A native of Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Mortimer O’Connell was sworn into the Teeling Circle of the IRB in 1913. Already a secretary in the Ballinskelligs branch of the Irish Volunteers, O’Connell joined F Company in the 1st Battalion of the Dublin Brigade and was based in the Four Courts area throughout the Easter Rising. He acted as a sentry in the Smithfield and helped to man a barricade on Mary’s Lane towards the end of the week. He was interned in Stafford Jail and Frongoch prison camp after the Rising and rejoined the Volunteers upon his release, also participating in election work for Sinn Féin. He served as Adjutant of the Cahirciveen Battalion of the IRA during the War of Independence and later worked as a clerk in Dáil Éireann.
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