|Francis Sheehy Skeffington|
|Born||23 December 1878
Bailieborough, County Cavan
|Died||26 April 1916
Portobello Barracks, Dublin
|Other names||Francis Skeffington, 'Skeffy'|
|Alma mater||University College Dublin|
|Organization||United Irish League, Irish Women's Suffrage and Local Government Association, Irish Citizen Army|
|Movement||Women's suffrage, Pacifism/Anti-conscription, Irish independence|
Francis Sheehy Skeffington, born Francis Skeffington (23 December 1878 – 26 April 1916), was a well-known Irish writer and radical activist, known publicly by the nickname "Skeffy". He is now principally remembered as the victim of a British war crime during the Easter 1916 rising. He was also the real-life model for a character in James Joyce's novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He was a friend and schoolmate of Joyce, Oliver St. John Gogarty, Tom Kettle, and Frank O'Brien (the father of Conor Cruise O'Brien). He married Hanna Sheehy in 1903, whose own surname he adopted as part of his name, resulting in the name "Sheehy Skeffington". They always showed their joined names unhyphenated.
Francis Sheehy Skeffington was born in Bailieborough, County Cavan, the only son of Joseph Skeffington, a school inspector, and Rose Magorian of County Down. His parents had been married at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Ballykinlar, Co. Down in 1869. Francis was educated initially at home by his father, and later at the Jesuit community in St Stephen's Green, Dublin.
Francis's radical sympathies manifested early on through his enthusiasm for the constructed language Esperanto. In 1893, at the age of 15, he wrote a letter to a local newspaper in Co Cavan stating that "Gaelic" was irretrievably dead and "the study of Esperanto would be more useful to the youth of Ireland". Later in life he became fluent in the language. This enthusiasm was not unusual at the time in leftist circles; James Connolly, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter rising, was also an Esperantist.
In 1896 (aged 18) Francis enrolled in University College, then run by the Jesuits and located on St Stephen's Green in the city centre. He stayed at the college long enough to earn a master's degree. Skeffington was a well-known figure at the college, individualistic and unconventional in temperament. He was active in student politics and debating societies, including the Literary and Historical Society, which he revived in 1897. His closest companions in his student days were James Joyce and Thomas Kettle (later to become his brother-in-law). In protest against uniformity of dress Skeffington refused to shave, and wore knickerbockers with long socks, which earned him the nickname "knickerbockers". He was an ardent proponent of women's rights, and wore a Votes for Women badge. He was an equally ardent advocate of pacifism and vegetarianism, and he denounced smoking, drinking, and vivisection. He was a vegetarian and a teetotaller. But he did permit himself chocolate, and apparently he was often seen with a bar of milk chocolate in his pocket.
James Joyce enrolled at University College in 1898; he was four years Skeffington's junior but only two classes below him. He left a fictional portrait of Skeffington in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, under the guise of a student named MacCann, who is described as "a squat figure in a shooting jacket and breeches" with a "bluntfeatured face" and "a strawcolored goatee which hung from his blunt chin." Joyce's alter-ego Stephen Dedalus remembers him saying: "Dedalus, you're an anti-social being, wrapped up in yourself. I'm not. I'm a democrat: and I'll work and act for social liberty and equality among all classes and sexes in the United States of the Europe of the future." Later MacCann is seen standing in a lobby after class, canvassing signatures on a petition for universal peace, under a picture of Nicholas II, the Czar of Russia, who was a proponent of disarmament. (In the spring term of that year Skeffington would attend the Hague Peace Conference, called by Nicholas II.) "MacCann began to speak with fluent energy of the Czar's rescript, of Stead, of general disarmament arbitration in cases of international disputes, of the signs of the times, of the new humanity and the new gospel of life which would make it the business of the community to secure as cheaply as possible the greatest possible happiness of the greatest possible number." - Stephen expresses indifference to these goals and gestures at the picture of the Czar: "If we must have a Jesus, let us have a legitimate Jesus." To which MacCann replies: "Dedalus, I believe you're a good fellow, but you have yet to learn the dignity of altruism and the responsibility of the human individual."
Writing to his brother Stanislaus about the above passages, Joyce jokingly referred to Skeffington as "Hairy Jaysus".
