Sunday 20 August 2017

Collection of 1916 artefacts provides a fresh perspective on the Easter Rising

A thought-provoking view of the 1916 Rising, A History of the Easter Rising in 50 Objects by John Gibney, has just been released.

This interesting read provides a fresh perspective on the events of the Rising, and its aftermath, by telling the story of fifty unusual objects, which have been waiting to be revealed in all their quirky splendour for the past 100 years.

Author John Gibney brings to light many lesser-known facts about the events that occurred during the Rising.

It includes the manuscript of Patrick Pearse’s oration at the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan-Rossa in 1915, as well as uniforms, weapons and flags.

Many of the objects are intriguing, like the cricket bat that died for Ireland, Seán Mac Diarmada's hurley and the teacups used by Patrick and Willie Pearse for their last cup of tea with their family at St Enda’s before they went off to take part in the rising.

Also in the book are Thomas Kent's rosary beads, and Kathleen Lynn's prison biscuits. 

The most surprising object is probably the bloodstained undershirt worn by James Connolly during that momentous, bloody confrontation in the GPO that fateful Easter.

A History of the Easter Rising in 50 Objects is more than a collection of images, it tells the story of objects that were seen, touched and used by witnesses or participants in the 1916 Easter Rising.

Published by Mercier Press in association with Glasnevin Trust, it is available in hardback nationwide, RRP €19.99.

Independent.ie will be running a 10-part podcast series in March focusing on ten objects from the book, as well as discussing wider issues around the Rising.

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