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    1916, what does it mean?

    The contrast between now and 1991 is stark. I suppose I entered that effort with a degree of naivety, but I soon had death threats and Special Branch surveillance. I was walking up Parnell Square for lunch one day, and an unmarked squad car suddenly braked beside me, out jumped two plain-clothes officers who pushed me against the railing. They asked me for ID, then jumped in the car and drove off. An amused crowd had gathered to see who this dangerous criminal was. We also had a Leaving Cert student at the committee meetings, an enthusiastic chap who always did everything with a smile on his face, the kind you need to get these kind of things moving. And then he disappeared. It turned out the Special Branch had gone to his school and told the headmaster that he was a member of the IRA. He had told the pupil's parents and threatened him with expulsion. It was horrendous.
    I suppose the difference is that people might believe me now that we were then interested in a historical and cultural event. On one level, then, I'm pleased with today's discussion and debate, because back then we were interested only in raising the issue and I'm delighted that has finally happened. And there are new facts and new material, which show it as a complicated event. The black-and-white approach did no service to historical studies.
    I'm less impressed with the military ceremony. We called ours Reclaim the Spirit of Easter 1916, and we were interested in why they did what they did, their aims and objectives, but we were accused of giving aid and comfort to the IRA. It was a very poor level of debate. So it's ironic that we were slammed for supposedly being militaristic, yet now the Government is resorting to militarism. But this weekend's event, given all that is happening in the world, is inappropriate and hypocritical. It should be more creative.
    I wasn't asked to be involved in this year's events, but I was actually relieved at that. I'm always happier when I'm on the outside.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/1916-...-you-1.1039021
    Lorcan Collins
    1916 Rebellion Walking Tour of Dublin guide
    What I've seen this year is an increase in the number of Irish taking the tour. We've been running this year's tours only since March, and already the phones have been hopping with mothers trying to push their teenage sons over our way, because they're suddenly interested in it. The older generation feel they can now talk about 1916. I was never embarrassed about it myself, but I guess others were.
    In 1996, when we started doing the tours, I would go into hotels and they kind of looked at you like you had two heads. They'd ask me "What are you talking about that for, all that violence?". It's a part of our history that has been neglected. Walk around Dublin and there's none of those brown tourist plaques telling you that this is where Pearse lived, or where Connolly lived, and that kind of thing. Yet, there are loads for the likes of George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde. There was this silly idea that it would offend the English. But we get loads of English on the tours and they're fascinated by it all. They get a bit of a slagging, but they love it. They'd think it was weird if there was no slagging.
    I don't know why there has to be a separated seating area for the parade, and that the numbers have been limited to only 900. I don't see why everyone can't just muck in together. I don't think that the men and women of 1916 would have liked to see a dividing line between those in the inner circles and the common man.
    Ray D'Arcy
    Today FM presenter
    It doesn't mean that much to me, to be honest. I never really got into history. I'm a bit of a philistine in that respect. The only time I did was when I was a supervisor on a Fás project that had to index a parish register in Kildare, and that gave me the idea that it is better to teach history from particulars and then move on to the general. They should start teaching it locally, so that if we had been taught about our locality's part in 1916, and the global stuff afterwards, then I might have made more sense of it as a teenager.
    It's something I regret, and sometimes I feel guilty for not listening more intently. In fact, I'm more confused after this anniversary than I was before. I used to see it as very black and white, that they were heroes out to save Ireland, rising up against the British. But listening to all the debate I've come to see it as greyer than that.
    I wouldn't want to speak for my listeners. Just because I didn't like history doesn't mean that they don't. But I do get the sense that it's a vocal minority making a big hoohah rather than the average person in the pub. And if I was being cynical I might say that it's about Fianna Fáil running scared and trying to get the Easter Rising back from Sinn Féin. When did anyone ever celebrate the 90th anniversary of anything? But I listened to Bertie give his recent speech, and there's no doubt that he feels strongly about 1916, that he's lived with it and read about it a lot. I'm convinced by him, so maybe I'm not being fair to him.
    Mick Fealty
    of Slugger O'Toole, Best Political Blog at the Irish Blog Awards
    It has not particularly inspired me in terms of its political importance, but I come from a Northern Irish nationalist background, and in a sense the Easter Rising is a seminal point. Once you move into the North, it's much more contentious and unsatisfying nationalist myth, because what it achieved for the Republic it did not achieve for the North. Whether you take the nationalist or unionist perspective, it was an incomplete act.
    It has been a 26-county debate. What's obvious is that the people who are missing from it are some of the original Republicans - those Northern Protestants who picked up the values of the French and American republics and crystallised them. It's interesting to ask why that generation fell away from the revolutionary ideal. It seems to me that the Republic has been involved in a narrow discussion with fellow Irishmen. It has been fundamentally immature.
    I wonder how, if there are genuine intentions about establishing a 32-county polity of unity and trust with Northern Protestants, why that element is missing. No Northern Protestant that I know is in the least bit interested in the Irish republican project.
    Although, I just think that the Republic started talking about it all very late on, so it shouldn't end with the 90th anniversary, but should continue through and should try and bring in outsiders.