In the fall of 1901 Skeffington wrote an essay advocating equal status for women in the University, commissioned by St Stephen's, the new literary magazine of the college. The essay was refused publication by the Censor, and at James Joyce's suggestion Skeffington then published the essay as a pamphlet, along with another essay by Joyce which had been similarly censored ("The Day of the Rabblement", a critique of the Irish Literary Theatre's audiences and material). Although Joyce and Skeffington disagreed with each other's politics, they both resented censorship, and agreed to co-finance the print run of 85 copies and distribute the pamphlet to newspapers and prominent Dubliners.
Career and politics
After graduating from University College, Skeffington worked as the college's registrar and as a freelance journalist, contributing to socialist and pacifist publications in Ireland, England, France and North America.
In 1901-02 he taught in St Kieran's College in Kilkenny, where a colleague and friend was the school's English, French and history master Thomas MacDonagh; the two also lodged in the same house in the city.
On 26 June 1903 he married Hanna Sheehy, a teacher at the Rathmines College of Commerce (a forerunner of Dublin Institute of Technology). They jointly adopted the surname "Sheehy Skeffington". Hanna's family were a prosperous farming and milling family in County Cork, and her father had been a Nationalist MP, and had been imprisoned no less than six times for revolutionary activities. Together Hanna and Francis joined the Irish Women's Suffrage and Local Government Association, and the Young Ireland Branch of the United Irish League (the constituency element of the Irish Parliamentary Party). They also supported the Women's Social and Political Union which lobbied for women's rights in Britain. Shortly after they married Francis organised a petition to lobby for women to be admitted to University College on the same basis as men. When the university refused to take that step, Francis resigned from his job as registrar in protest, relying on Hanna to support him for a time.
In 1907 Francis wrote a novel, In Dark and Evil Days, not published until after his death in 1916.
In 1908 Francis published a biography of the Irish republican agitator Michael Davitt. In 1912 he co-founded the Irish Women's Franchise League with his wife Hanna, and was made co-editor of the League's newspaper, The Irish Citizen. The Irish Women's Franchise League agitated for votes for women; members included his brother-in-law Tom Kettle and his friend Thomas MacDonagh, as well as all of the non-nationalist suffrage activists of the day. (Nationalist women tended to avoid it, on the basis that the IWFL was seeking to get into the British parliament, while nationalists were trying to get out.)
During the 1913 Dublin Lock-out Francis became involved in the Citizens' Peace Committee, a group formed by various people including Tom Kettle and Thomas MacDonagh, with Joseph Plunkett as secretary, whose goal was to reconcile the employers and workers. The workers were willing to negotiate but not the employers. Sheehy Skeffington joined and became a vice-chairman of the Irish Citizen Army when it was established in response to the lockout. Francis lent his support on the understanding that the ICA would have a strictly defensive role; he resigned when it became a military entity.
Sheehy Skeffington testified before a tribunal in 1913 as a witness to the arrest of the leading trade unionist Jim Larkin on O'Connell Street, and the subsequent police assault against a peaceful crowd, which had occurred on the last weekend of August 1913. His testimony stated that he was in the street with a group of women caring for a person who had already been assaulted by the police when a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police charged towards this group with his baton raised. He reports that it was only because he called out the policeman's number that the man was dissuaded from the violence he had so clearly intended. He said that he was later abused by a gang of policemen showing clear signs of intoxication in the yard of the police station at College Green where he went to make his complaint, and that their officers had no control over their behaviour.
Frank Sheehy Skeffington is considered one of the martyrs of Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising; but as a result the story of his death is often simplified to meet the demands of myth and he is deemed to have been "killed for trying to prevent looting". The truth is both more complicated, and more tragically nonsensical: Sheehy Skeffington was arrested while walking home through Rathmines after pasting typewritten leaflets on walls and monuments around Dublin calling people to a meeting to form a citizens' committee to dissuade people from looting.
Sheehy Skeffington had always supported Home Rule for Ireland. After 1913 he had also supported his friend Thomas MacDonagh's more separatist Irish Volunteers; however he grew increasingly critical of the Volunteers' growing militarism, and in an open letter to MacDonagh published in 1915 in his own paper The Irish Citizen, Sheehy Skeffington wrote: "As you know, I am personally in full sympathy with the fundamental objects of the Irish Volunteers ... [however,] as your infant movement grows, towards the stature of a full-grown militarism, its essence – preparation to kill – grows more repellent to me."
