Monday, 25 April 2016
The Easter Rising was launched in Dublin on April 24, 1916 beginning a process that would eventually lead to the war of independence, the civil war and ultimately the freedom of the Irish republic ( though minus the six counties.)
The suppression of the rising was immediate with martial law being declared on this day May 25 1916. Under supreme Commander in Dublin Major General John Maxwell , the British forces had authority to punish the risings participants. They were determined to suppress and crush the new wave of Irish militant nationalism, arresting and rounding up many in the aftermath, along with leaders as well as suspected supporters in a nationwide sweep, aided by police.
More than 3,430 men and 79 women were arrested - over twice the number of who actually took part in the actual rising. As far as Maxwell was concerned the ringleaders of the rebellion and their supporters were guilty of treason in a time of war ( The First World War, was taking place at the time) and should receive the ultimate penalty - death. With the subsequent execution of 15 of the leaders it would sow a wave of resentment, prompted by the general feeling that unnecessary severity been deployed proving a catalyst in changing public opinion from a desire for Home rule for a demand for the Irish Republic.
Internment camps such as Frongoch in North Wales became known as the University of Revolution.
By the summer of 1916 the rebel leaders were viewed as heroes, and by January 1919 when a more concerted war for Independence broke out the huge impact of the Easter Rising would be seen.
Sadly the vision of these brave men and women who had risen has not been fully realised with fostering divisions, Britain's continuing claim to sovereignty over six counties in the north east of Ireland means that the dream is still not complete, a conundrum than many still find troubling to this day.
The birth of the Irish Republic - Walter Paget