On May 7th 1916 a pregnant Agnes Mallin took her four children, Séamus (12), Séan (9) Úna (7) and Joseph (2) to say a last goodbye to their father Michael in his cell in Kilmainham Jail. We can only imagine what was going through her mind, she had always supported Michael in his socialism, trade unionism and republicanism but was now faced with destitution. A passing priest who heard loud sobbing coming from the cell went in to try and comfort them, he said afterwards that even the guard was in tears. Michael was happy to give his life for Ireland but distraught at the thought of leaving his family destitute; a working class widow with five children under 13, how would they survive. Michael was executed in the yard of Kilmainham jail the next morning - Monday 8 May.
Three months later Michael and Agnes' youngest child Maura was born. Fundraising assisted the family but Agnes was forced to return to work to support her family, she worked first as a night nurse and later as a schools attendance officer. The four eldest children went to boarding school and Maura was educated at home.
Work undermined Agnes’ health and in 1924 she was hospitalised for a year after an operation for TB of the spine (a bone from her leg was placed in her spine). Five years later the TB returned and when it became clear that she was dying she was cared for at home by her family. Her youngest daughter Maura was just 14 years old when Agnes died.
After Agnes’ death Maura went to boarding school in Bray. Maura spent some years in Spain and on her return to Ireland she spent several years working as a teacher with the Dublin Spanish Society. She married Robert Phillips and they had 2 children, David and Michael. Úna Mallin became a nun joining the Loreto order and spending her life in Spain. Sean became a Jesuit priest and spent his life teaching in Galway. Joseph also became a Jesuit priest and spent most of his life in Hong Kong where he died in 2018 at the age of 104. Seamus the eldest fought in the Civil War on the republican side after which he went to Venezuela returning to Ireland in 1932. He married Sophia Stockley and they had five children Michéal, Una, (O Callanáin) Séan, Germaine and Annette. Descendants of Agnes and Michael Mallin still live in Dublin.