At the outset of the Easter Rising, Francis opposed the violent methods of the insurgents, advocating a nonviolent form of civil disobedience, while his wife Hanna actively sympathized with the insurgents and joined the group of women who brought food to those stationed at the General Post Office and the Royal College of Surgeons. In contrast, on the first day of the rising (Monday 24 April 1916) Francis risked crossfire to go to the aid of an English soldier outside of Dublin Castle, Guy Vickery Pinfield (1895-1916), a Second Lieutenant (TP) 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars. As Hanna recalled the incident six years later: "When the outbreak began on Easter Monday my husband was near Dublin Castle. He learned that a British officer had been gravely wounded and was bleeding to death on the cobblestones outside the Castle gate. My husband persuaded a bystander to go with him to the rescue. Together they ran across the square under a hail of fire. Before they reached the spot, however, some British troops rushed out and dragged the wounded man to cover inside the gate."
Attempts to prevent looting
Shortly after that incident Francis was seen climbing up onto the steps of Nelson's Pillar on Sackville Street, and haranguing a crowd of Dublin's poor to stop looting shops. He was hooted and jeered, and his next move was then to cross the street, enter the GPO, and demand to speak to James Connolly, one of the leaders of the insurrection, who was also a labor leader and sympathetic to Sheehy Skeffington's socialism. Connolly sent out some of his men to attempt to quell the looting - climbing an overturned tramcar and even firing shots over the looters' heads.
The next morning, Francis went back into the city centre and, again according to Hanna, "actively interested himself in preventing looting". He returned to the GPO, emerging around one o'clock, and began to walk around the area pasting up a flyer. The flyer read:
When there are no regular police in the streets, it becomes the duty of citizens to police the streets themselves and to prevent such spasmodic looting as has been taking place in a few streets. Civilians (men and women) who are willing to co-operate to this end are asked to attend at Westmoreland Chambers (over Eden Bros.) at five o'clock this (Tues.) afternoon.
Sheehy Skeffington then busied himself visiting various people, including priests, to enlist their help in guarding specific shops. That afternoon he had tea with his wife Hanna in one of the tea shops which, astonishingly, were still open in the city centre. Hanna then returned home to mind Owen, and Francis went to his meeting. Unfortunately the meeting was poorly attended, and no one volunteered to help him stop the looting.
On his way home from the dispiriting meeting, Francis was followed by a crowd of hecklers who were shouting out his nickname, "Skeffy!" This crowd of hecklers turned out to be a crucial cog in the machinery of fate which was to bring on his death. Undoubtedly they were the very inner city poor whom he had been exhorting to refrain from looting - and who would have been familiar with him from his many impromptu speeches on the steps of the Custom House, where he exhorted the passers-by on feminist or socialist subjects. He lived at that time at 11 (now 21), Grosvenor Place in Rathmines, and as he and his hecklers approached the Portobello Bridge, around 7:30 p.m., they were intercepted by soldiers of the 11th East Surrey Regiment. The officer in charge was under orders to keep the road and bridge clear, and felt apprehensive about the disorderly crowd. He detained Sheehy Skeffington, who said that he was "not a Sinn Féiner", but admitted to sympathy for the insurgents' cause, though he was opposed to violence. Checking with his superiors, he found that Sheehy Skeffington's name was on a list for arrest. He was arrested and brought back to the Portobello Barracks in Rathmines (now the Cathal Brugha Barracks).
Towards 11pm that evening an officer of the 3rd battalion of Royal Irish Rifles, Captain John Colthurst Bowen-Colthurst, took Sheehy Skeffington back out of the barracks, as a hostage in a raiding party. Bowen-Colthurst was not the senior officer in the barracks, yet the senior officers deferred to him in what happened from this on.
