#OTD in 1916 – Easter Rising: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge, Dublin.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann!

Commandant de Valera, Lieutenant Michael Malone of the 3rd Battalion, James Grace (Section Commander) and the other volunteers set out on the day of the Rising to march to Boland’s Mill. Their task was to secure Boland’s Mill and Mount Street Bridge, which was a well-known route from Kingstown Port (now Dún Laoghaire Harbour) to Dublin, to prevent British reinforcements from entering Dublin. They had suspected that the British Military would send for reinforcements when the insurrection started.

Some of the bloodiest fighting of the Rising occurred during the Battle of Mount Street Bridge. An inexperienced British regiment, the Sherwood Foresters were involved in combat with seventeen Irish rebels under the command of Lieutenant Michael Malone who would die in the battle. Over two days, the British troops engaged in a number of full frontal assaults against a well entrenched group of rebels.

Mick Malone, a carpenter by trade won prizes for drawing and wood carving. Malone was 28 at the time of the Rising, and according to the National Graves Association handbook (1932) was a lieutenant in the Cyclist Corps IRA, 3rd Battalion, and the “crack shot of the Coy”.

As Lieutenant Malone fortified his post at No.25 Northumberland Road, his attention was drawn to the sound of advancing of soldiers coming towards his position. These British soldiers formed part of the Home Guard and were returning from weekend manoeuvres to Beggars Bush Barracks. As they reached the junction of Northumberland Road and Haddington Road, Lieutenant Malone and James Grace opened fire into their ranks. Many men collapsed as they were hit while others ran towards the gates of the nearby barracks for refuge. They were unable to return fire, as their rifles were unloaded. After the gunfire had ceased, bodies littered the street. Locals ran from their houses to assist the wounded British soldiers. The dead and wounded were carried from the roadway.

The fighting at Mount Street resulted in almost two-thirds of British casualties in Easter week. A total of four officers and 216 other ranks were killed or wounded during the engagement.

With four companions, including, James Grace, and two young boys: Paddy Byrne and Michael Rowe, Malone defended No.25 Northumberland Road on Easter Monday. On Tuesday he sent two of his companions away, because they were “mere boys”. With one man he defended his position against the British military until 8pm on Wednesday. Finally, the house was rushed and Lieutenant Mick Malone was shot dead as came running down the stairs with a gun in his hand. He fired off a shot before he was caught in a hail of bullets, killing him instantly. Section Commander James Grace, succeeded in secreting himself behind a cooker and after several hours escaped from the area. He was arrested some days later.

Lieutenant Michael Malone is buried in the Republican Plot, Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.


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