In the early morning hours of April 24, 1916—the Monday after Easter—a coordinated volunteer army marched into and seized various centers of British power in Dublin. They easily took the General Post Office and there set up their headquarters. Irish Republic flags were raised and Patrick Pearse stood outside the front door of the GPO and loudly read the Irish Proclamation to all gathered.
“IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom…”
Other political and strategic positions around the city—including a cookie bakery—were taken with relatively little resistance and few casualties by either side. The British, caught off guard by the attack but having the advantage of arms and numbers, recovered quickly and suppressed the Rising within a week. The leaders of the rebellion were arrested, court-martialed, and most were executed.
After the Rising, unrest slowly grew as the Irish people saw the brutal response to the rebellion, and the Republican movement continued to swell, culminating finally in the War of Independence and the eventual establishment of an independent Republic of Ireland.
Today, the Rising is somberly celebrated each year in front of the General Post Office. In 1966, for the fiftieth anniversary, the Garden of Remembrance was tastefully dedicated, but the IRA had other celebrations in mind, and committed acts of violence and destruction. For several years, nervous politicians have wondered how they can best celebrate the centennial of the Rising in 2016 peacefully and sensitively.
A number of commemorative events to celebrate the centenary of the Rising will take place at various important locations around the city throughout the spring. After the official Rising celebrations, many of Dublin’s museums and public places will keep special 1916-themed exhibits on display for the rest of the year. See more about the celebrations at www.ireland.ie.
Dublin in Detail: The Easter Rising is an excerpt from The Frugal Guide: Dublin, a totally free eBook guide to the great Irish capital by Cory Hanson. Find out more about the book, and download your free copy in your choice of multiple formats, on the Frugal Guide page here on Five Suitcases.