Letter fills in another piece of The Aud puzzle

A missing part of the story of the German ship the Aud — the location of its tonnes of arms and ammunition planned for the South-West Volunteers to be stored for Easter Monday’s Rising — is believed to have been filled.

Letter fills in another piece of The Aud puzzle

Clahane House, built in Tralee in 1855, was to have been a signalling station for the Aud in Tralee Bay — and it is believed this is where much of the arms were to have been taken, according to a document released by the house’s present owner, Tralee solicitor, Joe Mannix.

Mr Mannix has come across a witness statement to the bureau of military history by a former owner of the house, Dr Catherine J Quinlan, a friend of Seán MacDermott’s.

“Some weeks after Easter 1916 I was informed by the Volunteer Authorities in Tralee that Seán Mac Dermott had been in Tralee a few weeks before the Rising 1916, and that he had arranged that my residence, Clahane House, was to be taken over as a signalling station for the Aud,” Dr Quinlan writes in the document witnessed by Lt Col Seán Brennan in 1956.

“When I asked them why did Seán MacDermott not come to me himself or make his presence in Tralee known to me, I was told that Seán did not wish to attract any attention to the house or bring it under suspicion and that he trusted me.

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”The Aud arrived on Holy Thursday rather than Easter Sunday and Roger Casement, who organised the shipment from Germany, was promptly arrested after arriving in Banna by U-Boat on Easter Thursday.

Kerry County arts officer, Kate Kennelly, said the Clahane document fills in “a huge part of the puzzle” in terms of where the guns were to be stored: “Had it landed its arms, it would have changed everything. The South-West Volunteers would have been armed and the Rising would not have been confined to Dublin.”

This weekend, there will be an unveiling of a plaque to the Ballykissane drownings, near Killorglin. On April 17, a plaque will be unveiled at Valentia Cable station marking the role of Timothy and Eugene Ring in alerting the US to the Rising. On April 21 there will be a ceremonial at Banna Strand, and opening of an exhibit on Casement.

Enjoyed this? Then check out our dedicated micro-site, developed in collaboration with UCC, to mark the revolutionary period HERE

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