The raiding party, consisting of 25 men led by Bowen-Colthurst, along with Sheehy Skeffington who was held with his hands tied behind his back, went down Lower Rathmines Road, with Bowen-Cothurst shooting his rifle in the air and shouting. Outside Rathmines Church they soon intercepted two teenagers who were returning from a meeting of a religious sodality. On the pretext of the lateness of the hour, Bowen-Colthurst detained and threatened them, shooting one of them, a 19-year-old mechanic named James Coade. Coade was left in the road and subsequently died of his wound. Sheehy Skeffington witnessed this and protested against the shooting as the raiding party made its way on through Rathmines. The party continued on down Lower Rathmines Road, and the soldiers stopped at Portobello Bridge, where half of the men were left at the guardhouse along with Sheehy Skeffington. Bowen-Colthurst gave orders that the soldiers at the guardhouse were to monitor the further progress of the raiding party, and shoot Sheehy Skeffington if either his or their party came under attack from snipers. He also ordered Sheehy Skeffington to say his last prayers in case this were to happen, and when Sheehy Skeffington refused, Bowen-Colthurst said prayers on his behalf.
The raiding party continued on to the shop of Alderman James Kelly, 300 yards away at the corner of Camden Street and Harcourt Road (known as "Kelly's Corner"). Having heard gunshots which they presumed to be emanating from Kelly's shop, the soldiers destroyed the shop (which was also Kelly's home) with hand grenades. They captured two men who had taken refuge in the shop, Thomas Dickson and Patrick MacIntyre, both muckraking anti-nationalist journalists.
That night, Bowen-Colthurst was up much of the night praying and reading the Bible. On the following morning, he ordered the two journalists and Sheehy Skeffington taken out to a yard in the barracks, where he intended to have them shot. He told a subordinate officer this was "the best thing to do." In the yard he assembled a squad of seven men and ordered them to fire immediately at the three prisoners, who until that moment were not aware they were about to die. After killing the three men, the firing squad immediately left the yard, but when movement was detected in Sheehy Skeffington's leg, Bowen-Colthurst gathered another group of four soldiers and ordered them to fire another volley into him. When Bowen-Colthurst later reported what he had done to his superior, Major Russborough, he said that he took responsibility for the shooting and that he "possibly might be hanged for it". After the shooting, Bowen-Colthurst frantically tried to eradicate the evidence of the bullets.
In a written report he filed two weeks later, Bowen-Colthurst stated he had been under the impression that Dublin was being overrun by rebels who were massacring police and soldiers. He did not know that military reinforcements were arriving and knew that Portobello Barracks was undermanned, with inexperienced soldiers who belonged to disparate units. He also believed Sheehy Skeffington and the two journalists to be "ringleaders" of the uprising. Bowen-Colthurst (1880-1965) belonged to an Anglo-Irish military family centred on Blarney Castle in County Cork (his own family were from Dripsey Castle, Carrignamuck), and had previously served in Tibet, in the Boer War and then in the trenches of World War I, from which he had been sent home invalided (possibly due to shell shock). . His brother Robert MacGregor Bowen-Colthurst had been killed at Ypres in March 1915. "According to the testimony of Major-General Bird, Colthurst’s ‘eccentricity‘ (which had expressed itself in his recklessly sacrificing his men and practising cruelty on German prisoners)" he was sent home from the front.
Bowen-Colthurst's report stated:
On Tuesday and up to Wednesday morning rumours of massacres of police and soldiers from all parts of Dublin were being constantly sent to me from different sources. Among others the rumour reached me that 600 German prisoners at Oldcastle had been released and armed and were marching on Dublin. I also heard that the rebels in the city had opened up depots for the supply and issue of arms, and that a large force of rebels intended to attack Portobello Barracks, which was held only by a few troops ... We had also in the barracks a considerable number of officers and men who had been wounded by the rebels. ... Rumours of risings all over Ireland and of a large German-American and Irish-American landing in Galway were prevalent. ... I knew of the sedition which had been preached in Ireland for years past and of the popular sympathy with rebellion. I knew also that men on leave home from the trenches, although unarmed, had been shot like dogs in the streets of their own city, simply because they were in khaki, and I had also heard that wounded soldiers home for convalescence had been shot down also. On the Wednesday morning the 26th April all this was in my mind. I was very much exhausted and unstrung after practically a sleepless night, and I took the gloomiest view of the situation and felt that only desperate measures would save the situation.
