Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

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"Ireland: A Television History" (1980)

Sighle Humphreys was interviewed for the documentary series "Ireland: A Television History" (BBC TV) by Robert Kee.

The clapperboard in the outtakes shows that Sighle was filmed in 1979.
The series was first transmitted in winter 1980-81.
Sighle appears in parts 8 and 9, first transmitted in Jan 1981.

Part 8 - 'Rising 1914-1916'

"Ireland: A Television History".
Part 8 - 'Rising 1914-1916'.
Sighle talks about the 1916 Rising at 18:30 and 27:18 and 31:20.
Some of this also appeared in The Struggle (2003).
It also has a clip at 40:33 from Tom Devine's 1966 account of the death of The O'Rahilly.

Robert Kee’s "Ireland: A Television History".

Part 8 - 'Rising 1914-1916'

Typescript of Sighle Humphreys interview

00.59.00 – 00.59.30

Film of Volunteers. Led by The O’Rahilly? (Don't think so.)


01.15.18 – 01.16.28

‘I went over to my uncle's, The O’Rahilly’s, in Herbert Park . . . to see what was happening there.

He was getting his putties on. They wore putties with the uniform in those days – the volunteer uniform. And he was going out – although he had been against it with Eoin McNeill, he thought the time was not right. That it might be better to wait till after the war, and the men came back from the trenches and that they’d all join in. But as he said himself when he had been in it from the very beginning and they had decided to go ahead, he joined them.

He was preparing to go out, so I didn’t want to be there when he’d be saying goodbye to his wife – so I took the youngest lad for a walk.

We saw my uncle driving a car – a De Dion car and he was driving down in full uniform and he saw us and he waved to us.’


01.24.24 - 01.24.39

‘We saw the poor members of the "Gorgeous Wrecks" coming back. They all had rifles but no ammunition. And the next thing we heard a volley, and the poor unfortunates, one of them I think was shot dead.


01.28.30 - 01.30.55

‘Around about 1 o’clock in the day we heard the noise of marching men and looked out and here we saw, as we thought, the whole British Army coming in. They were marching along quite unconcernedly, they hadn’t been fired upon until then, and the men in no.25 waited until they got to the junction of Haddington Rd and Northumberland Rd and they opened fire on them.’

‘Some of them fell dead, others threw themselves on the ground. They didn’t know from where the firing was coming. Then of course after that they didn’t march. They actually crept on their tummies along the road.’

He [Col.Fayne] was wounded and he came out with, I don’t know whether it was his sword or not, but he came out and he tried to rally the soldiers. And so really although at the time we wanted every British person to be shot you couldn’t but admire him when he came right out into the middle of the street again, and got them together.

‘It would have been between half six and seven, it was still bright when they made an almighty rush.

And they got up the steps and they threw a bomb at the door and we heard an explosion and we saw a bright light and we knew it was the end of those two.


01.37.38 – 01.38.42

TOM DEVINE: ‘ Down Moore St we charged, and the O’Rahilly was well in front. And we got as far as the corner of Riddler Row, he was in Sackville lane. And he was shot there just opposite that lane. And I saw him fall on his face and the sword fall out of his hand. And I saw him then turn on his left side, he was in great pain. And he made the sign of the cross. And he lay down just for perhaps a second, and dragged himself, I should say from about here to yonder, 4 or 5 yards, to Sackville lane corner and lay down there for the last time. He died.

Think Sighle's interview about The Battle of Mount Street Bridge above is the interview (now broken) that was formerly at this BBC 1916 Rising site.

Part 9 - 'Terror 1919-1921'

"Ireland: A Television History".
Part 9 - 'Terror 1919-1921'.
Sighle talks about Michael Collins at 15:12.
There are clips of the Republican Loan film.




A rather random collection of outtakes of Sighle.
Length: just over 7 minutes.


Part 10 - 'Civil War 1921-1923'

Does Sighle appear in Part 10?

It used to be online here.

Return to Sighle Humphreys or Sighle Humphreys - Video.

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