Autumn 1916: This happy band of men…and no mistake… April 22, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
In the autumn of 1916 the steward of Reading Gaol addressed a bitter official complaint to the authorities: the Irish prisoners were driving him crazy with their incessant singing and dancing late into the night.
Ensuring provisions for the prisoners and staff in the middle of a war was a responsible senior position, and Mathew Loan and his family were lodged in a handsome stone building just outside the prison gates.
Just on the other side of the wall lay the former women’s prison cells – including a maternity ward – which had been converted to hold some of the men of the Easter Rising, including poets, playwrights and, disastrously for the Loan family, musicians. Every night they were kept awake by the din of voices raised in song, the sound of fiddles and flutes, and the clatter of step dancing on the hard stone floors.
Which led to:
…his letter begging to be transferred to another prison,
Interesting article too.