Diarmuid, Clare and Brigid Ring
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Diarmuid, Clare and Brigid Ring


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Clare Ring initially describes an autograph book kept by Tim Ring during his detention at Frongoch in Wales in 1916, and she reads some of the Kerry names written therein. Tim Ring never spoke about his experiences at that time, and Diarmuid explains why he thinks this was so. Clare reads from four lists compiled by the RIC of materials found in Tim Ring’s accommodation which were to form evidence for his arrest. Under the Defence of the Realm Act, his detention could be extended without evidence or a trial. He was held in Tralee Barracks for a month and taken to Kilmainham Gaol. He was a Class B prisoner in Frongoch Camp. Diarmuid explains that the authorities moved the German prisoners out of Frongoch as tuberculosis was rife there. He refers to the book The Tragedies of Kerry by Dorothy Macardle, and explains that until recently he did not know that his father had been held in Kilmainham. Diarmuid’s daughter Breeda discusses the cache of material relating to Tim Ring which was found at her aunt’s house. Clare reads from a letter written by Tim Ring in which he describes conditions at Frongoch. Another letter written by him is also read. An extract from Mortimer O’Connell’s witness statement relating to the arrest of Tim Ring is read. Diarmuid recalls the way in which his father got the message about the Easter Rising through to the USA, at a time when censorship was very strict indeed. He remembers that when he himself joined the telegraphy company in 1943 censorship was still in place. Breeda expresses her pride in her grandfather, whom she never knew. She reads from the list of papers and other articles seized from the room occupied by him in August 1916. He was 33 years old at that time, and must have known the risk he was taking. To Diarmuid’s knowledge, his father was not in receipt of the military service pension. Tim Ring was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and Clare remarks that he was not released with others in December 1916, and had to remain in England. He was described by General Maxwell as a dangerous man. Diarmuid explains that his mother worked in London as a Multiplex operator with Western Union and that his parents were married there. Diarmuid recalls his uncle Eugene Ring. The Rings were a large republican family and Eugene had difficulty in finding steady employment until Fianna Fáil came to power in the 1930s. Diarmuid discusses the arrival of the Free State Army into Cahirciveen and he remembers some of the men who had served in the Munster Fusiliers. Breeda remarks on the large non-local population of Valentia Island in earlier days which included lighthouse keepers, telegraph company employees, the military and the British navy. She believes that this led to a certain tolerance of eccentricity or difference by the inhabitants. Clare details the chronology of Tim Ring’s arrest and detention, and she reads extracts from official documents in relation to him from August 1916 onwards. She remembers the commemorative year of 1966 and watching the documentary re-enactment of the Rising on television. She says that the events of 1916 and later were still controversial at that time. Breeda was aware of her grandfather’s role from an early age, and she describes being raised with republican stories. Diarmuid is the surviving son of his father, and he had three sisters. He remarks that his mother took great care of her husband who endured ill health and did not work after 1936. Diarmuid remembers that his father was conscious of the dangers of tuberculosis and took precautions against infection. He recalls some of his father’s visitors, which included Sceilg (writer John J. O’Kelly). Breeda explains that her grandfather was an educated man who had a great interest in history and in poetry.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

47.77 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Tim Ring (Interviewees’ father, father-in-law and granddaughter respectively)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore