Michael Mallin played a major part in the 1916 Easter Rising. He was Commandant of the Irish Citizen Army and seized St Stephen’s Green and the College of Surgeons. His second in command was the Countess Markievicz.
Mallin had served in the British Army in India and saw first-hand how the Indians were able to successfully use guerrilla warfare tactics against the British. He went on to give lectures on guerrilla tactics and used them during the Easter Rising.
He was executed by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol on 8 May, 1916.
One of his dying wishes was that his son Joseph should become a priest. On the day of his execution he wrote: “Joseph my little man, be a priest if you can.” That wish was fulfilled.
Here in this video by film maker Marcus Howard, Fr Joseph Mallin, who is now 102 years old, looks back on the achievements of his father and recollects some of the characters he met in the years after the Easter Rising. He tells the story about how Muriel Gifford, the widow of Thomas MacDonagh who was also executed for his part in the Rising, died while swimming across a stretch of sea to plant the Irish flag on Shenick Island, in defiance of the British authorities.
Fr Mallin believes his father and his colleagues set an ideal that helped to shape modern Ireland.
He also gives his thoughts on how the 2016 Easter Rising centenary should be celebrated and has strong feelings that the Irish government should be kept out because he believes the way it has dealt with planning the commemoration is insulting.
This interview was recorded in January 2015, in Hong Kong, where Fr Mallin worked and lived for many years. It is one of the Easter Rising Stories series by independent film maker Marcus Howard. More on Marcus and his video series.
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