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Reference Name Covering Dates Description Size File
WO71 348Ceannt, Éamonn (prisoner 32)1 May 1916 - 5 May 1917

File relates to the field general courtmartial of Éamonn Ceannt/Edward Kent [Irish Republican Brotherhood; Irish Volunteers], held on the 3rd and 4th of May 1916 at [Richmond Barracks, Dublin]. The courtmartial was presided over by Brigadier General C. G. Blackader (president), Lieutenant Colonel G. German and Lieutenant Colonel W. J. Kent. Charge against Ceannt was that 'he did an act to wit did take part in an armed rebellion and in the waging of war against His majesty the King such act being of such a nature as to be calculated to be prejudicial to the Defence of the Realm and being done with the intention and for the purpose of assisting the enemy'. Ceannt pleaded not guilty to the said charge, but was found guilty and sentenced to 'Death by being Shot'. Charge Sheet and confirmation of sentence included signed by General J. G. Maxwell. No specific details of Ceannt's execution [8th May 1916] included in the file.

Witness statements are contained in the file and include the following: Statement of witness for the prosecution Major J. A. Armstrong Enniskillen (Inniskilling] Fusiliers 'I was at Patrick's Park on the 30th April 1916. The British troops were fired on, the fire came from the neighbourhood of Jacobs Factory... I was present about 5 p.m. when the party from Jacobs Factory surrendered... There was an armed list made and his name appears at the head and from information he gave he is described as commandant.' On cross examination by Ceannt the witness stated 'He had no rifle; either a revolver or automatic pistol, which he took out of his pocket, and laid on the ground.'

Three witnesses for the defence were called: John McBride (3 May 1916) stated 'I know the accused intimately, I should be in no doubt as to his identity... I was in Jacobs Factory, I left it on Sunday afternoon between 4 and 5 p.m. the accused was not in my company before I left.' On cross examination by the prosecution, the witness stated 'I have not the slightest knowledge that he is commandant of the 4th Battalion. I saw him in uniform at the time the surrender took place drawn up in line.' Thomas McDonagh was then called as a witness 'The prisoner calls on Thomas McDonagh who was not available as he was shot this morning.' Two further witnesses were called, Richard Davys and Patrick Sweeney (4 May 1916), who both swore that they were in Jacobs Factory from Easter Monday to Sunday 30th April and did not see Ceannt there. In his statement Ceannt stated that 'Three witnesses who were in Jacobs Factory... have sworn that I was not in Jacobs Factory... I do not accuse Major Armstrong of endeavouring to mislead the court, but it is clear he was deceived in thinking I was attached in any way to the Jacobs party... He has admitted that the list of armed men was compiled after all men had been disarmed.'

File also includes copy correspondences between Corrigan & Corrigan, Solicitors, 3 St. Andrew Street, Dublin and Judge Advocate General, 68 Victoria Street, London, and between R.H. Beauchamp & Orr, Solicitors, 5 Foster Place, Dublin and Judge Advocate General (21 March 1917 - 5 May 1917, 13pp). Corrigan & Corrigan were representing the widow of Éamonn Ceannt, Frances Kent and R.H Beauchamp was representing Scottish Amicable Life Assurance Society and both parties were requesting copies of proceedings of the courtmartial. Trail schedules showing charge, finding and sentence were sent to both parties, however Frances Kent then requested a copy of the full proceedings which was refused and grounds for refusal given as 'I will again point out that the grounds for my refusal are because your application is not made on behalf of the person tried and because the trial took place in camera...'

29pp (page 4 not included)Download PDF