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This letter is from Eoin MacNeill (1867-1945), to Éamon deValera (1882-1975). MacNeill was a founder of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and, despite holding the post of chief-of-staff at the outbreak of the Easter Rising, he took no part in its planning.
MacNeill was against a rising without a firm chance of success or without British provocation and once he learned of the plans for the Rising tried to prevent it.
De Valera (1882-1975) had joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and was adjutant to Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916), Dublin Brigade commandant. He went on to command forces at Bolands Mill during the Rising and was the most senior participant to escape execution. In this letter, sent on Easter Sunday from MacNeill's home, he issues a direct order to that no movement of Irish Volunteers is to take place that day. He also commands that the order be made known to other officers. The order was issued to de Valera as MacDonagh was 'not accessible'.
MacNeill had put a notice in that day's 'Sunday Independent' to the same effect and he includes a note with this letter confirming the authenticity of the notice