    There was an interesting letter to the blog The Blanket recently from a unionist, asking "What is my colour doing in your flag?" And that is fundamentally interesting territory to get into. There is a political pay-off for Republicans in that, even if they may never see that in political unification.
    Anne Haverty
    Writer
    A number of years ago I wrote a biography of Constance Markievicz and at the time the Rising and anything to do with it was seen as somewhat shameful. And that attitude was very juvenile, really. I think it's a sign of some kind of maturity that we can look back and regard the event with objectivity and even pride. Not that we have to necessarily feel proud, but certainly we should have objectivity.
    It's something that happened at a different time and shouldn't automatically be regarded negatively. For my part, I feel pride. Not everyone should, but I'm happy that we're taking it back again and owning it.
    At the time I remember being surprised by the sense of disapproval and the muted nature of the response to my book. And I remember becoming aware of the depth of feeling and even fear people had. The appetite should be there for us to be able to look at our identity, how we live, and why we are here now, because we wouldn't have reached this point without it. It's like saying it didn't exist, and I don't think that's a very good idea. It's important to keep these things as a record of another chapter in a long episode of a country. That was denied us for several decades, something which must have been very painfulfor those who were involved.
    Eddie Hobbs
    Financial consultant and TV presenter
    I would have come up through an Irish school, and in those times, in the 1960s, outside our classroom there was the famous drawing of Connolly on the stretcher in the GPO. The events in the North after that put the Rising into the background. And it was then hijacked by some political analysts, and there was a lot written by the revisionists. But these were the sort of people who would never have manned the barricades in 1916. But I'm sure I would have been there. So it means a lot to me personally.
    It was the start of the State, and it was messy, but conflict is never clean. I'm in west Cork right now, a place where 340 men of the flying columns were completely outmanned by British troops, but still succeeded. And without these people we wouldn't have what we have today. We may have made a pig's breakfast of that with the economic war, and what happened in the North may have tainted it, but I never felt anything shameful about the Easter Rising. There should be no apologies for creating the Free State, and later the Republic. My instinct is that the Easter Rising commemoration should be like Independence Day in the US. Like a party rather than a military event. Not that it should be like St Patrick's Day, but it could certainly be lightened up a bit.
    I've also been interested in doing a television project looking at the Irish military heritage abroad. People forget our involvement in several famous battles, and our heritage in the British army. We should commemorate that too. It's all part of our history, and to let the past be flavoured by current events is for the birds.
    Dan Keating
    104-year-old veteran of the War of Independence. His reminiscences are included in Maurice O'Keeffe's CD collection, Recollections of 1916 and its Aftermath
    I was 13 and a half at the time of the Rising, and I remember, when it was all over and Connolly was executed in a chair, there was revulsion in the country. I was too young for it to have much of an effect on me.
    I regard this thing in Dublin as pure nonsense. It serves nothing. We can start something like that when we have a 32-county republic. The whole thing is just the Government preparing for an election. There has been an Irish Army for more than 80 years, but they haven't regained a single inch of our national territory.
    It will cost a lot of taxpayers' money and serves no purpose. I think that the dead who died should be commemorated by people who believe that we should have a 32-county republic. Ten per cent of the population is holding on to a larger population's land, for England. Where is the democracy in that? If I was invited to the event I wouldn't go. I will attend our own commemoration in Tralee as I always do.
    Mary Frances Loughran
    Soprano with quartet Pzazz, whose current CD is Daughter of Connolly
    I'm from north Belfast, so the political aspect to Ireland's history was a big part of my life, the history of the whole island and not just of the North. I knew of the facts but also the spirit and feeling of the Rising. For me, personally, I connect more with the story of a person such as James Connolly, with the socialist aspect rather than the political.
    I did notice in the North that people were afraid to speak. It was such a shame. Yes, it had a political aspect, but because there was automatic discrimination and labelling that we all grew up with it was unfortunate that Connolly's message was lost in the face of prejudice. That saddens me.
    I'm 21, and when I was studying for my A-level history, it was all about results. I was cramming, and under pressure, and it's a shame that it all has to be learned that way. For young people in general, it's hard to get interested in history, and when they don't relate to it it's even harder. I don't think many of my Protestant friends are interested. It's about different traditions, although that doesn't necessarily make them wrong. Everyone is different, and we should embrace that.
    Sean Love
    Director of Amnesty International Ireland
    I have a strong family connection with the 1916 Rising. My maternal grandfather, John Reid, was a Section Commander of the Dublin Brigade of the Volunteers, B Company 2nd Battalion, stationed in the GPO. My paternal uncle, Michael Love, was a very young volunteer in F Company, 2nd Battalion, stationed in Jacob's factory. Both survived the conflict, subsequently fought in the War of Independence, and ended up on opposing sides in the Civil War.
    Meanwhile, my paternal grandfather Joseph Love, father of Michael, was serving with the Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers, at Ypres, during the battle of the Somme, and several other nightmares during the first World War.
    "From the Amnesty perspective, I think it is pointless to seek to judge the 1916 Rising by the standards that subsequently formed the international legal instruments adopted since the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    The most enlightened element of 1916 was the article in the Proclamation of Independence that states: "The [ Irish] Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally." This was visionary, very much ahead of its time. Much of what later evolved in international human rights standards mirrors this commitment, and I feel certain that the signatories of the Proclamation would be profoundly unhappy with the subsequent failure of the Irish Republic to properly deliver on this pledge. Think of children with disabilities, Traveller children, children born in Ireland whose parents are foreign nationals, children with mental health problems . . .
