Here’s another extract from ‘Kerry 1916: Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising – A Centenary Record’ by Bridget McAuliffe, Dr Mary McAuliffe and Owen O’Shea, publishing on 22 April. Enquiries to kerry1916book@gmail.com

‘Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be one of the firing party at your execution’: the arrest of Samuel Ruttle

From Kilcurley, Adare, Co. Limerick, Samuel Ruttle worked for an estate agent in Tralee, Robert Fitzgerald, a brother of the Knight of Glin. While in Tralee, he became friendly with Austin Stack in social circles but does not appear to have become politically involved. At the beginning of 1916, Ruttle’s employment in Tralee ended and he returned to Adare. At Easter, he decided to visit Stack in Tralee but when he got there discovered his friend had been arrested and was in detention. On Easter Sunday, he hired a taxi to visit Camp:

“He invited a few lady friends for a drive, but as he was slightly intoxicated, they declined the offer and he set off with the driver. Camp overlooks Tralee Bay, the destination of the ‘Aud’ carrying arms for the Rising, and was under special watch by the RIC, fact of which Sam was entirely unaware. He knew that an old friend and co-religionist – George Neazer, who was shot in the Tan war by the IRA – was sergeant in charge of the local station and, on being accosted by a police constable on the strand, thought he would have a joke and at worst be brought along to meet his friend George Neazer. The constable asked him who he was. ‘I am Lord Northcliffe’s son’, he replied. ‘What are you doing here?’ was the next question. ‘Looking for a site for a lager beer factory’ was Sam’s answer. He was at once placed under arrest and brought to the police station where he discovered, to his horror that his friend [Stack] had been transferred shortly before.”

Ruttle was transferred to Richmond Barracks in Dublin and from there to Wakefield. He sought the intervention of his former employer in Tralee, Robert Fitzgerald, but he replied in writing: ‘I can understand the actions of men like Stack, but for you there is no excuse. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be one of the firing party at your execution.’Ruttle was transferred to Frongoch from where he was released on 26 July 1916.

@Kerry1916Book / kerry1916book@gmail.com