Burial and coverup
The man in overall charge of defence at Portobello Barracks was 55-year-old Sir Francis Vane (1861-1934), a Dublin-born major in the Royal Munster Fusiliers. Vane was not present when these shootings took place, having taken up an observation post at the top of the nearby Rathmines Town Hall. Later on Wednesday morning, when Vane returned to the compound, he heard what had happened during his absence from a young lieutenant attached to the Army Service Corps who was stationed at the barracks. Vane was horrified and went immediately to see the deputy commander of the garrison, Major Rosborough. He told Rosborough he believed that Bowen-Colthurst was mentally deranged. Rosborough then ordered a subordinate to telephone the garrison high command, and also to make an exceptional telephone report to the British high command at Dublin Castle. The garrison high command replied with an order to bury the bodies in the barracks yard. This was done after Roman Catholic rites had been performed by a chaplain. At a later date the bodies were exhumed in the presence of Sheehy Skeffington's father, and then reburied in consecrated ground.
In an interview with the playwright Hayden Talbot six years after the killing, Hanna said her husband's body "had been put in a sack and buried in the barracks' yard. The remains were given to his father on condition that the funeral would be at early morn and that I be not notified. My husband's father consented unwillingly to do this on the assurance of General Maxwell that obedience would result in the trial and punishment of the murderer." Re-interment took place on 8 May 1916 at Glasnevin Cemetery.
Hanna Sheehy Skeffington was not told about her husband's detention or his death. She went around Dublin seeking to find where her husband was, and heard rumors of his fate. Her two sisters then offered to visit Portobello Barracks on Friday and make inquiries. Upon revealing their business the two sisters were arrested as "Sinn Féiners", and questioned by Captain Bowen-Colthurst. Bowen-Colthurst denied any knowledge as to the fate of Francis Sheehy Skeffington, and had them released. Later on Friday Hanna learned the dreadful news from the father of the young boy Coade who had also been shot, and the news was confirmed to her by the chaplain who had performed the funerary rites, and who also worked in the neighborhood.
On that same Friday evening, Bowen-Colthurst and a group of soldiers forced entry into the Sheehy Skeffingtons' home, hoping to find evidence to incriminate Francis as an enemy sympathiser. Hanna, Owen (then seven), and a "young maid-servant" were in the house, where Owen was just being put to bed. The soldiers announced their presence by firing a volley of bullets through the front windows. The soldiers then burst in through the front door, wielding rifles with fixed bayonets, and ordered the three residents to stand under guard while they searched the premises. According to an official report, "All the rooms in the house were thoroughly ransacked and a considerable quantity of books and papers were wrapped up in the household linen, placed in a passing motor car, and taken away. ... A large part of the material removed seems to have consisted of text-books both in German and other languages, as well as political papers and pamphlets belonging to Mr. Sheehy Skeffington." The maid-servant, terrified by the experience, subsequently quit her job. She was replaced by another maid who was subsequently arrested and detained for four days after another raid by the Portobello garrison (this time not ordered by Bowen-Colthurst). But upon examination several months later by a government commission, none of the material was found to be seditious.
Court-martial of Bowen-Colthurst and public inquiry
The upshot of the various military reports in the immediate aftermath of the shooting was that Bowen-Colthurst retained his rank and still circulated freely, whereas Sir Francis Vane was removed from command. Vane then travelled to London and on May 3 he met the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, in Downing Street. A telegram was then sent to Sir John Maxwell, commander-in-chief of British forces in Ireland, ordering the arrest of Bowen-Colthurst. Three days later Bowen-Colthurst was placed under "open arrest", and then on May 11 under "close arrest". Finally Bowen-Colthurst was charged with murder and tried by court-martial in Dublin on 6–7 June.
At the court-martial, Bowen-Colthurst pleaded guilty by reason of insanity arising from shell shock. He was found "guilty but insane" and sentenced not to death or imprisonment, but to internment at the Broadmoor Hospital criminal lunatic asylum. This verdict became a cause celebre internationally and, along with the civilian deaths in North King Street, provoked a political furore which culminated in the appointment of several Royal Commissions of Inquiry. The Royal Commission on the deaths of Sheehy Skeffington, Dickson and McIntyre was chaired by Sir John Simon (a former Attorney General and Home Secretary), and held hearings on 23–31 August 1916 in a public courtroom at the Four Courts in Dublin. 38 witnesses were examined, including Sheehy Skeffington's wife Hanna. The report of this commission constitutes the principal source of facts about the events leading to the death of Sheehy Skeffington.
