Friday, March 18, 2016

Prayer from Richmond Prison - 28th May 1916. #1916 #289

One unique item from the Eileen Ryan Collection is a handwritten in pencil prayer written in Richmond Prison on the occasion of hearing Mass in the Barrack Yard, on Sunday May 28th, 1916. We don't know if this is Eileen Ryan's hand writing or how she came into possession of it. She is not listed among the 77 women who were imprisoned in Richmond Barracks, so is unlikely to have been held there. There is a line in the prayer which indicates that it might have been written by a man: "Oh Mother! for the love of thy dear son", thought this of course could be a reference to Our Lady and her son Jesus. There were nearly 3,000 men held there in the weeks after the Rising. 

The prayer was written just over two weeks after the last executions in Dublin. This is referred to as "the wanton exercise of brutal powers" and called "the doom of death". I have Googled many of the lines and not found them on-line. It is interesting to note that this was written "on the occasion of hearing Mass". In a time of strong religious devotion, writing anything during Mass would have been considered sinful and sacrilegious. I hope he/she went to Confession!



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