Dublin: History You Can Touch


My wife and I recently took a trip to Ireland. There are so many aspects of this wonderful country that strike the visitor. But perhaps chief among them is the history, both ancient and modern, in which Ireland is steeped.

… and you thought Jesus Christ was the only one who rose on Easter

One-hundred and four years ago, on this day in 1916, a group of rebels in Dublin and other Irish cities, launched yet another attempt to throw off the iron fist of the English. In what would become known as the Easter Rising, (and you thought Jesus Christ was the only one who rose on Easter) 485 people were killed during the six days of fighting.

Of those 54% were civilians, 30% were British military and police and 16% were Irish rebels. More than 2,600 were wounded. Many of the civilians were killed or wounded by British artillery and machine guns or were mistaken for rebels.

As insurrections go this one, based on the immediate end result, failed miserably. The huge numbers of British troops quashed the rebels and arrested the leaders.

Kilmainham Gaol yard where executions took place.

In a show of obdurateness, the British made quick work of incarcerating, courtmartialling, and executing the leaders of the rising. The result of this rush to judgment was to make these men and women into martyrs. 

The result of this rush to judgment was to make these men and women into martyrs

Even many Dubliners who were opposed to the rising as a means of achieving freedom were deeply moved by the executions. The deaths fueled a movement that, over the next six often bloody years, would lead to independence for at least a part of Ireland. 

As you make your way through the streets of present-day Dublin you are reminded constantly of the violent struggles that took place a mere century ago. Beautiful architecture, statues, and memorials show the signs to this day of bullets from the past. Maybe these mementos of a worse time contribute to Dubliners’ great sense of craic!

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

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