dublin general post office

May 12, 1916 - James Connolly Executed

Pictured - The only photo of Connolly during the Easter Rising, taken by a 2nd Lt. Milligan of the Royal Irish Rifles, shows a prisoner, presumed to be Connolly, on a stretcher.  Connolly was badly injured during the fighting and was carried to the firing squad, then tied to a chair and shot.

The executions of the leaders of the Easter Rising ceased on May 12 with the execution of James Connolly, the military commander of Dublin’s nationalist rebels during the street fighting Easter week.  Connolly, born in an Irish neighborhood of Edinburgh, was both a Republican and a socialist leader.  He commanded the Irish Citizen Army, a trade-unionist militia that had fought in the Rising, and had been wounded by a rifle shot while commanding from the General Post Office. 

Confined to a stretcher in Dublin Castle, Connolly was the last man shot.  He had to be stretchered to the firing squad, then tied to a chair to be shot, even though doctors told the British commander that they expected Connolly to die from his wounds anyway.  Connolly’s death outraged the Irish public the most.  Although few had supported the Rising, the summary executions of the rebel leaders was viewed as a brutal and authoritarian response to Irish nationalism.