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The Walton Collection

Con Colbert - 1916 Poster

Con Colbert - 1916 Poster

Rare Cornelius Bernard Colbert 1916 commemorative poster; Irish: Conchúir Ó Colbáird;( 19 October 1888 – 8 May 1916) was an Irish rebel and pioneer of Fianna Éireann. For his part in the Easter Rising of 1916, he was shot by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, on 8 May 1916.

Born in the townland of Moanleana, Castlemahon, County Limerick, he was the fourth youngest of thirteen children of Michael Colbert, a farmer, and Honora McDermott.
His family moved to the village of Athea when Con was three years old. He was educated at the local national school. In 1901, his family were living in the townland of Templeathea West. A younger brother, James, and a cousin, Michael Colbert, would later serve as TDs.

He left Athea at the age of 16 and went to live with his sister Catherine in Ranelagh, County Dublin. Colbert continued his education at a Christian Brothers school in North Richmond street. He was employed as a clerk in the offices of Kennedy's Bakery in Dublin. In 1911, he was living with Catherine, two other siblings and two boarders at a house on Clifton Terrace, Rathmines. Both sides of Colbert’s family had a tradition of nationalist and Fenian involvement, and he became politically aware from an early age. He developed an interest in local and national history, and picked up
expressions in Irish from some of the old people around West Limerick where the language had not yet entirely died out. He is also said to have become a devout Roman Catholic from early on.

In Dublin, he joined the Gaelic League and assiduously attended Irish classes, lectures and the various cultural and social activities provided for members. He enrolled in Fianna Éireann, the scouting organisation for boys first established by Bulmer Hobson in 1903 and revived by Hobson and Countess Markievicz in August 1909. He was a model member of Fianna Éireann: he applied himself to gaining proficiency in its various activities and skills which included drill, marching, scouting, signalling, map-reading, first aid and the use of small arms. His diligence and level of achievement were soon acknowledged by his promotion to the captaincy of his branch and eventually to the Council.

Colbert was sworn into the IRB by his cousin Art O'Donnell in Art's home in 1908.The following year he became a drill instructor at St. Enda's School, founded by Patrick Pearse. In 1912 he became head of an Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) circle within the Fianna started by Bulmer Hobson. During 1913 he was one of a number of Fianna who conducted military training at the Forester's Hall in Rutland Square (now Parnell Square), and in November that year he joined the Provisional Committee of the newly formed Irish Volunteers.

In the weeks leading up to the Rising, he acted as bodyguard for Thomas Clarke. Before the Rising, because he lived out of the city he stayed with the Cooney family in the city centre. During Easter Week, he fought at Watkin's Brewery, Jameson's Distillery and Marrowbone Lane. Thomas MacDonagh at 3.15 p.m. Sunday, 30 April surrendered to Brigadier-General Lowe. MacDonagh then went around the garrisons under his command to arrange for their surrender. Colbert surrendered with the Marrowbone Lane Garrison along with the South Dublin Union Garrison, which had been led by Éamonn Ceannt.They were marched to Richmond Barracks, where Colbert would later be identified by G-men and court martialled. Colbert had made himself very prominent during the anti-recruiting campaign for the British Army that was then in full swing before the Rising. He wore kilts and frequently pulled down Union Jacks and recruiting posters and helped to break up meetings. He also drilled the Fianna in the open.

Transferred to Kilmainham Gaol, he was told on Sunday 7th of May that he was to be shot the following morning. He wrote no fewer than ten letters during his time in prison. During this time in detention, he did not allow any visits from his family; writing to his sister, he said a visit "would grieve us both too much". The night before his execution he sent for Mrs. Ó Murchadha who was also being held prisoner. He told her he was "proud to die for such a cause. I will be passing away at the dawning of the day." Holding his bible, he told her he was leaving it to his sister. He handed her three buttons from his volunteer uniform, telling her "They left me nothing else," before asking her when she heard the volleys of shots in the morning for Éamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin and himself would she say a Hail Mary for the souls of the departed. The soldier who was guarding the prisoner began crying according to Mrs. Ó Murchadha, and recorded him saying "If only we could die such deaths". Colbert was shot by firing squad the next morning on the 8th May.

 Originally printed and published by O'Loughlin, Murphy and Boland, (photo uncredited), the text below the photograph simply states: "CON. COLBERT , Executed, May 8th, , 1916". The original print in teh collections was in a poor condition and has been digitally repaired.

 A stunning reproduction on 210 gsm satin art paper, beautifully mounted on a mottled green suede background and set behind glass in a handmade, aged dark mahogany finish frame with a gold gilt sightline.

Regular price €395,00 EUR
Regular price €395,00 EUR Sale price €395,00 EUR
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All prints and frames are Made in Ireland. Price includes VAT.

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