John O'Callaghan
Con Colbert

A biography of Con Colbert, member of Na Fianna Éireann, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

Colbert commanded forces at Watkins' brewery and Jameson's distillery during the Easter Rising. He faced the firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol on 8 May 1916, aged twenty-seven.

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256 pages
196x130 mm

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Con Colbert was one of the lesser-known leaders of the 1916 Rising. From a comfortable background in Newcastlewest, County Limerick, he moved to Dublin aged fifteen and worked as a junior clerk in a bakery. Already politically radicalised, he became captain of the first troop of Na Fianna Éireann, the republican boy-scout movement. An unswerving patriot and idealist, he worked tirelessly for the dream of an Irish-speaking, independent republic. Even before his execution, Colbert was held up as an icon and a role model for the Irish Volunteers.

Colbert commanded a company at Watkins’ Brewery and at Jameson’s Distillery during the Rising. Inspiring men by example, he showed no fear in the face of danger and confronted his own death with equanimity.

Con Colbert was executed at Kilmainham Gaol on 8 May 1916, aged twenty-seven.

Dr John O’Callaghan lectures in St. Angela’s College, Sligo. His research focuses on twentieth-century Ireland and processes of imperialism and nationalism, the education system, political and military history, sports history, and commemoration. His publications include: Teaching Irish Independence: History in Irish Schools, 1922-72 (Newcastle, 2009); Revolutionary Limerick - The Republican Campaign for Independence in Limerick, 1913-21 (Dublin, 2010); The Battle for Kilmallock (Cork, 2011); Subversive Voices: Narratives of the Occluded Irish Diaspora (Oxford, 2012); Plassey’s Gaels: GAA in the University of Limerick (Cork, 2013)

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