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|WO71 350||MacBride, John (prisoner 34)||25 April 1916 - 8 May 1916|
File relates to the field general courtmartial of John MacBride [Major, Irish Republican Brotherhood; Irish Volunteers], held on the 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 MacBride 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'. MacBride 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. Certificate of Execution also included, which certifies that MacBride was shot at 3.47 a.m. on the 5th of May 1916.
Three witnesses were called for the prosecution: Major A. E. Armstrong, Inniskillen [Inniskilling] Fusiliers stated 'I was present when the prisoners from Jacobs Factory surrendered at 5 p.m. I recognise the accused as one of them. He gave his rank as an officers.' Lieutenant S. H. Jackson, 3rd Royal Irish Regiment stated 'I recognise the accused as John MacBride. I was in charge of the searching party in the gymnasium. The accused handed his note book to me there, the date being 1.5.16 Papers attached marked X were found in the note book.' (see below for details of said papers). A third witness was called Inspector Richard H. Boyle, Dublin Metropolitan Police, however his evidence was disallowed. '... On May 2 about 11 a.m. I visited the lodgings of the accused and I found (evidence of this witness disallowed)'
Mrs. Allan, 8 Spencer's Villas [Dublin] was called as a witness for the defence and stated '... I remember receiving a letter from the accused's brother Dr. MacBride saying he was coming up from Castlebar and asking the accused to meet him at the Wicklow Hotel, Dublin. I remember the accused saying that he was going to lunch with his brother and would be back about 5 o/c... I have never seen him in uniform nor has he got such a thing so far as I know.' MacBride's defence statement includes the following: '... I went up as far as Stephen's Green, there I saw a band of Irish Volunteers - I knew some of the members personally and the commanders told me that an Irish Republic was virtually proclaimed... and although I had no previous connection to the Irish Volunteers I considered it my duty to join them. I knew there was no chance of success and I never advised or influenced any other person to join... I marched with them to Jacobs Factory - After a few hours there I was appointed second in command... I could have escaped from Jacobs Factory upon the surrender had I desired but I considered it a dishonourable thing to do...'
File includes hand drawn position of burials at Arbour Hill Detention Barracks. Graves are numbered 1 to 8 with Major MacBride marked in position 8.
File also includes several papers (referred to as attached to MacBride's note book) and marked with an X and 'found on Major John MacBride'. These papers consist of two sheets of headed paper (blank ) from W. & R. Jacobs & Co. Ltd., Dublin, two copy pages from the Army of the Irish Republic signed by Thomas McDonagh, member of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic, one showing commands in various areas of Dublin and the other commissioning officers including 'Major John MacBride to be Commandant'. Also a note dated 25 April 1916 which reads' I am ready to move any minute. There is nothing to report. Know nothing of Portobello. Lt. Ceapbaill. P.S. I am not in touch with Lt. Shields.' Also a note which reads 'Exhibit referred to in this case is with proceeding in Connolly's case.' This may refer to a letter of congratulations from the Army of the Irish Republic signed by James Connolly to the Officers and soldiers in Dublin (see WO71 354 exhibit Y).