"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?'

Hold the bloody paper

Padraig O Caoimh (POK) in conversation with Richard Mulcahy (RM) in 1964 (my edits).

POK: At the Saturday night meeting MacNeill said to me, said to the meeting, "we have to put a notice in the papers calling off the Rising".

RM: That was before you went off with the note to deliver to de Valera?

POK: Oh yes, a long time before. But in any case I said I've the bike and of course I was young at the time and I was a fairly decent cyclist and I took out the bloody bicycle and I went over into the Independent office, the Sunday Independent office, in Middle Abbey Street and the man that was there in charge that night was Cogley, Jack Lynch was sick, Jack Lynch was a Corkman, he had a lisp, you don't know him at all?

RM: Fred Cogley of Wexford?

POK: Yes. He was acting that night and of course he knew me, do you see, I knew him. They were very friendly, a lot of the journalists...

RM: Cogley must to have been an IRB man?

POK: Was he?

RM: He must have been.

POK: But, however, to make it short, I told him the story. "Well" says he "I'm only acting because Lynch is sick. Up to the last minute I'll do everything for you, but I must have it at three am. My printers will go to work. They are ready, but the machine must be set off at three o'clock and If I haven't it... now that's your business", or words to that effect.

RM: So you went down to tell him just to hold....

POK: To hold.

RM: To hold.

POK: To hold the bloody, to hold the bloody paper. That's definite, clear and distinct and he said " I'll do that but it must be here at three o'clock". So I went back and I told Eoin MacNeill at the meeting in Kelly's house. I told him what happened and that. They all knew Cogley of course. " Well now", I said " he must have it at three and I'm going home. My job is done". On the Saturday night/ Sunday morning I left them. I came home and went to bed and went to Holy Communion in the morning and that's the story now.

RM: Well now, had you any contact during that time with de Valera, with Mick Hayes or with Tom Kelly?

POK: No.

RM: Had you not?

POK: No.

RM: I see. And you never met de Valera in the whole of that business?

POK: Never a bit, because Simon Donnelly took the dispatches.

RM: Yes, yes, yes.

to be continued..............