Over the Easter holidays I happened to come across a documentary on RTE in relation to the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The documentary was about General Maxwell the British officer in charge of dealing with the aftermath of the Rising. It included references to the recently released court martial records of the leaders, and threw up a multitude of interesting facts and theories. The records were based upon the accounts of William Wylie who was delegated the responsibility of recording the court matials of theleaders on trial.
Firstly he claimed that contrary to popular belief Countess Goore Both did not beg the Brits to kill her and not commute her death sentence on grounds of gender. On the contrary, it caimed she pleaded with them to spare her life and that she was merely a minnow in the Rising. Secondly it dealt with why Willie Pearse younger brother of Pat was the only person to plead guilty. Anyone acquainted with the song My Last Farewell will know it was widely anticipated Willie would receive a reprieve as he was only arressted owing to being a brother of Pat. However it was claimed that he pleaded guilty because such was the closeness of the siblings relationship, Willie could not contemplate life without Pat at his side.
One court martial, however , was not released. It is the one that would reveal, in my opinion, a whole new can of worms, and that is of course the records of Dev's court martial. This has led to renewed claims, and rightfully so in my eyes, that the chief was in fact a British agent. The documentary calimed that Dev was spared because Maxwell had a change of heart in relation to the execution of the leaders. However after this decision James Connolly and Sean Mac Diarmuid, both seriously wounded were inhumanely executed by firing squads. Balrog readers can take what they want out of this, but it is strange and certainly doesn't do Dev any favours.
The programme concluded with telling how Maxwell, after 'sorting' out the rebellion was shafted by the Brit govt. of the day. he was to lead a subdued life of ignominy until his eventual demise. It is funny how some things don't change from history. Even today the Brits use their agents then discard them to the wolves once they have outlived their intended use. Starrs, Dignam, Burns, Gilmoure, Fulton, Donaldson, Mc Gartland can surly all shed a tear for Maxwells plight!!!!