"Which of you had the twins?"

From 'The Gates Flew Open' by Peadar O'Donnell (Jonathan Cape, 1932).

Paudeen O'Keeffe was a restless little man with a fine pair of eyes and a waspish tongue. He came to us first in civils and was rather accepted as part of the queer trappings in the early jail days. I don't remember him figuring in anything in 'D' wing and indeed I didn't give him any special attention in the early days in 'C'. I first noticed him the night we decided to parade all our men for count. We had got fed up keeping two men hidden for it meant considerable inconvenience. Paudeen that night came in smartly as usual- he was now wearing the uniform of a captain in the Free State Army; he counted quickly, jotted down the number and hung on his stride; two men too many was nothing serious and he probably felt he had just counted an extra file. But he went back and counted again, this time more slowly; a third time he counted, saying the numbers out loud and then he wheeled around and faced Cooney. They were rather a contrast, for Paudeen O'Keeffe is about five feet seven inches and Andy Cooney must be six foot one. 'Jasus, Cooney', Paudeen explained, 'Which of you had the twins?'

Family History Day

Saturday 12 March 2016 at the Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2.


  • 9.45 – 10.15 Registration and Welcome
  • 10.15 – 11.00 Thomas Murphy, 'My family's Pandora's box'
  • 11.00 – 11.30 Tea / coffee
  • 11.30 – 12.15 Mary McAuliffe, 'We were there: 77 women of the Easter Rising'
  • 12.15 – 1.00 Helen Litton, 'Caitlin Bean Ui Cleirigh'
  • 2.00 – 2.45 Maurice O’Keeffe, 'The Irish Life and Lore 1916 Rising Oral History Collection'
  • 2.45 – 3.30 Patrick O’Byrne, 'Dr Nancy Wyse Power: Not A Dull Woman'
  • 4.00 – 5.00 Carnation Theatre, 'Midwife of the Nation' – play on Cumann na mBan in the 1916 Rising

Booking not required.

Further information

Tel: 01 674 4800
Email: dublinpubliclibraries@dublincity.ie

Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

More info available here