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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Easter Rising of 1916

For much of its' history, Ireland was not an independent State with it's own governing body. England held dominion over Ireland from the late 12th century until the middle 20th century with the Irish people having the status of a subject class in their own country.

Over the centuries there were unsuccessful rebellions that served only to strengthen England's hold over Ireland. Following the Rebellion of 1798, the Act of Union was passed in 1800 which ended the Irish Parliament in Dublin. Ireland was formally merged with England as part of the United Kingdom. Following this, groups of Irish nationalists formed to oppose British rule. Moderate nationalists advocated home rule, under which Ireland would remain part of the United Kingdom but also have some form of self-government. A minority group of nationalists wanted an independent Republic, free of British rule.

Several home rule bills were defeated in Parliament in the late 1800s before one finally passed in 1914. However, implementation of home rule was suspended due to the outbreak of World War I. This failure to enact combined with Britain's involvement in WWI opened the door for the planning of the Easter Rising in 1916.

The Rising was organized by seven members of the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. It integrated Cumann na mBan, along with the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army, into the ‘Army of the Irish Republic’. Patrick Pearse was appointed overall Commandant-General and James Connolly as Commandant-General of the Dublin Division.

At noon on Easter Monday 1916,  Dubliners saw columns of Irish Volunteers and ICA members marching through their city. Carrying antiquated guns or even pikes and pickaxes. Wearing colorful and flamboyant uniforms - or civilian clothes. And a number of the motley crew assembled in front of Dublin's General Post Office, listening to Patrick Pearse proclaim the "Irish Republic" by the reading of the Proclamation and declaring the existence of a Provisional Government of the Irish Republic.  A new flag of the Irish Republic was then hoisted.

The GPO was elevated to headquarters, manned under the leadership of Pearse, Connolly, the terminally ill Joseph Plunkett, the doubting The O'Rahilly, Tom Clark, Sean MacDermott and an virtually unknown but enthusiastic ADC named Michael Collins.

Other parts of the city were occupied by separate rebel detachments - Boland's Mill was claimed by Eamon de Valera for the Irish Republic, Michael Mallin and Countess Markiewicz occupied the park in St. Stephen's Green, Eamonn Ceant housing estates in South-Western Dublin, Eamonn Daley the Four Courts.

After 6 days of fighting, the Rising was suppressed, it's leaders arrested, court-martialed and executed. At the end of the fighting the death toll was as follows: 64 insurgents, 132 soldiers and police and 220 civilians. And about 1,000 people were wounded.

It seemed as if the rebellion had been a failure. On the surface it was. But more critically it changed the minds of the majority of Irish nationalists. No longer would they settle for Home Rule, they now wanted a free Republic of Ireland and this changed the course of history. Furthermore, there was no more room for apathy in Ireland.

With the courage and the sacrifice of those who continued to fight for her freedom, Ireland become a Free State in 1922 and obtained it's full sovereignty in 1949 as the Republic of Ireland.



I will be in later this afternoon as I am going to have Easter with The Hubby's family. Everyone have a good Easter Sunday.

33 comments:

  1. Well said Anne and Happy Easter!

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  2. Happy Easter Anne, Have a good day however and with whom ever you choose to celebrate it.

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  3. You need to read Desmond Ryan book The Rising. The chap who wrote it was Peasre's secretary and fought at GPO building. Great account.

    Happy Easter

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    1. I may have read that when I was young. I looked at it on Amazon and it seemed very, very familiar. My gran gave it to me when I was about 11 years old saying "here, read it" and I did. I came away both sad and angry all at the same time.

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  4. Happy Easter Anne to you and your family
    Greetings

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  5. And the Angelus Bell o'er the Liffey swell, rang out in th foggy dew.

    Happy Easter.

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  6. Happy Easter to you and the family!

    Cheers
    Simon

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  7. Who says one man or one small act can't make a difference? Happy Easter!

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  8. Francis had written a little about this but you went in to much more detail. I'm English by blood (as far as I know) but I like hearing about people who take matters in to their own hands like this. It's a shame the original rebellions seemed to fail, but in the end they were necessary and could be considered a success.

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  9. Happy Easter and great history too, but with my mind it will be history in a day or two, damn cat.

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  10. In the same way Joan of Arc failed -she was taken prisoner and burnt at the stake. But she had triggered the resurrection of France.

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    1. Often it is the sacrifice of the few that benefit the lives of the many.

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  11. Happy Easter to you and most of that I never knew, what one can do to truly change the tide at their zoo.

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    1. I don't know anything about Canadian history. One day I'll have to learn at least a little something.

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  12. Happy Easter, Anne! The history of Ireland is so fascinating.

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    1. This was severely abbreviated I'm afraid, but the whole story takes a book.

      Have a Happy Easter Monty!

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  13. Happy Easter to all the Irish people who suffered so much throughout history and were kept prisoners in their own home! So similar to Serbs under centuries long Turkish occupation.

    Hope the Easter at the inlaws wasn't bad, Annzie. Did Spawn behave? :P Hope you left some ham for Fang while you were at dinner.

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    1. It seems like everyone wanted our little bit o' land.

      I forgot to bring Fang home some ham! Oh no, don't tell her!

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    2. Fang? What a fantastic name. I love it.

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  14. nice...happy easter anne....interesting bit of history...and a turning point for your country for sure....enjoyable easter here...at home...finished my grad school work at 4...so play time now...

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  16. Happy Easter Anne and keep up the good fight...And your chin!

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  17. I would love for something like this to happen over here.. I think the later we try, the harder it becomes. People are so overwhelmed with fear, we'd rather latch on to security. At least here. It saddens me. I hope you enjoyed Easter!

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  18. A great bit of history about something that, I'll be honest, I didn't know anything about. Hope you had a great Easter!

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