A WEB TOUR OF THE AREAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE EASTER RISING 1916
(Adapted with kind permission of the author Michele O'Brien from "the Dublin 1916 Rising - Rama Tour")
"ERRANT GIGANTES IN DIEBUS ILLIS"
Kilmainham GaolKilmainham Gaol has played an important part in Irish history over many centuries.
Arbour Hill CemeteryThe military cemetery at Arbour Hill is the last resting place of 14 of the executed leaders of the insurrection of 1916.
Dublins Four CourtsThe Four Courts was reconstructed in 1932 according to Gandon’s original plans. The hall under the dome is open to the public.
The Garden of RemembranceThe Garden of Remembrance was designed by Daithi Hanly and opened during a week-long memorial celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
O'Connell StreetThis photomechanical print, also known as a photocrom, is a reproduction of an actual photo. It was taken on the Southside of O’Connell Bridge sometime between 1890 and 1900.
Flags over the GPOIt was an Irish Argentinian who hoisted the Green Flag of the Republic over Dublin’s General Post Office during the 1916 Easter rising.
Liberty HallThe current Liberty Hall built in 1965 houses trade union offices and an events space. In 1916, a completely different structure stood here that was instrumental in the Easter Rising.
The Helga GunboatFrom Wednesday of Easter week, Liberty Hall, the GPO and other buildings in Sackville Street came under artillery and incendiary ﬁre, mostly from the gunboat Helga at anchor in the Liﬀey.
College GreenThis first photomechanical print shows College Green with Trinity College in the background sometime between 1890 and 1900. Australians soldiers were stationed on Trinity College' roof in 1916
Leinster HouseLeinster House is the home of the National Parliament of Ireland. An original copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic hangs in the entrance hall.
St. Stephens GreenThis photomechanical print was taken between 1890 and 1900 of St. Stephen’s Green most likely from an upper floor of the Shelbourne Hotel.
The Shelbourne HotelThe view in this photomechanical print is taken between 1890 and 1900 and shows a young St. Stephen’s Green. Note the British flag flying atop the Shelbourne.
Mount Street BridgeAt 11.00 a.m that morning Lieutenant Michael Malone led a small number of Volunteers from “C” company, 3rd battalion, towards Mount Street Bridge. Their orders; to prevent British reinforcements from entering Dublin.
Ashbourne 1916The Activities of The 5th Battalion of National Volunteers in Ashbourne, Co. Meath, and the surrounding areas, between Monday 24th April and Sunday 30th April, 1916.
Enniscorthy 1916County Wexford is famous in Irish nationalist folklore as the site of the 1798 rebellion. What is less well-known is the role of the county in the Easter Rising of 1916, when the town of Enniscorthy was taken over for a week by the local units of the Irish Volunteers.
Éamonn Ceannt: Born in Galway in 1881, prior to the Rising Ceannt was an employee of the Dublin Corporation. He was a co-founder of the Irish Volunteers, partaking in the successful Howth gun-running operation of 1914. His involvement in republican activities was complemented by his interest in Irish culture, specifically Irish language and history, although he was also an accomplished uileann piper.As the commander of the Fourth Battalion of Irish Volunteers during the Rising, he took possession of the South Dublin Union, precursor to the modern-day St. James’s Hospital. He was executed on 8 May 1916.
Thomas James Clarke: Born on the Isle of Wight in 1857, Clarke’s father was a soldier in the British army. During his time in America as a young man, he joined Clann na nGael, later enduring fifteen years of penal servitude for his role in a bombing campaign in London, 1883-1898. In 1907, having returned from a second sojourn in America, his links with Clan na nGael in America copper-fastened his importance to the revolutionary movement in Ireland. He held the post of Treasurer to the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and was a member of the Supreme Council from 1915. The first signatory of the Proclamation of Independence through deference to his seniority, Clarke was with the group that occupied the G. P. O. He was executed on 3 May 1916.
James Connolly: Born in Edinburgh in 1868, Connolly was first introduced to Ireland as a member of the British Army. Despite returning to Scotland, the strong Irish presence in Edinburgh stimulated Connolly’s growing interest in Irish politics in the mid 1890s, leading to his emigration to Dublin in 1896 where he founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party. He spent much of the first decade of the twentieth century in America, he returned to Ireland to campaign for worker’s rights with James Larkin. A firm believer in the perils of sectarian division, Connolly campaigned tirelessly against religious bigotry. In 1913, Connolly was one of the founders of the Irish Citizen Army. During the Easter Rising he was appointed Commandant-General of the Dublin forces, leading the group that occupied the General Post Office. Unable to stand to during his execution due to wounds received during the Rising, Connolly was executed while sitting down on 12 May 1916. He was the last of the leaders to be executed.
