Eureka Secondary School Kells and 1916 Family Connections

Mary Mullaghy, teacher in Eureka Secondary School, Kells, Co. Meath has very kindly shared the following very interesting news detailing students in the school who have connections with people who were involved in the 1916 Rising! 

1. Abigale Harcourt Thewlis (1st Year) is the great great grand niece of Michael Mallin, a silk weaver and co-founder with Francis Sheehy-Skeffington of the Irish Socialist Party, who was second in command of the Irish Citizen Army under James Connolly in the Easter Rising of 1916.

He commanded the garrison at St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, with Constance Markievicz as his second in command. Mallin surrendered on Sunday, 30th April 1916 when ordered to do so by Connolly.

He was convicted by the ad hoc court martial and executed by firing squad on 8th May 1916.


Pictured above Abigail Harcourt Thewlis with her great great grand uncle and 1916 martyr Michael Mallin’s sword and bayonet. Pictured on right is the 1916 artefacts courtesy of Mr. John Thewlis. 

2. Alannah Shine (2nd Year) is the great great grand daughter of Parick Shortis. Patrick Shortis also lost his live in the fight for independence and was honoured by the North Kerry branch of Republican Sinn Fein. Patrick Shortis fought at the GPO in 1916 and was killed with the O'Rahilly on an assault on the Rotunda.

He is buried in the 1916 plot in St Paul’s, Glasnevin. He was a native of Ballybunnion, County Kerry and was 26 years of age when he was killed.


Pictured above Alannah Shine and Patrick Shortis. 

3. Siobhán Byrne (3rd Year) is the great great great grand daughter of 1916 proclamation signaturee and socialist martyr James Connolly.


Student Siobhan Byrne with Proclamation and James Connolly. 

4. Mr. Martin Devine (teacher) is the grandnephew of Brian O’Higgins. O Higgins, a Kilskyre native was an Irish Sinn Féin politician and a founding member of the organisation. He was President of Sinn Féin from 1931–1933. He took part in the 1916 Easter Rising and was present in the GPO during the rebellion.

He was elected unopposed as a Sinn Féin MP for Clare West at the 1918 general election. In January 1919, Sinn Féin MPs who had been elected in the Westminster elections of 1918 refused to recognise the Parliament and instead assembled in Dublin as a revolutionary parliament called Dáil Éireann. He was re-elected for anti-Treaty Sinn Fein at the 1921, 1922 and 1923 elections.

Pictured above are teachers Mr. Ronan Fahy and Mr. Martin Devine. 

5. Mr. Ronan Fahy’s (teacher) great great granduncle was Frank Fahy, a commandant in the Four Courts under Ned Daly during the 1916 Rising. He was sentenced to death but was released in Christmas 1916. He was first elected as the Sinn Féin MP for South Galway in 1918 but refused to take his seat in Westminster, instead opting for the new Dáil Éireann, which met in the Mansion House in Dublin in 1919.

He was returned as TD for Galway in 1921 but again did not take his seat owing to his opposition to the Treaty. He joined Fianna Fáil in 1926 and took his seat in the 5th Dáil on August 12 1927. When Fianna Fáil won the 1932 General Election, Mr Fahy was appointed Ceann Comhairle and served in that post for the next 19 years - the longest serving Ceann Comhairle in the history of the State. He was also a founder member of the Council of State. 


Pictured above (LtoR) Brian O'Higgins and Frank Fahy. 

Siobhán Byrne (3rd year) is the great great great granddaughter of James Connolly.

She received special invitations to Áras an Uachtaráin and Commemoration Ceremonies of 1916 Rising.

Siobhan is pictured above with her History Teacher Ms. McKenna.

Image Gallery

Click here to view other images taken from Eureka Secondary Schools celebration of Proclamation Day on March 15th and there are more images on the school website