08 May 2016
May 8, 2016
- The seven men who planned the Rising were Thomas Clarke, Sean McDermott, Patrick Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, Joseph Plunkett, James Connolly, and Thomas MacDonagh. All were executed in the two weeks following surrender.
- One of the leaders, Joseph Plunkett, married Grace Gifford in Kilmainham Gaol just eight hours before his death. She wore her widow’s mourning clothes for the rest of her life.
- Another leader, James Connolly, was badly injured early in the fighting. He ended up being carried to his execution on a stretcher, and being placed in a chair in front of the firing squad.
- Eamon de Valera, who participated in the Rising and later served as Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and President, was born in New York and was therefore an American citizen. This was partly the reason why he was spared from execution.
- The Proclamation of the Irish Republic, that was read by the rebels, was the only political document of its time that addressed women equally. It began with the words ‘Irishmen and Irishwomen…’
- The Proclamation also called for the support of Irish people abroad, especially the ‘Exiled children in America’.
- The Easter Rising in Dublin made front page news with The New York Times for eight successive days.
- The Rising was originally planned for Good Friday, but was first postponed to Easter Sunday.
- It was then postponed for another day when a shipment of guns being smuggled from Germany was intercepted by the British at Banna Strand in County Kerry.
- The Rising began with rebels taking over a number of buildings around Dublin with little resistance. These had been selected on account of their strategic locations, and included the General Post Office (the rebel headquarters), the Four Courts, Jacob’s Factory, Boland’s Mill, the South Dublin Union, St. Stephen’s Green, and the College of Surgeons.
- As the Rising began, the rebels in Dublin numbered some 1,200 but there were only 400 British troops in the city.
- Over the coming week, the British shipped in a further 16,000 troops, with many of them being recalled from fighting in World War I. They also sent in gunboats and heavy artillery.
- The rebels were now severely outnumbered, and the order to surrender was given by Padraig Pearse on April 30.
- That order read: ‘In order to prevent the further slaughter of Dublin citizens, and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, the members of the Provisional Government present at headquarters have agreed to an unconditional surrender, and the commandants of the various districts in the City and County will order their commands to lay down arms.’
- Some 440 people had died in the fighting by that stage: 64 rebels, 132 British troops, and an estimated 254 civilians. Approximately 2,000 others had been injured.
- The Rising at first did not have popular support, and the leaders were spat at by citizens of Dublin as they were arrested. It was only following their executions that public opinion began to turn.
- Some 3,000 others who were arrested following the Rising were granted amnesty by the British the following year.
- The Republican movement began to gather significant momentum. Ireland’s first Dail (Parliament) was established in 1919, and the breakaway from London rule gathered pace.
- In 1932, Eamon de Valera was elected Taoiseach for the first time. It was a position he would hold for a total of 21 years, over three terms.
- In 1941, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Rising, he commissioned some 2,500 medals to be presented to all who had seen Active Service during the Rising, or to their descendants. It is upon those medals that the design of our Framed 1916 Active Service Medals and 1916 Active Service Medals Presentation Boxes is based.
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