Dramatic firsthand account of Easter Rising made public

A 26 page letter written by an opera singer during the Easter Rising has been made public for the first time. 

Popular singer Elsie McDermid was due to perform at the sold-out Gaiety Theatre in Dublin when the uprising began on the day she was due to begin performing. 

'We are living in stirring times. I am writing this to be posted if there is any post office left and will keep it till I know it will go,' she wrote in the letter to her mother. 

Throughout the week she recalled the scenes unfolding around Dublin including the angry reactions of locals towards the actions of the rebels.

From her location she also saw the Battle of Mount Street Bridge on Wednesday, 26 April. 'It was simply awful as the soldiers crept up to the bridge over the canal.

'They spotted the SFs (Sinn Feiners) and we could see them out of our top windows making rushes and fall. The VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) women carrying them in on stretchers the slaughter was dreadful - 50 wounded, 20 killed and 17 officers killed.'

The letter recently surfaced on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow in England when it was valued by Elsie's nephew Colin McDermid.

He has now allowed the letter to be digitsed by Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive which will use the letter in an exhibition running from January to June 2016.

The letter will also be available to view online.