In 1938, Ernie O’Malley returned to Mayo with his American wife Helen Hooker and developed a small farm at Burrishoole Lodge, on the northern shore of Clew Bay. They captured many images of the rugged landscape surrounding them.
In the following letter from Kilmainham dated November 25, 1923, to Mrs. Molly (Erskine) Childers, he explains that the Rising had an immediate impact on him and how the initial negative public opinion in Dublin changed quickly. And about ten years later, while in America, O’Malley wrote a memoir, On Another Man’s Wound, about his Irish War of Independence experience, including his memories of Easter week, 1916. Letter from Kilmainham Then came like a thunderclap the 1916 Rising… I was down town that [Easter Monday] morning and passing Trinity [College] was asked by a man I knew if I would go in and I would get a rifle. I agreed and was going in the gate when a boy who lived near my place who had accompanied me and who felt strongly nationally (but has never ‘done’ anything) told me not to be a fool, but to tell them I would consider and come back later. On the way home he pointed out to me the disgraceful fact that I was about to take up a rifle to shoot down my own countrymen. Previous to this I had heard little of the Irish Volunteers, but at home we always laughed at them as toy soldiers. Before the [Easter] Week was finished I had changed. When I heard of the executions I was furious.