From Ashgrove, Kenmare, Denis (Denny) O’Callaghan (also Donnchadh Ua Ceallacháin) was born in 1882. He joined the Gaelic League and the GAA in 1900 and the IRB a year later. He moved to Dublin and lived at St Jarlath’s Road, Cabra. He joined the A Company of the 1st Battalion of the Dublin Brigade under the command of Edward Daly, becoming 2nd lieutenant and later commandant. He was present for the arrival of arms during the Howth gun-running in July 1914. During Easter Week, he was located at a number of posts in Dublin, including Constitution Hill, North Brunswick Street and near the Four Courts. He led an assault on Linenhall Barracks which was occupied by 158 members of the Army Pay Corps. O’Callaghan demanded a surrender and when none came, his men blew a hole in the barracks wall, forcing the occupants to flee. The building was set on fire by the Volunteers and it burned for several days. He was also involved in a failed attempt to seize Broadstone RIC Barracks.

Denis O'Callaghan

Following a court-martial, O’Callaghan was sentenced to death on 3 May, a sentence which was later commuted to ten years’ penal servitude in Portland and Lewes Prisons. On his release from prison in 1917, he was director of organisation for the Volunteers in Kerry. During the War of Independence, he was director of munitions and intelligence with the Dublin Brigade and procured guns and ammunition for General Headquarters under the command of Michael Collins. He took the anti-Treaty side in the Civil War and was bedridden for six weeks following a beating he received in his native Kenmare in 1923. He later ran a shop on Capel Street in Dublin which was a meeting place for IRA members. He retired to Killucan, Co Westmeath. He died in 1945

From ‘Kerry 1916: Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising – A Centenary Record’ Buy now via the link on this webpage. Follow us on Twitte @kerry1916book