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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TRIAL AND COURTMARTIAL. ‘ 31
seventeen witnesses tell one falsehood after another.
I here met my three comrades again, and we amused
ourselves by wondering what new version of the
night of our arrest we would hear now. Well, they
spun their own yarn all right, but they never said a
word about the stealing of our property!
One man giving evidence told so many lies that
he was quite flushed and perspired profusely.
Volunteer whispered to me: “ He’s sweating
with the dent of his swearing!”
Another witness was one whose life had been
spared when he went on his knees, begging for
mercy from the very men whose lives he was now
trying to swear away.
The farce was then interrupted by a break for
lunch for the officer taking evidence. I was taken
to a shed of some kind, and a soldier gave me his
dinner and went hungry himself. My thanks and
blessings to him! The wardress returned later with
some sandwiches, which I gave to my comrades,
as I found that they did not get anything whatever
to eat all day.
VVe returned to Armagh that evening. As we
were leaving Victoria Barracks the sergeant asked
if I was the prisoner, and when I assented he told
me that if they were ambushed I would be treated
as a man and shot. I said: “God forgive you!”
but by this time I was getting accustomed to that
same story, although the poor wardress was rather
frightened--I think she was wondering what would
become of her in the event of an ambush.
VVe got back to Armagh about 9 p.m., tired and
weary, and as we reached the jail I said in an audible
voice, without thinking of the words I was using: