William James Stapleton - Commentary
William Stapleton joined the Volunteers in 1915, at the age of 17, and was ordered to the Jacob’s garrison in the Rising. He subsequently became a member of Michael Collins’s “Squad”, and carried out many executions during the War of Independence, which are detailed later in his statement. He was also involved in the burning of the Custom House. His account is striking for its dispassionate descriptions of the most chilling activities.
He is very vocal on the “separation women”, whose husbands and sons were in the British Army, and who gathered in force outside Jacob’s to hurl insults at the occupants and anyone attempting to join them. On Tuesday of Easter week, Stapleton was involved in the bicycle patrol which was sent out to draw the fire of British troops firing on Boland’s Mills. On their return, one of the patrol was shot as they turned into York St, and subsequently died of his injuries.