Historical Background

The Easter Rising

1916 Weekly Irish Times front page reporting the Easter Uprising in Dublin, Ireland by Irish Republicans
1916 Weekly Irish Times front page reporting the Easter Uprising in Dublin, Ireland by Irish Republicans

Probably the best known and most important attempts to overthrow the yoke of English rule in Ireland, the Easter Rising of 1916 was ultimately a failure in military terms.

The Rising itself was mainly based in Dublin where the rebels seized key buildings and secured the main access routes to the city. Had the rebellion been more widespread and crucially had Roger Casement been successful in his attempt to land a large quantity of German arms in Co. Kerry it may have lasted longer but faced with the might of the British Empire’s superior forces the final outcome would likely have been the same.

However following the disastrous decision of the British commander in Dublin, General Maxwell, to execute the leaders of the rebellion, the mood in Ireland changed dramatically and within 3 years a full blown war of independence was raging across the country.

The seven signatories of the Proclamation of an Irish Republic all performed pivotal roles in this transformation of political opinion in Ireland through their organisation of the rising and their sacrifice to the cause of Irish freedom. This single minded focus on securing their aim of an Irish Republic ruled by and for the Irish people can probably be best summed up by the banner of the Irish Citizen Army which read “Not for King or Kaiser but for Ireland”.

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