Seán MacDiarmada: Born in 1884 in Leitrim, MacDiarmada emigrated to Glasgow in 1900, and from there to Belfast in 1902. A member of the Gaelic League, he was acquainted with Bulmer Hobson. He joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1906 while still in Belfast, later transferring to Dublin in 1908 where he assumed managerial responsibility for the I. R. B. newspaper Irish Freedom in 1910. Although MacDiarmada was afflicted with polio in 1912, he was appointed as a member of the provisional committee of Irish Volunteers from 1913, and was subsequently drafted onto the military committee of the I. R. B. in 1915. During the Rising MacDiarmada served in the G. P. O. He was executed on 12 May 1916.
Thomas MacDonagh: A native of Tipperary, born in 1878, MacDonagh spent the early part of his career as a teacher. He moved to Dublin to study, and was the first teacher on the staff at St. Enda’s, the school he helped to found with Patrick Pearse. MacDonagh was well versed in literature, his enthusiasm and erudition earning him a position in the English department at University College Dublin. His play When the Dawn is Come was produced at the Abbey theatre. He was appointed director of training for the Irish Volunteers in 1914, later joining the I. R. B. MacDonagh was appointed to the I. R. B. military committee in 1916. He was commander of the Second Battalion of Volunteers that occupied Jacob’s biscuit factory and surrounding houses during the Rising. He was executed on 3 May 1916.
Patrick Pearse: Pearse was born in Dublin in 1879, becoming interested in Irish cultural matters in his teenage years. In 1898 Pearse became a member of the Executive Commmittee of the Gaelic League. He graduated from the Royal University in 1901 with a degree in Arts and Law. Pearse’s literary output was constant, and he published extensively in both Irish and English, becoming the editor of An Claidheamh Soluis, the newspaper of the Gaelic League. He was a keen believer in the value of education, and established two schools, Coláiste Éanna and Coláiste Íde, devoted to the education of Irish children through the Irish language. One of the founder members of the Irish Volunteers, and the author of the Proclamation of Independence, Pearse was present in the G. P. O. during the Rising, and was Commander in Chief of the Irish forces. He was executed on 3 May 1916.
Joseph Mary Plunkett: Born 1887 in Dublin, son of a papal count, Plunkett was initially educated in England, though he returned to Ireland and graduated from U. C. D. in 1909. After his graduation Plunkett spent two years travelling due to ill health, returning to Dublin in 1911. Plunkett shared MacDonagh’s enthusiasm for literature and was an editor of the Irish Review. Along with MacDonagh and Edward Martyn, he helped to establish an Irish national theatre. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913, subsequently gaining membership of the I. R. B. in 1914. Plunkett travelled to Germany to meet Roger Casement in 1915. During the planning of the Rising, Plunkett was appointed Director of Military Operations, with overall responsibility for military strategy. Plunkett was one of those who were stationed in the G. P. O. during the Rising. He married Grace Gifford while in Kilmainham Gaol following the surrender and was executed on 4 May 1916.
OTHER EXECUTED LEADERS
Roger Casement: Born in 1864 in Dublin, Casement was knighted for his services to the British consulate. He campaigned tirelessly to expose the cruelty inflicted on native workers in the Belgian Congo in 1904, and again in Brazil from 1911-1912, causing an international sensation with his reportage. Casement had become a member of the Gaelic League in 1904, beginning at that time to write nationalist articles under the pseudonym ‘Seán Bhean Bhocht’. He retired from the British consular service in 1913, after which he joined the Irish Volunteers. Casement was despatched to Germany on account of his experience to raise an Irish Brigade from Irish prisoners of war. He was captured in Kerry in 1916 on Good Friday having returned to Ireland in a German U-Boat. Casement was imprisoned in Pentonville Gaol in London, where he was tried on charges of High Treason. He was hanged on 3 August 1916, the only leader of the Rising to be executed outside of Ireland.
Con Colbert: Born in 1888, Colbert was a native of Limerick. Prior to the Easter Rising he had been an active member of the republican movement, joining both Fianna Éireann and the Irish Volunteers. A dedicated pioneer, Colbert was known not to drink or smoke. As the captain of F Company of the Fourth Battalion, Colbert was in command at the Marrowbone Lane distillery when it was surrendered on Sunday, 30 April 1916. His execution took place on 8 May 1916.
