In 1916 Easter Monday fell on today, 24th April. It was the day that the Irish Republican Brotherhood inspired insurrection commenced in Dublin, but lasted only five days before total and unconditional surrender. This act of aggression is still controversial and the subject of much debate and revisionism, more so this year on the 100th anniversary of the iconic founding legend of the Republic. The rights and wrongs can be weighed, but the clock cannot be turned back. By any measure the rebellion did not meet the criteria for ‘just war’, not least that it was futile.
Yesterday in the post ‘Good Friday – 1014 and all that’ I noted the subdued celebration of the Battle of Clontarf two years ago, even though High King Brian Boru was responding to an act of treachery by the King of Leinster, his ally the Viking King of Dublin and their Viking allies from abroad. No controversy there, but acute embarrassment for the modern Irish leaders. It highlighted the stark contrast between a milestone fight to defend Irish independence and the cowardly surrender of sovereignty by all the main Irish political parties to an undemocratic European Union.
On 2nd October 2014 we posted ‘Unity, Peace and Concord’ dealing with the journey to Irish independence in the context of, and by way of comparison with, the SNP campaign for Scottish independence. To repeat; “In 2016 the Republic of Ireland will celebrate the centenary of the Easter Rising with its current politicians accused of betraying the founding principles of the Republic. It took 30 years to go from a de facto republic to a recognised republic, and after that another 50 years to capitulate to Brussels and the Euro Zone.”
All the main parties claim to be republican, with their roots in the Rising, even the Labour Party going back to the Dublin Lockout and the Irish Citizens Army. Sinn Fein is critical, stating that the aims set down in the Proclamation of the Republic [of a sovereign independent state] by the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic have yet to be achieved. The official Government position is that the organised events are not a celebration, but are a commemoration rooted in respect and inclusivity. With no sense of irony, Minister Heather Humphreys stated: “The 1916 Rising was the seminal moment in our history, which set Ireland on the path to independence.” She might have added that the independence had been subsumed in to the European Union, with direct rule by the Troika encamped in Merrion Street.
There is no doubting the courage and deep abiding faith of the Rising leaders who were executed. But if it was possible to ask them a question it would be, “Why couldn’t you have waited?”.
There were strategic and tactical reasons for acting at that point of time, but that does not justify the murder and mayhem that resulted. The Dublin Rebellion had been titled the Easter Rising and forever linked with Easter and the symbolism of the risen Christ. Yearly celebrations have taken place on the religious moveable Feast, but this year there has been a double celebration on the actual date – with hard-line republicans and para-military at the forefront. It is to be hoped that this marks a shift away from Easter and towards a permanent remembrance day on the 24th April.
The Rebellion was planned to commence on 23rd April, but was delayed a day. That date would not have been lost on the Irish Republican Brotherhood and its association with the Battle of Clontarf, and the successful defence of Irish independence. So far as I am aware, nobody has recognised or made that connection.
How will future generations perceive the Rebellion? There have been a lot of child-centred educational programmes aimed at informing and explaining the events of 1916 and the repercussions. Some might describe this as brain-washing. It was notable on RTE that when children were asked what the Rebellion was about, many responded it was about equality. That fits nicely with the progressive’s agenda on LGBT rights and Women’s Choice to abortion.
Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute posted a thoughtful commentary – The 1916 Rising inspires us to cherish our children, not abort them. Go to