"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?'

Looking for Dev

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

POK: Back at 53 Rathgar Road they got into it the whole bloody lot of them (to go ahead with the Rising or not), MacNeill himself and Griffith and Sean Fitzgibbon and Gleeson and I said nothing. So I said to Gleeson "I've been at confession and I'm going to Holy Communion in the morning". I didn't know what I was going to do at all, but I said to myself, I better go home, it's getting late. We were then living in Lower Camden Street. Before I went Eoin MacNeill asked me to deliver a letter, poor Eoin, to Dev." I will of course, says I, but not tonight, I'll deal with it first thing in the morning, I'll deliver it before ten o'clock". So I knew where de Valera was living, do you see, it was 33 Morehampton Terrace, if I don't make a hell of a mistake, 33 Morehampton Terrace off Morehampton Road and I went over and Sinead had two of the children in her arms, and she seemed to be excited, and says she to me, and she's not an excitable woman, she's very level-headed, I haven't seen her for years, but I said "where's the captain, the commandant" or whatever I called him. "Not here" says she "but is he dead?" "Oh not yet" says I. (laughter). "So, I have a dispatch here for him" I said and she said "I couldn't tell you where he is, he wouldn't tell me and I'm glad he didn't because if anyone called, do you see, I could always tell the truth but if you try Flanagans of Lower Baggot Street". Thanks and I left her there, slan leat, got on the bicycle and right across the bloody hotel there in St. Stephen's Green..

RM: The Shelbourne?

POK: The Shelbourne. Who should be coming down, going like bloody hell, but Simon Donnelly. I got off the bicycle. "Hello Simon" says I "you're the very man I want to see. Where's de Valera? That's what I want to know". Says he "I think I know where he is, but I'm not sure". "I have a dispatch here for him". "Oh I'll save you that, I have to get to him in any case and I'll do that for you". So that was all right. I came home.

RM: Did you give the letter to Simon?

POK: Oh to Simon, yes.

RM: And you came home to Camden Street?

POK: I came home to Camden Street on the bloody bicycle and I had an appointment with Cuffe, after dinner, and we went for a walk out as far as Churchtown, the golf club there and we heard shooting and I said to Cuffe "tis on, we better go back".

RM: This was the Sunday morning was it? (April 23rd, 1916).

POK: This was the Sunday morning now. Ah now I'd say it would be about twelve o'clock, maybe between roughly twelve and one, I'd say. However, we came back and so it was, it was on.

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