilly's (March)
Published: 2013/05/31
Channel: The Whistler
Ronan O
Ronan O'Rahilly talks to a fan on the Radio Caroline ship. Rare footage.
Published: 2012/04/22
Channel: John Barrow
Gerry O
Gerry O'Rahilly ice bucket challenge
Published: 2014/08/18
Channel: Gerard O'Rahilly
Hannah Lynch-Dawson vs. Mia O
Hannah Lynch-Dawson vs. Mia O'Rahilly Egan, Leinster Grand Prix 2015, ladies final
Published: 2015/10/19
Channel: PingZone - Table Tennis Club
Patrick O Rahilly #1
Patrick O Rahilly #1
Published: 2010/09/26
Channel: David Leger
Nancy O
Nancy O'Rahilly Top #10 Facts
Published: 2016/02/03
Channel: Rishika Janaki
Tim O
Tim O'Rahilly - Partner, PwC
Published: 2016/10/18
Channel: Irish Property Developers Conference
Tom O
Tom O'Rahilly at IGNITE Dublin #3
Published: 2010/03/26
Channel: Science Gallery Dublin
Kieran McGeeney and Maura O
Kieran McGeeney and Maura O'Rahilly marry
Published: 2014/01/02
Channel: Irish Examiner
AQW How to Complete Mog  O
AQW How to Complete Mog O'Rahilly Quest (For Evolved Leprechaun Class)
Published: 2017/04/24
Channel: Kroshi PvP
Gaby Brady, "The O
Gaby Brady, "The O'Rahilly'@JACKS MUSIC CLUB 1816 Commemoration
Published: 2016/05/31
Channel: Liam De Siun De Siun
The Kerins O
The Kerins O'Rahilly's 10k Run on February 1
Published: 2015/02/02
Channel: Tralee Today
Pirate Radio Caroline 30th anniversary with Ronan O
Pirate Radio Caroline 30th anniversary with Ronan O'Rahilly
Published: 2012/04/22
Channel: John Barrow
The Moore Street Battle For The Past And The Future
The Moore Street Battle For The Past And The Future
Published: 2015/05/17
Channel: Easter Rising Stories
John A Murphy on Alfred O
John A Murphy on Alfred O'Rahilly
Published: 2012/07/20
Channel: UCCIreland
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Michael Joseph O'Rahilly (The O'Rahilly) circa 1913-1916

Michael Joseph O'Rahilly (Irish: Mícheál Seosamh Ó Rathaille or Ua Rathghaille); (22 April 1875 –29 April 1916) known as The O'Rahilly, was an Irish republican and nationalist; he was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and served as Director of Arms. Despite opposing the action, he took part in the Easter Rising in Dublin and was killed in a charge on a British machine gun post covering the retreat from the GPO during the fighting.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Ballylongford, County Kerry to Richard Rahilly, a grocer, and Ellen Rahilly (née Mangan).[1] O'Rahilly was educated in Clongowes Wood College (1890–1893).[2] He had two siblings who lived to adulthood, Mary Ellen "Nell" Humphreys (née Rahilly) and Anno O'Rahilly, both of whom were active in the Irish revolutionary period.[3] As an adult, he became a republican and a language enthusiast. He joined the Gaelic League and became a member of An Coiste Gnotha, its governing body. He was well travelled, spending at least a decade in the United States and in Europe before settling in Dublin.

O'Rahilly was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers in 1913, who organized to work for Irish independence and resist the proposed Home Rule; he served as the IV Director of Arms. He personally directed the first major arming of the Irish Volunteers, the landing of 900 Mausers at the Howth gun-running on 26 July 1914.[citation needed]

O'Rahilly was a wealthy man; the Weekly Irish Times reported after the Easter Rising that he "enjoyed a private income of £900" per annum, plenty of which went to "the cause he espoused".[citation needed]

The Irish Volunteers[edit]

O'Rahilly was not party to the plans for the Easter Rising, nor was he a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), but he was one of the main people who trained the Irish Volunteers for the coming fight. The planners of the Rising went to great lengths to prevent those leaders of the Volunteers who were opposed to unprovoked, unilateral action from learning that a rising was imminent, including its Chief-of-Staff Eoin MacNeill, Bulmer Hobson, and O'Rahilly. When Hobson discovered that an insurrection was planned, he was kidnapped by the Military Council leadership.

