Irish History Bitesize
Proclamation of Irish Independence prints

First-hand account from the man who printed the Proclamation

RTÉ have broadcast historical video and audio recordings that give a first-hand account from numerous characters that took part and witnessed the Easter Rising.

It offers a fascinating insight into the minds of people in Ireland at the time of the Rising, and also the British perspective.Christopher Brady printed the Proclamation of the Irish Republic

The man who printed the Proclamation of the Irish Republic described his meeting with the Rising leaders and how he overcame an issue with his printing equipment in order to complete the document.

In the days before the Rising, Thomas McDonagh visited Dublin printer Christopher Brady to have the Proclamation printed.

Brady recalled that at the meeting, Thomas McDonagh read the text of the Proclamation out to him and asked him what he thought. Brady explained: “As the son of a Dublin printer I considered it an honour to be entrusted to do such a job.”

He described how he and his two colleagues arrived in Liberty Hall on Sunday morning and didn’t finish the printing job until the following morning. Later that day the rebels seized the General Post Office and the Proclamation was read out by Patrick Pearse.

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Brady and his colleagues faced an issue with the printing job in that the letter E would not print. He explains how they overcame this problem by using wax to modify the print of the letter F.

Brady also revealed that out of the 2,500 copies of the Proclamation that were printed, there have only ever been six that he has identified as genuine originals.

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