April 28th 1916, Day 5 Of The Easter Rising.
The Fingal Battalion of the Irish Volunteers in north Dublin began an attack on the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks at Ashbourne, Co Meath. After several hours of battle, including the arrival of police reinforcements after the barracks surrendered, eight RIC members and two Volunteers were dead.
Throughout the night there has been no let up in the British bombardment of Sackville Street which by the morning of day 5 is unrecognizable with human and animal corpses littering the street. The surrounding buildings are descending into piles of rubble.
Although Boland’s Mills, the Royal College of Surgeons, Jacob’s, the South Dublin Union and the Four Courts are holding out, the intense pressure placed on the GPO by British troops is taking its toll – and there's no sign of any let-up.
There is heavy fighting on North King Street, British troops lined up to carry out bayonet charges on the barricades set up by volunteers. In the process, 15 men lost their lives when the volunteers opened fire on their platoon with Mauser bullets.
The British troops broke into buildings and shot and stabbed 15 men and teenagers to death. Eyewitnesses said the troops moved along the street demanding that the men in each house come outside.
By around 7:30 pm it's decided to evacuate the GPO, an advance party tries to lead the way towards Moore Street. In the process, prominent Irish Volunteers officer Michael Joseph O’Rahilly was wounded and died alone in Moore Lane.
At 8:30 pm after a rousing speech from Pearse, Volunteers sprint desperately in small groups of two or three into Henry Street but apparently, the way is barred by machine guns and Volunteers are at a loss as to where to go for shelter.
Later the main garrison escapes the GPO through back streets, Pearse is the last to leave the building with Connolly having been carried out earlier on a stretcher, the leaders occupy houses in Moore Street. By 10:30 pm headquarters is relocated to 16 Moore Street while stalemate reigns over the other locations around the city.
20-year-old Seán McLoughlin is appointed the new Commandant as Connolly is injured, Pearse and Plunket are exhausted and the remaining members of the emergency council of war do not have the military mind. This young man is the only person left they feel they can place their faith in.