ULearn English School Dublin – The Easter Rising
Easter, as you probably know, is a religious holiday celebrating the death and resurrection of Christian God, Jesus. But, in Ireland, this time of year also has a very important historical significance. This weekend also celebrates the 96th anniversary of The Easter Rising, a day of great revolution on this island.
At that time in Ireland, the country was rued by the British. This had been the case for hundreds of years. There had been many rebellions over the centuries, mostly unsuccessful, and Easter Week 1916 saw another planned uprising. Irish Volunteers, led by Padraig Pearse, and the Irish Citizen Army, led by James Connolly, joined forces and took over some important buildings in Dublin. The General Post Office on O’ Connell Street and the Four Courts on the quays were just some of the buildings occupied by Irish troops, but fighting was happening all over the city, and indeed the country.
The 1916 Easter Rising was the true beginning of the War of Independence. Fighting was fierce all over the city. The British Army suffered heavy casualties, mostly because of poor military intelligence, but soon sent more troops to the city. Military rules were broken and many unarmed citizens were killed. Some Irish people were killed by firing squad without trial. Eventually the British regained control after a week of intense fighting. Many Irish leaders were executed at Kilmainham Jail, while others like Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins managed to avoid execution and continue to fight for Irish independence.
Although the Easter Rising wasn’t successful on the day, it led the way for eventual independence in 1921. At the time, many Irish people saw it as a bad idea, becuase 50,000 British troops were sent to Ireland after the week. It was an historic week that will always be remembered in Ireland.