    It seems that, currently, all shades of political life in the Republic are jockeying to see who is the most egalitarian and most republican. A simple test would be to see who will guarantee to seek to have enshrined in Bunreacht na hÉireann the pledge to equal rights, equality of opportunity, prosperity of the whole nation, and the cherishing of all the children of the nation equally.
    Ferdia MacAnna
    Musician and author of a memoir The Rocky Years
    My father was the director and producer of a pageant, Glorium Eirí Amach na Cásca, which ran in Croke Park for Easter week in 1966. It coincided with hurricane season in Ireland, and on three of the five nights people were being blown all over the place, and the heavy artillery props were floating over Hill 16, which somewhat took away from the sheer terror the crowd was supposed to feel. I also remember that when an Irish insurrectionist had a shot, he always seemed to kill six British soldiers, and when a British soldier had a shot he always hit a civilian.
    I was 10 years old and was part of a crowd carrying letters spelling out "Republic of Éire". I was the second E in Éire, but the wind blew off the bottom half of my letter. The Republic of ÉIRF was born that night. But there were big crowds, and cheering, and for me as a 10-year-old Pádraig Pearse was like Clint Eastwood. It was James Bond stuff, except there were no women involved. But there was a bunch of heroes, fighting for independence, and we got 10 shillings each, which made it even more impressive.
    It was a bit mad, and I suppose a sign of the innocence of the times. It's a sign of our cultural health that we can look again at the truth of it. My feelings now are a mix of admiration for the ordinary volunteers and ordinary Dubliners, but I still don't think we've worked it out yet.
    No great novels came from the Rising, and no great movies have been made about it, so I think there's something missing from it. We haven't quite nailed it. A great work might do that.
    Dan O'Brien
    Senior Europe editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit
    For almost a century Ireland has been among the most successful of states. It is the fifth-oldest continuously functioning democracy in Europe. Few countries globally have enjoyed our social calm. Civil, political and economic liberties have been more successfully protected in only a handful of countries worldwide.
    My pride in being Irish flows from these civilian achievements, which have been pursued patiently over decades, not from a brief moment of militarism 90 years ago.
    It is for this reason that I feel more than a little uncomfortable about giving prominence to 1916 ahead of other landmark moments in the State's history. By making the Rising the defining moment of our statehood we are in danger of elevating revolutionary values above the unheroic democratic virtues - restraint, compromise and tolerance - which have made Ireland the successful political entity that it is.
    Other European countries celebrate their statehood with independence days, constitution days and republic days. We have all of these [ reasons to celebrate]. None would cause division and any one would serve to generate cohesion - the real purpose of such commemorations.
    The lesson of France is a reminder of how the 1916 commemoration could go wrong. It is the only country in Europe to mark explicitly its revolutionary birth, and it is no coincidence that it is also the country where resort to street violence to achieve political ends is most prevalent.
    But while my reservations about the wisdom of the commemoration itself are strong, the debate sparked by its holding has been healthy. It has been conducted calmly and respectfully. It has also generated much more light, and a lot less heat, than it might have done in the past. This, surely, is a sign of our maturity as a state and as a nation.
    Emer O'Reilly Hyland
    Editor of VIP magazine
    Certainly the Easter Rising should be commemorated. The Rising is seen by many as the beginning of what became an independent state with its own national identity including a proud history and culture. It is a significant part of our history and should not be forgotten, but it should be remembered as that - part of our history and not a modern political tool. This point in time, 90 years after the event, is a good time to establish an annual celebration of our independence and our Irishness, with a view to the centenary anniversary.
    My only regret is that there are very few women remembered from the time of the Rising, and there were hundreds of brave women who have been airbrushed out of our history. That's not a good message for this generation.
    Up until relatively recent times, being Irish was synonymous with being the underdog, a suppressed, poverty-stricken nation, which, as recently as the late 1980s, was a nation of emigrants. But when the Celtic Tiger roared, a new generation was created, basically anyone now under the age of 30 has no idea what it feels like to live in an economic recession, where emigration was the only option for many young people. They don't feel in any way like an underdog. They are confident, educated and wealthy. They also see themselves as part of the global community, in particular Europe. And they're right. Why look back? The Rising has already become less relevant to a whole generation who are living in a wealthy, modern, progressive European society, who are looking to the future.
    Anna Pas
    Editor of Dublin-based publication Polski Express
    We will have an article on the Easter Rising in the next issue, an historical overview which will also explain how it was an uprising involving poets and artists. And I am also going to write about the parade. I wouldn't think that there is great interest among Polish, but Poland had four uprisings, although they weren't very successful. All of these were connected with the fight for independence and it's close to every Pole's heart. So if it is explained that this anniversary is about a national uprising and fighting for independence, then they will be very interested.
    I am curious if any trouble will happen, because the recent march in Dublin wasn't peaceful and the police weren't able to stop the riot. Myself and my friends have been talking about it and we are wondering if it will happen again.

