Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ireland - Easter Rising 1916

2016 marks the centenary of the Easter Rising in parts of Dublin and other areas in Ireland.

There had been a move for the establishment of an Ireland free from English rule for many years and political negotiations were under way, however these had been hampered and slowed down by the events of World War I. Some groups were not happy with the progress of negotiations so there were also plans for militant action by groups such as the Irish Republican Brotherhood. It had been hoped that there might be some assistance from Germany in this operation but when these plans fell through a section of the IRB decided to still go ahead with the planned insurrection. On 24 April key buildings in Dublin and other locations were seized by small groups of the IRB and members of other nationalist groups.Two of these locations were the General Post Office and the Four Courts. The rebellion lasted for a week and during that time 450 people died and approximately 2000, often civilians, were injured. The rebels had hoped that the general populace would rise and support them but this did not happen. Reprisals from the English were swift and severe which contributed to simmering antagonism against English rule. This all came to a head in the Irish Civil War from 28 June 1922 to 24 May 1923.

A quick look in the library catalogue located a number of books on this period of Irish history. They are just a few of the many publications available on this topic.

General books on the history of Ireland
Understanding Irish History by F J M Maden (Teach yourself series) (2010)
Although this work concentrates on the history of Ireland from 1500, most of the book deals with the political development of the country from the nineteenth century onwards. At the end of each chapter there is a summary of the main points covered in the chapter which is useful for quick reference.
A Brief History of Ireland by Paul F State (2009)
A general history of Ireland is provided in this book with the last five chapters covering the period from the beginning of the nineteenth century onwards. The book is well set out with maps, illustrations and separate biographies of prominent participants in Irish history. Good for an overview of the topic.

The Easter Rising and the Irish Civil War
The War for Ireland 1913-1923 edited by Peter Cottrell (2009)
As the title suggests this book covers events between 1913 and 1923 leading to the establishment of Eire at the end of the Irish Civil War. A detailed, illustrated, approachable account of this period of Irish history. At the front of the book is a detailed chronology. A clear overview of this period of Irish history.

A Nation and Not a Rabble: the Irish Revolution 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter (2015)
This book also covers the period 1913 to 1923 providing a detailed study of the period.

1916 the Morning After - From the Courts Martial to the Tribunals by Tim Pat Coogan (2015)
A detailed study of the Easter Rising and its aftermath. Although the initial focus is on the Easter Rising the author investigates the issues affecting the history of Ireland over the following one hundred years, including corruption and institutional and clerical abuse.

Cumann Na MBan and the Irish Revolution by Cal McCarthy (2014)
Women were also involved in the struggle for independence and many belonged to the organisation Cumann Na MBan established in 1914 to support the Irish Volunteers. The role of this group in opposing English rule in Ireland, providing arms for Irishmen wanting to fight and later assisting with intelligence, nursing the wounded and providing safe houses is discussed in this book. Members of the group proved that women could also be politically active.

A small selection of websites providing an overview of the topic
Easter Rising - British History
Ireland Easter Rising 1916
Why there was a civil war in Ireland - 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour
Irish Civil War - a brief overview - The Irish Story

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