The Easter Rising was an armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916.
Easter has long been a landmark date on Irish people’s calendars. It is a definitive turning point in the year; a time to think of gardening and the outdoors, a step up in sporting events, and perhaps taking the first trip of the year away from home.
We Irish do love to look back. You would almost think we have nothing to look forward to. From the 1920s to the 1940s that might well have been the case with rampant emigration, the cold dead hand of the Catholic Church, and uninspired legislators conspiring to strangle hope. It’s hardly the case today.
Sir — The history of the first Christmas crib goes back a long way — as far as the year of 1223. The only historical account we have of the nativity scene comes from The Life of St Francis of Assisi by St Bonaventure, a Franciscan monk who was born five years before Francis’s death.
As an Easter online event, Fishamble: The New Play Company are streaming archive footage of their 2016 centenary production of Colin Murphy's play recreating the events of the Easter Rising. Directed by Jim Culleton, the show was produced, as the title says, inside the GPO, performed in the elegant main public hall with the audience seated in a circle.
The Easter Rising took the British authorities in Ireland by surprise; so inevitably, the British sought to understand how and why the Rising had broken out and established a Royal Commission to investigate its causes, with particular reference to ‘the conduct and responsibility of the civil and military executive in Ireland in connection therewith’.
The Rising was roundly condemned by many contemporaries, an irony often commented upon in the years since it took place. Yet the reasons for this aren't hard to understand, and should not be dismissed as the work of so-called 'west Brits' and 'Castle Catholics'.
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