A founding member of the Irish Volunteers, Fergus O’Kelly joined the GPO garrison upon the outbreak of the Easter Rising. He was sent across Sackville Street to Reis’s Chambers on Easter Monday, where he was part of a small group which set up a wireless transmitter that broadcasted a message announcing the Irish Republic. He returned to the GPO on Wednesday and, following the surrender, was interned in Frongoch prison camp. Released in August 1916, O’Kelly rejoined the Volunteers and participated in the War of Independence, during which he manufactured explosives, attempted to intercept British wireless communications and took part in an attack on British forces in Terenure in January, 1921. He fought in the republican garrison in Jameson’s Distillery at the beginning of the Civil War and, following his arrest in December 1922, he was interned until March 1924.
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