Sunday 17 December 2017

Bell made to honour British General's role in defeating 1916 Rising up for auction

General Blackader condemned Patrick Pearse and his fellow 1916 leaders, with the exception of Connolly to their deaths
General Blackader condemned Patrick Pearse and his fellow 1916 leaders, with the exception of Connolly to their deaths

Eleanor Flegg and Fionnán Sheahan

A bell made in honour of a British General's role in crushing the 1916 Easter Rising is going up for sale.

The gong dedicated to General Charles Blackader is one of a number of artefacts coming up for auction from the British side of the Rising as the centenary approaches.

General Blackader chaired a number of courts-martial of signatories of the Proclamation, including those of Éamonn Ceannt, Thomas Clarke, Thomas MacDonagh, Patrick Pearse and Joseph Plunkett.

The stamp on the gong's metal cylinder, a 12lb artillery shell case, refers to the British navy ship Helga, which sailed up the Liffey to shell the volunteers.

The inscription on the frame reads: "G.P.O. MCMXVI - BLACKADDERS (sic) BOYS - THE CALL TO ARMS - RICHMOND BARRACKS." The General was a British army officer in charge of a unit sent to Dublin during the Easter Rising. Following the Rising, General Blackader (the engraver spelled his name wrong) presided over the courts-martial at Richmond Barracks in Inchicore.

He sent the 1916 leaders to the firing squad, with the exception of Connolly, whose court martial took place at Dublin Castle.

The gong is going under the hammer in an auction at Whyte's tomorrow with a guide price of between €800 and €1,200.

Today, don't miss the Irish Independent 1916 Collection, 'Part 1: Patrick Pearse and the Road to Rebellion'.

The special series of 10 magazines is produced in partnership with UCD and Ireland 2016.

Following the publication of the 'Ireland 2016 Youth and Imagination Programme' in yesterday's Irish Independent, RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy paid tribute to the magazine.

"This is one of the best supplements I have seen in any paper at any time in recent times because it is one for every school, it comes free with the newspaper and it tells you how to use the archives for 1916, which is great fun.

"It just means you can immerse yourself in it," he said.

"It's just one of those things. I'm going to keep it myself and read it and I would urge everyone else to do the same."

Irish Independent

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