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    If you read it fairplay. What does it mean to you.

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    I didn't read it.

    What does it mean to you?

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    Behind the battle lines: British police mount a roadblock to support a search in Dublin


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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    I didn't read it.

    What does it mean to you?
    Difficult to say. My granddad never spoke about it but he was in the middle of it. When he passed there was a volley over his coffin. My Dad couldn't care less about nationalism. Should I?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snakeeyes View Post





    But what is it Snakeeyes? Is it Irish and Brits will never understand imperialism, or is it just a jape? My granddad Jack told me a story that would turn your toes. He told me that he cut the throat of a British officer one night. He was creeping along the ditch and 'heaven presented it to him'

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    IT WAS standing room only in Wynn's Hotel, Dublin, on Wednesday night when over 150 people attended a celebration of the founding of the revolutionary women's organisation Cumann na mBan exactly 100 years ago to that exact date in that very same building.

    The event began with the launch of the book Doing My Bit for Ireland, originally published in 1917 and written by Cumann na mBan and Irish Citizen Army veteran Margaret Skinnider, a schoolteacher from Glasgow, detailing her role in the Easter Rising. Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has since included a detailed prologue to the book to put it in its historical context.

    Included at the event was an exhibition of photographs detailing the role of Cumann na mBan and from its foundation to the 1970s, when it was incorporated into the IRA.

    Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald spoke of the need for more women to become involved in the republican political struggle. Author and historian Liz Gillis gave a detailed overview of the role of women in the Easter Rising, the Tan War, Civil War and later.

    Those at the event included the relatives of some of the leaders of 1916 and a number of republican former prisoners, including Rose Dugdale, who received a standing ovation from the crowd. Many members of Sinn Féin's Oireachtas team (including Gerry Adams TD, Sandra McLellan TD, Seán Crowe TD, Michael Colreavy TD, Dessie Ellis TD and Senators Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and David Cullinane) also attended.

    Cumann na mBan celebrated 100 years on at its birthplace | An Phoblacht

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    The days of the British colonization is long gone and they themselves are being colonized from within by the immigrants and the so called great British Empire is fooked and it's great to see , Tiocfaidh ár lá ,