The Commission found that it was "a delusion to suppose that a proclamation of martial law confers upon an officer any right to take human life in circumstances where this would have been unjustifiable without such a proclamation, and this delusion in the present case had tragic consequences". The Commission concluded that the proclamation of martial law
does not confer on officers or soldiers any new powers, but is a warning that the Government, acting through the military, is about to take such forcible and exceptional measures as are needed to restore order. ... The measures taken can be justified only by the practical circumstances of the case. ... The shooting of unarmed and unresisting civilians without trial constitutes the offense of murder, whether martial law has been proclaimed or not. We should have deemed it superfluous to point this out were it not that the failure to realise and apply this elementary principle seems to explain the free hand which Captain Bowen-Colthurst was not restrained from exercising throughout the period of crisis.
Sir Francis Vane, who had sought to have Bowen-Colthurst brought to justice, was dishonourably discharged from the British Army at some time between May and July 1916, owing to an adverse report about him filed by British high commander Sir John Maxwell, because of his actions in the Skeffington murder case. He went on to be involved with the Boy Scouts, then retired from public life in 1927 and died in 1934.
Captain Bowen-Colthurst was interned briefly at Broadmoor Hospital before being transferred to another mental hospital in Canada, from which he was released on 26 April 1921, and provided with a military pension.
Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington was offered financial compensation by the British government in 1916, but she refused it because it came on the condition that she cease to speak and write about the murder. She became increasingly nationalist-minded, and supported the anti-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War. She refused to send her son Owen to any school with a pro-Treaty ethos, opting to put him in the secular Sandford Park School when it was founded in 1922. Her sister's son Conor Cruise O'Brien was also educated there. Hanna died in 1946.
- A Forgotten Aspect of the University Question. Privately printed, Dublin 1901 (published with The Day of the Rabblement by James Joyce.)
- Michael Davitt, revolutionary, agitator and labour leader, 1908 (accessible from Internet Archive).
- A forgotten small nationality : Ireland and the war, February 1916 (Internet Archive).
- Dara Redmond, "Officer who exposed pacifist's murder", The Irish Times, 26 August 2006 (accessed 29–31 March 2016).
- Leah Levenson, With Wooden Sword: a portrait of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, Northeastern U. Press, 1983, p. 13
- Ken Keable, "James Connolly and Esperanto", published both on www.communist-party.org.uk and www.anphoblacht.com, on May 29 and 28 June 2001 respectively (both accessed 30–31 March 2016). The earlier version has more detailed citations.
- Richard Ellman, James Joyce, Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 61-62, 69.
- See also James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, chapter 5, Oxford World Classics, p. 163.
- James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, chapter 5; Oxford World Classics edition p. 149, 163 ff. For a critical perspective on this passage see A.D. Sheehy Skeffington, "Historical Background to the Testimonial to the Tsar of Russia Referred to in Stephen Hero and A Portrait of the Artist", in James Joyce Quarterly, v. 20, no. 1 (fall 1982), p. 117-120.
- Cited by Richard Ellman, James Joyce, Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 192.
- St Stephen's ran from 1901-1906 and contains early writings by James Joyce, Thomas Kettle and Patrick Pearse as well as Sheehy Skeffington. Later series were issued under the same title in the 1960s and 1970s.
- The pamphlet was titled Two Essays, and Skeffington's essay, "A Forgotten Aspect of the University Question". About the printing and distribution of the pamphlet see Richard Ellman, James Joyce, Oxford U. Press, 1982, p. 89. Joyce's essay is reprinted in James Joyce, Occasional, Critical, and Political Writing, Oxford World's Classics, p. 50 ff.; see also editor's notes on p. 295 ff, and likewise the editor's notes to Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Oxford World Classics, p. 264, note 149.6-7; and to Dubliners, Oxford World's Classics, p. 271, note 148.24.
- Leah Levenson, With Wooden Sword: a portrait of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, Northeastern U. Press, 1983, p. 40
- Thomas O'Riordan, "Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, Multitext Project in Irish History, University College Cork, accessed March 30, 2016.
- Marian Broderick, Wild Irish Women: Extraordinary Lives from History, Dublin: O'Brien Press, 2012, p. 168.
