On Easter Monday 1916 1,600 men, women and children went out to fight for an independent Ireland. They faced the most powerful empire in the world. The battle raged in Dublin for six days and resulted in 485 deaths and the destruction of many parts of the city. While mainly a Dublin affair many of the Volunteers were from outside the city; two dozen Kildare men and women took part in the Rising, including fifteen who walked from Maynooth to the General Post Office. Several Kildare natives and residents were killed on all sides in the Rising, while dozens more were wounded or imprisoned in the aftermath.
The subsequent execution of the leaders of the Rising awakened a generation to the cause of Irish freedom. In the succeeding War of Independence and Civil War the Kildare men of 1916, including Domhnall Ua Buachalla, Tom Harris, Pat Colgan, Michael Smyth and Éamonn Ó Modhráin, would play their part.