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    On Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, at a time when Ireland was an integral part of the United Kingdom of
    Great Britain and Ireland, seven Irishmen proclaimed the establishment of the Irish Republic, nominating
    themselves as its provisional government. Together with 1,600 poorly armed followers, they occupied a
    number of prominent buildings near the centre of Dublin, the General Post Office in Sackville Street (now
    O’Connell Street) being designated as headquarters. The government of Great Britain and Ireland regarded
    the insurrection as treason, all the more reprehensible as it came in a critical phase of the war then being
    waged with Germany and her allies.
    The response was immediate and decisive, the outcome being a foregone conclusion: by the following
    Sunday close to 2,000 people—mostly civilians—had been killed or injured, the General Post Office and
    various other buildings were in ruins, and the insurgents had surrendered. The seven signatories of the
    Proclamation and eight others were tried by courts-martial and executed by firing squad. A sixteenth man,
    Roger Casement, was tried in open court in London and hanged in Pentonville Prison.
    The insurgents had no electoral mandate. Indeed, most Irish nationalists condemned the insurrection
    as foolhardy in the extreme and downright criminal. Nevertheless, within two years opinion had shifted
    dramatically: a substantial sector of the nationalist electorate now pledged allegiance to the Irish Republic
    and honoured the Proclamation as virtually constituting the national constitution.
    The morality and political legacy of the 1916 Rising have long been matters of debate. Some maintain that
    the Rising was unnecessary and that a republic could have been achieved by purely democratic means. They
    claim that the limited form of Home Rule already enacted (but suspended for the duration of the war) was a
    basis for further advance in an evolving process. They deplore the loss of life and national trauma resulting
    from the Rising, from the ensuing War of Independence (1919-21), and from the Civil War (1922-23).
    They further argue that the Rising made the Ulster unionists more averse to sharing power with nationalists,
    thus making the partition of the country in 1921 all the more inevitable. Others, however, believe that the
    1916 Rising was the catalyst that inspired the country to abandon Home Rule as a worthless half-measure
    and to strive for complete independence from Britain. These accord the 1916 leaders iconic status as the
    founding fathers of the present Irish Republic.
    In this documentary review of the Rising, the main focus is on the personalities involved—their personal
    circumstances, their political formation, their perspectives, and their aspirations. As context is crucial to an
    understanding of the Rising, the social, cultural and political background is also documented, the primary
    focus again being on the personalities: Herbert Asquith (British prime minister), John Redmond (leader of
    the Home Rule nationalists), Edward Carson (representing the Ulster unionists), and over a dozen others
    who, mostly unwittingly, set the stage for the Rising in the previous decades.
    As the documents are drawn almost exclusively from the collections of the National Library of Ireland
    and so emanate from a particular range of sources, the perspective tends to be nationalist. In so far as
    possible, however, the material is presented in a non-prescriptive manner, allowing people to make their own
    judgements on the basis of the evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    I didn't read it.

    What does it mean to you?
    Does it mean anything only to Irish and Brits?

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    1916.

    The rest of the world was dealing with another bit of unrest in Europe called the Great War. Can't blame them for not noticing a few uppity Irish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plan B View Post
    1916.

    The rest of the world was dealing with another bit of unrest in Europe called the Great War. Can't blame them for not noticing a few uppity Irish.
    Ya, very well thought out rebuttal.

    In all, about 210,000 Irishmen served in the British forces during World War One. Since there was no conscription, about 140,000 of these joined during the war as volunteers. Some 35,000 Irish died. Irishmen enlisted for the war effort for a variety of reasons.

    Come on try harder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebbu
    Ya, very well thought out rebuttal.
    Wasn't a rebuttal, was just answering your question.




    Quote Originally Posted by rebbu
    Come on try harder.
    No, thanks. That would require effort and I've got washing to do.

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    During World War I (1914–1918), Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which entered the war in August 1914 as one of the Entente Powers, along with France and the Russian Empire. In part as an effect of chain ganging, the UK decided due to geopolitical power issues to declare war on the Central Powers, consisting of the German Empire, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria.

    Occurring during Ireland's Revolutionary period, the Irish people's experience of the war was complex and its memory of it divisive. At the outbreak of the war, most Irish people, regardless of political affiliation, supported the war in much the same way as their British counterparts,[1] and both nationalist and unionist leaders initially backed the British war effort. Their followers, both Catholic and Protestant, served extensively in the British forces, many in three specially raised divisions with others in the Imperial and United States armies, John T. Prout being an example of an Irishman serving in the latter. Over 200,000 Irishmen fought in the war, in several theatres and either 30,000,[2] or, if one includes those who died serving in armies other than Britain's, 49,400 died.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland_and_World_War_I

    Easy peasy. So, how else did we fuck the empire?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebbu
    Come on try harder.
    No, thanks. That would require effort and I've got washing to do.
    So you give up when presented with a fact. Good night, wash your nickers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebbu
    Ya, very well thought out rebuttal.
    Wasn't a rebuttal, was just answering your question.
    You don't know what a rebuttal is.

  22. #22
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    Palpable anger or a side note in history.

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