Friday 20 October 2017

The heroes hidden in the archives

The rebels weren't saints or fanatics. They acted as they thought best in violent times

Moral rigour: Sean MacDermott, pictured circa 1910, was a leading organiser of the Irish
Republican Brotherhood, and was executed following the Easter Rising Photo: Sean Sexton/Getty Images
Moral rigour: Sean MacDermott, pictured circa 1910, was a leading organiser of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and was executed following the Easter Rising Photo: Sean Sexton/Getty Images
Gene Kerrigan

Gene Kerrigan

Charlie Saurin was 18 and he'd a choice to make and I think he made the right one. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914, with about 180,000 others.

The next decision he had to make was when he rejected John Redmond's call to join the British army and defend the Empire in the First World War. All but about 11,000 of his comrades went with Redmond, splitting the Volunteers.

On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, at the age of 20, Charlie Saurin turned out with F Company, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, at Fairview, to declare a republic. The right decision, I think.

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