Joseph Mary Plunkett was born in 1887 in Dublin. He was the son of a papal count and was educated in England and Ireland. He had poor health but despite this he helped to establish an Irish national theatre. Joseph Plunkett joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913, and later became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He travelled to Germany to meet Roger Casement in 1915. During the planning of the Rising, Plunkett was appointed Director of Military Operations, with overall responsibility for military strategy. Plunkett was one of the rebels who were stationed in the G. P. O. during the 1916 Rising. He married Grace Gifford while in Kilmainham Gaol and was executed on the 4th of May 1916.