Sunday 28 May 2017

Michael Kelly: Celebrating a nation's birth, and praying for a rebirth in the church

'Patrick Pearse and his fellow rebels found the Christian theme of resurrection sat perfectly with their hope of birthing a new state for an ancient people'
'Patrick Pearse and his fellow rebels found the Christian theme of resurrection sat perfectly with their hope of birthing a new state for an ancient people'

Michael Kelly

Easter looms large in Irish history. Patrick Pearse and his fellow rebels found the Christian theme of resurrection sat perfectly with their hope of birthing a new state for an ancient people.

The fact that it was Good Friday in 1014 when the Irish, under Brian Boru, defeated the Danes at Clontarf wasn't lost on the rebels either. After the Rising, a comrade of rebel leader Thomas MacDonagh gave evidence of MacDonagh addressing Irish Volunteers on Holy Thursday 1916 as they prepared weapons in Clontarf, reminding them that they stood on sacred ground - since it was in Clontarf where Boru had been victorious in the cause of Ireland some 900 years earlier.

Easter was coming, and that was "the time of resurgence in Ireland", MacDonagh reportedly told his men.

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