Before his execution at Kilmainham Gaol in the early morning of May 8th, Mallin wrote to his wife that “this is the end of all things earthly” and touchingly enclosed the buttons of his tunic. The letter profoundly shaped the lives of his young son and daughter. Mallin asked his wife to dedicate Joseph and Una to the church and they subsequently joined the Jesuit and Loreto order, respectively.
If you take a train through south Dublin, you’ll pass Dun Laoghaire railway station. The station is officially called ‘Mallin Station’ but, tellingly, this title is almost never used. In a compassionate biography, Brian Hughes helps bring an unfairly neglected figure of Irish history alive on the page.
‘Michael Mallin’ is available from the O’Brien Press website
British soldiers opposite Liberty Hall after the suppression of the Rising. A flute, believed to have been played by Mallin before the Rising, was found in Liberty Hall when the building was searched by British soldiers. Credit: Lorcan Collins.