Thursday and Friday were some of the bloodiest days during Easter Rising. Cathal Brugha made a brilliant stand on Thursday, during the famous battle for South Dublin Union and Daly held the British forces at the Four Courts from Wednesday to Friday. Most importantly, Commander-in-chief General Sir John Maxwell arrived in Ireland on Friday. General Maxwell, perhaps, did more to ensure the spiritual and political success of the Rising than anyone else.
As we discussed in our last post, the very secrecy needed to plan the rebellion nearly destroyed it. Despite Casement’s arrested and MacNeill’s counter-orders, Pearse and his comrades were determined to rebel. They sent out another order, telling the Volunteers to gather on Monday, 24 April 1916.
Easter Rising is one of the most momentous moments in Irish history, setting the stage for the Anglo-Irish War in the 1920s, and continues to shape Irish society. But what is it and why did it happen? Easter Rising was an Irish protest concentrated mostly in Dublin with a few firefights in the countryside and was crushed by the British in about a week. Many consider the Rising itself to be a failure, but its political and social aftershocks made it a success.
To understand why the Rising happened, one most first familiarize themselves with Irish’s tortuous history. This post will briefly review some of the major events in Irish history, like Daniel O’Connell and the Young Irelanders, Charles Parnell and Home Rule, and John Redmond. It will then discuss the creation of the Irish Volunteers and the merging with the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) as well as provide brief biographers on the major players of Easter Rising. It will be followed by a post that will describe the rising itself and a final post that will discuss its aftermath and legacy.