Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Tales of Blood Sacrifice

by Derry Nairn

St Patrick's Day is the official national day of the Republic of Ireland. The 'Glorious' 12th of July is the day for celebration north of the border. Easter time, however, marks the defining event of modern Irish history. The Easter Rising of 1916 indirectly brought about the end of 800-years of British rule.

A small but committed collective of rebels seized strategic points throughout Dublin city centre while the Briish army was on holiday leave over 90 years ago. The Rising is notable for various reasons. These include the certainty of defeat in the minds of its leaders, the swiftness of their trial and execution, the political and gender composition of the rebel groups. But much of what followed can only be understood through the prism the event: The return of Irish Somme veterans, The War of Independence; partition; the Civil War; the De Valera era; and the Troubles.

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