Edward Daly: Born in Limerick in 1891, Daly’s family had a history of republican activity; his uncle John Daly had taken part in the rebellion of 1867. Edward Daly led the First Battalion during the Rising, which raided the Bridewell and Linenhall Barracks, eventually seizing control of the Four Courts. A close friend of Tom Clarke, their ties were made even stronger by the marriage of Clarke to Daly’s sister. Daly was executed on 4 May 1916.
Seán Heuston: Born in 1891, he was responsible for the organisation of Fianna Éireann in Limerick. Along with Con Colbert, Heuston was involved in the education of the schoolboys at Scoil Éanna, organising drill and musketry exercises. A section of the First Battalion of the Volunteers, under the leadership of Heuston, occupied the Mendicity Institute on south of the Liffey, holding out there for two days. He was executed on 8 May 1916. Heuston Railway station in Dublin is named after him.
Thomas Kent: Born in 1865, Kent was arrested at his home in Castlelyons, Co. Cork following a raid by the Royal Irish Constabulary on 22 April 1916, during which his brother Richard was fatally wounded. It had been his intention to travel to Dublin to participate in the Rising, but when the mobilisation order for the Irish Volunteers was cancelled on Easter Sunday he assumed that the Rising had been postponed, leading him to stay at home. He was executed at Cork Detention Barracks on 9 May 1916 following a court martial. In 1966 the railway station in Cork was renamed Kent Station in his honour.
John MacBride: Born in Mayo in 1865. Although he initially trained as a doctor, MacBride abandoned that profession in favour of work with a chemist. He travelled to America in 1896 to further the aims of the I. R. B., thereafter travelling to South Africa where he raised the Irish Transvaal Brigade during the Second Boer War. MacBride married the Irish nationalist Maude Gonne in 1903. He was not a member of the Irish Volunteers, but upon the beginning of the Rising he offered his services to Thomas MacDonagh, and was at Jacob’s biscuit factory when that post was surrendered on Sunday, 30 April 1916. He was executed on 5 May 1916.
Michael Mallin: A silk weaver by trade, Mallin was born in Dublin in 1874. Along with Countess Markievicz, he commanded a small contingent of the Irish Citizen Army, of which he was Chief of Staff, taking possession of St. Stephen’s Green and the Royal College of Surgeons. He was executed on 8 May 1916.
Michael O’Hanrahan: Born in Wexford in 1877. As a young man, O’Hanrahan showed great promise as a writer, becoming heavily involved in the promotion of the Irish language. He founded the first Carlow branch of the Gaelic League, and published two novels, A Swordsman of the Brigade and When the Norman Came. Like many of the other executed leaders, he joined the Irish Volunteers from their inception, and was second in command to Thomas MacDonagh at Jacob’s biscuit factory during the Rising, although this position was largely usurped by the arrival of John MacBride. His execution took place on 4 May 1916.
William Pearse: Born in 1881 in Dublin. The younger brother of Patrick, William shared his brother’s passion for an independent Ireland. He assisted Patrick in running St. Enda’s. The two brothers were extremely close, and fought alongside each other in the G. P. O. William was executed on 4 May 1916. Pearse railway station on Westland Row in Dublin was re-named in honour of the two brothers in 1966.
Visit the vibrant city of Dublin today and it is hard to see evidence of its turbulent history with the British government. Dublin’s architecture and street layouts bear the positive influence of the British Empire, but Dublin would probably not be such a thriving capitol city if not for its pursuit of independence. Ireland has a long history of fighting to free itself from the grips of the British. It started all the way back in the 12th century with Henry II, King of England.
By the 14th century, the Gaelic culture was suppressed. The 15th and 16th centuries saw tremendous religious persecution and de-ownership of land by those who rebelled against the British. The Great Famine (1845 – 1849) however is often cited as what eventually provoked the Irish to take such a drastic stance against the British in 1916.
For various reasons, Britain turned a blind eye to the famine, withholding food and assistance. It is estimated that one million people died of disease or starvation as a direct result of the famine.
A further one million emigrated, many seeking refuge on American shores. With the loss of nearly 25% of Ireland’s population in less than a decade, the Irish language, culture and identity were threatened.
The 6-day battle which started on Easter Monday April 24, 1916 is often credited with being the turning point in the fight for Irish independence. While not a success story in the traditional sense, The Rising helped to ignite a passion for freedom amongst the masses.
Public support grew during the War of Independence (1919 – 1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922–1923). This historic tour focuses on significant moments in Ireland’s political history, most notably landmarks and events relevant to the week of the Easter Rising, just one chapter in this long story.