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Literature

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Lecture - Peter Ennis The Man Who Kept Liberty Hall

Date: Thursday 17 November  Time: 8pm   Admission: €6/€5

Lecture by Paul Ennis

Peter Ennis, from Annacurra, was the Caretaker of Liberty Hall from 1912 until his death in 1927. He served three giants of Irish Labour History, Jim Larkin, James Connolly and William O’Brien, in over a decade of revolution. His place in the history of Liberty Hall is entwined in the 1913 Lockout, the Easter Rising and the War of Independence.

In 1916, Ennis is best remembered as the last man in Liberty Hall under bombardment from the gunship Helga. His dramatic escape, dodging machine gun bullets, made him a popular figure throughout Dublin.

Liberty Hall was singled out for military and police raids, often when Ennis was alone in the building. His life was frequently in peril. During the War of Independence, as the only permanent resident of the Hall, he faced a court martial for possession of firearms. Following his acquittal, he was beaten by the infamous Black and Tans and left for dead.

Rosie Hackett, the 1916 heroine, cared for Ennis in his final illness. When he died in 1927, the esteem for the courageous caretaker who gave himself wholeheartedly to the cause of Liberty Hall is evidenced by his impressive funeral with over three thousand in attendance.

Ennis’ obituary recalled that he was – trusted implicitly by Connolly and that trust was not misplaced…Ennis was not exactly a soldier in the military operations. But more than one soldier on the military field has good cause to remember him with gratitude and pride.

Peter Ennis is buried in Killaveny alongside his beloved wife Mary Kate. 

Pre-Lecture Film Short

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Bandages and Bullets

 12.5 mins.  HD  2016 

Bandages and Bullets is a short documentary made by Terence White that explores the role of Cumann na mBan in the Easter Rising in Enniscorthy. It was commissioned by Wexford County Council and received it’s premiere on two large outdoor screens at the 1916 state celebrations in Enniscorthy on Easter Monday. It also forms part of the permanent 1916 exhibition in the Athenaeum.

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