I haven’t done a Tuesday Travels post in a while but today we’re revisiting Dublin in honor of the 105th anniversary of Ireland’s Easter Rebellion.
The uprising began on April 24, 1916 while the United Kingdom was in the midst of World War I. Rebels from the secretive Irish Republican Brotherhood, led by Patrick Pearse, streamed into Dublin from the countryside. The armed men attacked government buildings and seized the General Post Office. After initial success, they declared Irish independence.
However, the British launched a counteroffensive and the rebellion was crushed after only five days. The Irish people were initially not supportive of the rebellion, but the harsh measures meted out to the rebels stirred public resentment. The leaders of the uprising, including Pearse and James Connolly, were executed and became instant martyrs. When I visited Dublin Castle, we learned about the execution of the prisoners and visited a room dedicated to their memory.
Armed protests broke out and in 1921, a vote was held. 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties voted for independence and the Irish Republic was born. The other counties remain part of Northern Ireland, in the United Kingdom.
When I was in Ireland, we took a day excursion to west County Cork where I saw this statue of Michael Collins, who participated in the Easter Rebellion and went on to be a leader of Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army. In Jan. 22, he became Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State until his assassination in August 1922.
Irish history is turbulent and disturbing, but quite fascinating. I’d love to see more of the Emerald Isle some day.