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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54 IN TIMES OF PERIL.
keep in a Thermos flask, so that it was always soft
and ready to use. One of the keys was an easy one
to manage, as nearly every wardress had a duplicate
of it on her bunch of keys, and this was often left
out of her hands on the table, etc., but of the second
key there were only three duplicates in the whole
prison, and so to get its impression was a very diffi-
cult task. However, suffice it to say that at last I
had the impression of both. The keys were then
made, and handed to me during another visit.
Now, the first idea of escaping at all came to me
from one of the male political prisoners. The hos-
pital windows overlooked the ground where the
“ murder gang,” as they were called, assembled for
exercise, and I found that one of the windows in the
corridor could be raised three or four inches from the
bottom, and it was lowered more than half-an-inch
from the top; and it was in this way that I got into
communication with a friend of mine who was doing
twenty years. His first salutation to me when he
knew I was there was: “ Up, Sligo!” Another male
prisoner, under sentence of death, used to attend the
hospital to have a wound dressed, and he brought
notes which he gave to a hospital political prisoner
on exercise just underneath our window. A stone
and a good aim did the rest, and I got a regular mail !
The notes were written to keep up my heart, and
were full of humour and very amusing; I have them
still as a souvenir of that time.
It was this correspondent who gave me the first
idea of trying to escape, for which I have to thank
him. Now that it it is all over, I can say that I
think I spoiled a stunt of his own which was coming