- Michael Davitt; Revolutionary, Agitator, and Labor Leader; Book review by James Connolly
- The full text of this testimony can be found in James Larkin, In the footsteps of Big Jim: a family biography, Tallaght : Blackwater Press,1996.
- Murphy, William. Political Imprisonment and the Irish, 1912-1921. 2014: Oxford University Press. p. 39. ISBN 0191651265. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- Michael Barry, Courage Boys, We Are Winning, Dublin: Andalus Press, 2015, p. 86-89.
- Even Richard Ellman, the biographer of James Joyce, passes on such a caricature when he writes that Sheehy Skeffington "died at the hands of the British ... when he quixotically tried to dissuade the Dublin poor from looting," or again that he was "arrested while trying to keep the Dublin poor from looting." (R. Ellman, James Joyce, Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 61 and 399.)
- Francis Sheehy Skeffington, "Open Letter to Thomas MacDonagh", May 1915, reprinted in The Irish Times, March 21, 2016 (accessed March 30, 2016).
- Hayden Talbot, Michael Collins' own story, as told to Hayden Talbot, London : Hutchinson & Co., 1923, ch. 11 (accessed 31 March 2016).
- Max Caulfield, The Easter Rebellion: The outstanding narrative history of the 1916 Rising, Kindle edition, at location 2427 of 6699 (accessed 10 April 2016).
- Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, "British Militarism as I have Known It", in: F Sheehy Skeffington, A Forgotten Small Nationality: Ireland and the War, pamphlet, New York: Donnelly Press, n.d. (circa 1917), p. 17-32.
- Max Caulfield, The Easter Rebellion: The outstanding narrative history of the 1916 Rising, Kindle edition, at location 3111 of 6699 (accessed 10 April 2016).
- "Royal Commission on the Arrest and subsequent treatment of Mr. Francis Sheehy Skeffington, Mr. Thomas Dickson, and Mr. Patrick James McIntyre: Report of the Commission", presented to both houses of Parliament by command of His Majesty, London: Darling & Son, 1916 (accessed 29–31 March 2016). The report of an earlier Royal Commission on the Rebellion in Ireland (which held hearings in May–June 1916) can be consulted here.
- Brenda Malone, "16 Days of Internment; Alderman James J. Kelly, 1916", in www.thecricketbatthatdiedforireland.com, Sept. 7, 2013 (accessed 31 March 2016).
- Bryan Bacon, A Terrible Duty: the Madness of Captain Bowen-Colthurst, Thena Press, 2015 (a Kindle Book). Bacon cites as his source a Lieutenant Wilson's testimony on the first day of Colthurst's court martial.
- Neil Richardson, According to their lights: stories of Irishmen in the British Army, Easter 191 (Cork: Collins Press, 2015). Richardson cites as his source an unpublished memoir by an Anglo-Irish man who had been a medical student and also a cadet-sergeant in the British army at the time: Gerald Keatinge, "Some experiences of a cadet during the Irish Rebellion of Easter Week, 1916".
- Bryan Bacon, A Terrible Duty: the Madness of Captain Bowen-Colthurst, op. cit. Bacon cites as his source the report made by Bowen-Colthurst to his superiors on April 26, which described O'Carroll's capture and wounding without providing his name.
- Bacon, Bryan (2015). A Terrible Duty: the Madness of Captain Bowen-Colthurst. Thena Press.
- British House of Commons, Disturbances in Ireland", hearing held on 1 August 1916 (accessed 31 March 2016).
- Bowen-Colthurst was released from Broadmoor (under medical supervision) on 21 January 1918. He emigrated to Terrace, British Columbia in April 1919. Besides Terrace, he lived in Sooke (near Victoria) from 1929-1948, and in Naramata (near Penticton) from 1948 till his death in 1965. His obituary appeared in The Vancouver Sun, 15 December 1965 ("Warrior Dies"), and in The Penticton Herald, 14 December 1965 ("Colorful Figure Dies, Was Original Socred"). The fact that The Vancouver Sun did not mention Bowen-Colthurst's role in the Rising was noted in Bryan Bacon's book "A Terrible Duty: the Madness of Captain Bowen-Colthurst", which also reproduced the full obituary.
- "The Sheehy-Skeffington Papers" (PDF). National Library of Ireland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2006.