21 April 2014

Posts from other blogs: Irish History - The 1916 Easter Rising (Learn English in Dublin)

In the Republic of Ireland today is a day of remembrance for the men and women who died in the Easter Rising which began on Easter Monday 1916. Until 1966, there was a parade of veterans, past the headquarters of the Irish Republication Army at the General Post Office (GPO) on O'Connell Street, and a reading of theProclamation of the Irish Republic. (Wikipedia)
To view this post on the blog “Learn English in Dublin”, go to:  http://www.blog.learnenglishindublin.com/irish-history-the-1916-easter-rising/

Easter is an important Christian holiday around the world but for Irish people it is also the commemoration of another important event: The 1916 Easter Rising which began the Irish war of Independence.
If you study in Learn English in Dublin, you are very close to the very centre of where the Rising took place. In fact, the bullet holes can still be seen on the pillars of the GPO in O’Connell Street and walking down pas Parnell Square to the GPO, you can see the laneway where the rebels gave themselves up.

Here’s a little more about the Rising:

The 1916 Easter Rising

The Easter Rebellion, was an armed uprising of Irish nationalists against the rule of Great Britain in Ireland. The uprising occurred on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, and centred mainly in Dublin. The chief objectives were the attainment of political freedom and the establishment of an Irish republic. Centuries of discontent, marked by numerous rebellions, preceded the uprising. The new crisis began to develop in September 1914, following the outbreak of World War I, when the British government suspended the recently enacted Home Rule Bill, which guaranteed a measure of political autonomy to Ireland. Suspension of the bill stimulated the growth of the Citizen Army, an illegal force of Dublin citizens organised by the labour leader Jim Larkin (died 1948) and the socialist James Connolly (1870-1916); of the Irish Volunteers, a national defence body; and of Sinn Fein. The uprising was planned by leaders of these organisations, among whom were the British consular agent Sir Roger David Casement, the educator Padhraic Pearse (1879-1916), and the poet Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916).
Hostilities began about noon on April 24, when about 2000 men led by Pearse seized control of the Dublin post office and other strategic points within the city. Shortly after these initial successes, the leaders of the rebellion proclaimed the Independence of Ireland and announced the establishment of a provisional government of the Irish Republic. Additional positions were occupied by the rebels during the night, and by the morning of April 25 they controlled a considerable part of Dublin. The counteroffensive by British forces began on Tuesday with the arrival of reinforcements. Martial law was proclaimed throughout Ireland. Bitter street fighting developed in Dublin, during which the strengthened British forces steadily dislodged the Irish from their positions. By the morning of April 29, the post office building, site of the rebel headquarters, was under violent attack. Recognising the futility of further resistance, Pearse surrendered unconditionally in the afternoon of April 29.
The British immediately brought the leaders of the uprising to trial before a field court-martial. Fifteen of the group, including Pearse, Connolly, and MacDonagh, were sentenced to death and executed by firing squad. Four others, including the American-born Eamonn de Valera received death sentences that were later commuted to life imprisonment, although de Valera and some others were granted amnesty the next year. Casement was convicted of treason and hanged. Many others prominently connected with the rebellion were sentenced to long prison terms. Casualties were about 440 British troops and an estimated 75 Irish. Property damage included the destruction of about 200 buildings in Dublin.
The uprising was the first of a series of events that culminated in the establishment of the Irish Free State (predecessor of the Republic of Ireland) in 1921. After the executions and imprisonments, the Irish independence movement grew and finally, in 1921, a Treaty was signed which was the basis for Irish Independence. However, it was a very controversial treaty and started the Irish Civil War which caused the death of many famous Irish leaders including Micheal Collins who was the most famous persona of the War of Independence and a signatory of the Treaty.

Why not ask an Irish person about the Rising?

Irish people know a lot about the Rising and many had grand-parents and great grand-parents who fought in the different locations around Dublin…..so why not ask them a little bit about that important part of history this Easter?
Happy Easter!

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