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Easter Rising

Easter Rising (1916). The Easter Rising was planned by the Irish Republican Brotherhood's military council to take advantage of British participation in the world war by staging a nation-wide Irish rebellion. Sir Roger Casement was sent to Germany to raise a prisoner-of-war force and to win German arms and ammunition. The plans collapsed due to British intelligence discovery of American links and confusion over time of arrival of arms from Germany. The German arms ship was scuttled off the Kerry coast and with it any chance of a successful rebellion in the provinces. Eoin MacNeill, chief of staff of Irish Volunteers, then countermanded the mobilization orders given by Pearse. The leaders of the IRB military council, including James Connolly and his citizen army, went ahead with the rebellion by taking over various buildings around the centre of Dublin. Outside the General Post Office, their GHQ, Pearse read out the provisional declaration of an Irish Republic; five days later, after British shelling of centres of resistance, the rebels surrendered. Leaders were executed in stages, and over 2,000 interned in Britain. While there was little overt support for the rising at the time, British actions gave it a retrospective significance. Traditional nationalists have depicted it as a decisive event in awakening Irish nationalist consciousness and have seen it as the realization of Pearse's concept of blood-sacrifice. Lately, historians have criticized the use of violence with only minority support and have questioned whether the rising was central to the achievement of independence.

Michael Hopkinson

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Easter Rising

Easter Rising (April 24, 1916) Rebellion by Irish nationalists against British rule, led by Patrick Pearse of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and James Connolly of Sinn Féin. The British Navy intercepted an arms shipment from Germany and arrested Roger Casement (the IRB's contact with Germany), but the insurrection went ahead as planned. On Easter Monday, c.1500 volunteers seized buildings in Dublin, including the General Post Office, and proclaimed Ireland a republic. By April 29, the British had crushed the rising. Sixteen of the ringleaders were executed, and 2000 people imprisoned. In 1917, Eamon De Valera was granted an amnesty and nationalist sentiment produced an electoral victory for Sinn Féin.

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