Séamus Walsh
10.0020.00 Select options

Séamus Walsh


Want unlimited access to the Irish Life and Lore Oral History Archive? Subscribe by purchasing Gold Subscription, Silver Subscription or Bronze Subscription!

Seán McGlynn was Séamus Walsh’s grandfather’s first cousin and he was involved in the 1916 Rising. Seán’s father was John McGlynn from Co. Galway, and it appears that he specialised in the erection of church spires. He settled in Monasterevin in Co. Kildare and married Lizzie Walsh, an aunt of Séamus’ grandfather. Seán was the eldest of their family and following their mother’s death, he and his siblings lived with their grandparents. Lizzie was the youngest in the family, and she emigrated to work with a step-aunt in the USA. John McGlynn married a second time and had a further three children. He set up a building trade and a builders’ suppliers business in Rathmines. Seán McGlynn joined the Irish Volunteers and served as Lieutenant, 3rd Dublin Brigade in 1916. He was based at Boland’s Mills during the Rising, under the command of Éamon de Valera. He was arrested and spent some time in Frongoch in Wales, and in other prisons. On his return home he immediately became involved again. His activities continued right up to the Civil War when he was an intelligence officer in the IRA, under Oscar Traynor. He married and continued his work in the building trade. Séamus recalls hearing some of Seán McGlynn’s stories when he was a child, though they appeared unbelievable at the time. He now regrets not listening more closely. He describes Seán’s sister Liz McGlynn’s life after her mother’s early death. She was working in America in 1916 but returned home that year to look after the family business, as her brothers were either interned or in hiding. She kept the business going in Rathmines until 1921 when the premises were burnt down by the Black and Tans. She married a Newry man named O’Hare who had been working with Frank Aiken. Séamus believes that though not a member of an organisation, she and another woman, Eileen Monahan, were involved with transporting guns and ammunition. He describes the manner in which they moved weapons to Newry. Séamus believes that Seán McGlynn’s brothers were on the periphery of the struggle. Seán was on the run from 1920 onwards, and Séamus recalls hearing about safe houses in Wicklow and Dublin. He remembers that more discussion occurred about their travels and lucky escapes than about skirmishes and engagements. During the Civil War, Seán was wounded in Dublin and taken to the Mater Hospital for treatment. He managed to escape but was captured by Free State soldiers and imprisoned in Mountjoy. Séamus describes Seán McGlynn whom he remembers from his childhood. During the Civil War, people such as Jim Bain and Peter Mooney in the Monasterevin area were captured by the Free State Army and were held at Tintown on the Curragh until 1923. Letters written by prisoners are examined, and Séamus describes his memory of Peter Mooney, a neighbour of Seán McGlynn, who was sent home from prison. Other letters from the McGlynn family are examined. Séamus remarks that the women carried the burden. Seán’s two sisters ran the farm for three years, and organised meetings to keep the prisoners’ cause alive. After his release Seán remained involved in republican politics and served as a Sinn Féin councillor for one term. Séamus has a clear memory of seeing his pistol, and in as much as he knows, his granduncle received a military service pension. Séamus has Jim Bain’s 1916 medal in his possession. Some old photographs and Seán McGlynn’s War of Independence medal are examined, as is the arrest warrant issued in 1923. Séamus explains that Jim Bain’s sister, Katie Walsh, was his grandmother and that he was reared with his grandparents which is how he has learned many of the stories of the struggle. He reads the death notice for James Bain of Monasterevin. A letter from J. Miles of Tralee from Tintown Camp about the death of Liam Lynch is also read. Séamus expresses his feelings about contemporary Ireland and his disillusionment in relation to current issues. He recalls the general feeling of hope when he was a child, which he thinks is absent in the Ireland of today. He believes that until the mid-1960s we lived in a more equal Ireland.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

38.32 MB

Number of files:
Product ID:



Seán McGlynn, Liz McGlynn, Jim Bain (Interviewee’s granduncle, grandaunt and granduncle respectively)

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore