Son of a RIC officer, Ceannt was born in the police barracks at Ballymoe, Co Galway. He was in command of the 4th Battalion of Irish Volunteers at the South Dublin Union in 1916, which is now the site of St James’s Hospital.
Ceannt was a founder member of the Irish Volunteers and a signatory of the Proclamation of Independence.
He attended the O’Connell Schools on North Richmond Street run by the Christian Brothers, and University College Dublin. Ceannt joined the Gaelic League in 1900 where he met Patrick Pearse and Eoin MacNeill, adopted the Irish form of his name, and founded the Dublin Pipers’ Club.
A fluent Irish speaker, he worked as an accountant with a reported salary of £300 a year in the City Treasurer’s Office, Dublin Corporation. Ceannt joined Sinn Fein in 1907 and was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1912.
On the foundation of the Irish Volunteers in November 1913, he was elected to the provisional committee, becoming involved in fundraising for arms.
Eamonn Ceannt Rising leader Eamonn Ceannt pictured with his wife, front (Image courtesy of Kilmainham Gaol)
Married to Áine O’Brennan, they had a son Rónán. Ceannt’s brother William, was a sergeant-major in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (British army) stationed in Fermoy, Co Cork.
Áine Ceannt later founded the White Cross to help families impoverished by war.
It is said that during the fighting in the South Dublin Union Éamonn Ceannt remained calm and brave at a position his men held until learning of the surrender on Sunday.
He faced the firing-squad at Kilmainham Gaol on May 8, 1916.
Galway City’s Ceannt Station in his native Galway, as well as Éamonn Ceannt Park in Dublin and Éamonn Ceannt Tower in Ballymun were named after him.