A former soldier in the British Army and veteran of the Boer War, Vincent Poole became involved in the labour movement upon his return to Dublin, joining the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union and the Irish Citizen Army (ICA). He helped to occupy the Vitriol Works at the beginning of the Easter Rising and later took control of the railway line at Fairview. He subsequently reported to the GPO before taking up a position in Mansfield’s boot shop, engaging with British snipers over the course of the week. Thomas Leahy, an ICA member stationed alongside him, recalled that Poole “seemed to smell the different kinds of bullets and the direction they came from, and many snipers fell to his shooting…” Poole was court-martialled and sentenced to death, but this was commuted to five years penal servitude. He was interned in Portland, Lewes, Parkhurst and Pentonville prisons, taking part in a hunger strike whilst in Lewes. His activity was limited by poor health following his release but he joined the 5th Battalion Engineers of the IRA during the War of Independence and later participated in the republican occupation of the Four Courts at the beginning of the Civil War.
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