Learning this, O'Rahilly went to Patrick Pearse's school, Scoil Éanna on Good Friday. He barged into Pearse's study, brandishing his revolver as he announced "Whoever kidnaps me will have to be a quicker shot!" Pearse calmed O'Rahilly, assuring him that Hobson was unharmed, and would be released after the rising began.

O'Rahilly took instructions from MacNeill and spent the night driving throughout the country, informing Volunteer leaders in Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, and Limerick that they were not to mobilise their forces for planned manoeuvres on Sunday.

Easter Rising[edit]

Arriving home, he learned that the Rising was about to begin in Dublin on the next day, Easter Monday, 24 April 1916. Despite his efforts to prevent such action (which he felt could only lead to defeat), he set out to Liberty Hall to join Pearse, James Connolly, Thomas MacDonagh, Tom Clarke, Joseph Plunkett, Countess Markievicz, Seán Mac Diarmada, Eamonn Ceannt and their Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army troops. Arriving in his De Dion-Bouton motorcar, he gave one of the most quoted lines of the rising – "Well, I've helped to wind up the clock -- I might as well hear it strike!" Another famous, if less quoted line, was his comment to Markievicz, "It is madness, but it is glorious madness."

He fought with the GPO garrison during Easter Week. One of the first British prisoners taken in the GPO was Second Lieutenant AD Chalmers, who was bound with telephone wire and lodged in a telephone box by the young Volunteer Captain and IRB activist, Michael Collins. Chalmers later recalled O'Rahilly's kindness to him. In a statement to a newspaper reporter, he said that he was taken from the phone box after three hours and brought up to O'Rahilly, who ordered: "I want this officer to watch the safe to see that nothing is touched. You will see that no harm comes to him."

On Friday 28 April, with the GPO on fire, O'Rahilly volunteered to lead a party of men along a route to Williams and Woods, a factory on Great Britain Street (now Parnell Street). A British machine-gun at the intersection of Great Britain and Moore streets cut him and several of the others down(Francis Macken and Patrick Shortis). O'Rahilly slumped into a doorway on Moore Street, wounded and bleeding badly but, hearing the English marking his position, made a dash across the road to find shelter in Sackville Lane (now O'Rahilly Parade). He was wounded diagonally from shoulder to hip by sustained fire from the machine-gunner.

Most accounts attest to O'Rahilly's dying in Sackville Lane which joined Moore Lane - however, the interconnected lanes were generally both known as Moore Lane by Dubliners. According to ambulance driver Albert Mitchell, long after the surrender had taken place on Saturday afternoon and 19 hours after being severely wounded, O'Rahilly still clung to life. Mitchell said he was recounting events more than 30 years later. The following is an extract from Mitchel's witness statement:[4]

Desmond Ryan's The Rising maintains that it "was 2.30pm when Miss O'Farrell reached Moore Street, and as she passed Sackville Lane again, she saw O'Rahilly's corpse lying a few yards up the laneway, his feet against a stone stairway in front of a house, his head towards the street."


The memorial in O'Rahilly Parade, Dublin.
Plaque in Ballylongford, County Kerry.

O'Rahilly wrote a message to his wife on the back of a letter he had received in the GPO from his son. Shane Cullen etched this last message to Nannie O'Rahilly into his limestone and bronze memorial sculpture to The O'Rahilly. The text reads:

Source of name[edit]

In Gaelic tradition, chief of clans were called by their clan name preceded by the definite article, for example Robert the Bruce. O'Rahilly's calling himself "The O'Rahilly" was purely his own idea. In 1938, the poet William Butler Yeats defended O'Rahilly on this point in his poem The O'Rahilly, which begins:


O'Rahilly's De Dion-Bouton car, which was used to fetch supplies (likely including arms) during the Easter Rising siege, was used as part of a barricade on Prince's Street, where it was burned out.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "General Registrar's Office". Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "The O'Rahilly". Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "Richard Rahilly". Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  4. ^ BMH (Bureau of Military History) WS 196.
  5. ^ "The O'Rahilly's Note -". Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  6. ^ Yeats, William Butler, Collected Poems, at 307-308, Collier 1988 ISBN 0-02-055650-0


  • O'Rahilly, Aodogán; Winding the Clock - O'Rahilly and the 1916 Rising, Lilliput Press, 1991
  • Caulfield, Max; The Easter Rebellion, Dublin 1916, Roberts Reinhart, 1963

External links[edit]


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