In times of peril : leaves from the diary of Nurse Linda Kearns from Easter week, 1916, to Mountjoy, 1921 / edited by Annie M.P. Smithson.
Smithson, Annie M.P. De Valera, Eamon, 1882-1975.
4 February 2016
Dublin : Talbot Press ; London : T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.,
Joseph McGarrity Books.
Kearns, Linda. Prisoners > Ireland > Diaries. Nurses > Biography. Ireland > History > Easter Rising, 1916.
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RED CROSS NURSE AND DESPATOH RIDER. 11
West of Ireland, and, oh! I was so frightened of
those dreadful Sinn Feiners, and hoped I would
not meet any of them! Well, it got me through-
I even got a salute and the glad eye from a youthful
Tommy, who assured me, with a very Cockney
accent, that I need not be afraid of the Shinners--
they wouldn’t touch me!
Another time I was driving a very much wanted
man-whose name all would know could I reveal
it-and we were held up at Carrick-on-Shannon and
questioned. My companion did not speak at all,
and I showed my permit and professional card, and
explained that I was taking a patient to the country
-whispered the word, “Drink! very bad!” and
touched my forehead significantly. The officer
glanced sharply at my companion, who in response
to the part I was acting, continued to stare straight
in front of him, with dull, vacant look. We were
then told that it was all right, and that we could
pass on, but knowing as I did who my friend was,
and how differently the military would have acted
had they realised his identity, my nerves suddenly
seemed to fail me, and my hands shook on the wheel.
I was for driving full speed ahead, my only thought
to get away from those questioning eyes and voices.
But the man beside me whispered very softly:
“ Drive steadily-not quickly; we are not yet out
of the wood,” His voice steadied me, and we got
away all right. Afterwards we could laugh over it,
my friend remarking that while he had been “on
the run” he had passed for many men, but never
for an alcoholic lunatic before!
On another occasion I was driving through a
small village in the West, and I had in my posses-