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mjmooney

The Easter Rising 1916 Centenary

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Thought about putting this in the history thread, but it's as much current affairs, and I thought it was worth one of its own. Mods feel free to move it if you disagree. 

I kind of owe my existence to the Easter Rising. My Dad's family were Catholic Dubliners, and left Ireland in 1916 for Merseyside, simply to escape the whole Black-and-Tan shitstorm that was kicking off. He was 12 at the time. He moved to Birmingham for work during WWII, met my Mum (Brummie, C of E), and here I am. What with that background, and the fact that I'm a history graduate, this centenary is of some interest to me. 

I know we have a lot of Irish Villa fans on this site, so I'd be interested to know their take on the whole thing - in terms of the history itself, the changing attitudes to it, the way it is being commemorated, and the likelihood of political/terrorist activity in the next few week. . 

There was a fascinating discussion with a bunch of Irish historians on Radio 4's "Start the Week" this morning. I strongly recommend a listen for anyone who's interested in the subject. 45 minute programme. 

Start the Week (BBC iPlayer)

 

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Was in Dublin last weekend.  It's prominent.

Overheard a few Dubliners give their opinions to some Americans girls about how they gave us a good kicking.

I didn't know anything about it when I went over - still don't.  But you can tell (some) of the locals are thinking about it.

Made me want to learn more about it anyway.  After visiting Dublin Castle, it's pretty obvious we treated the Irish pretty shitty.  Not that that's surprising, look at our empire.  We shat on a lot of people/societies etc.

Edited by lapal_fan

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Be interesting to see will it be hi jacked by the usual parties over here.

And we definitely didn't give you a kicking. In many ways the rebellion was a complete disaster but it did kickstart a lot. 

I think the executions afterwards had more of an impact than the rebellion itself. 

The rubberbandits did a pretty decent tongue in cheek documentary on it one night. If I can find it I ll link it. 

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It's a spectacularly interesting period that is under discussed and acknowledged in the UK (largely because it's in the shadow of WW1 and a convoluted mess of a situation). All of the Irish independence struggle is fascinating, even down to the nitty gritty of day to day life in parts of Ulster (bits of land being owned by London guilds and employing their own enforcers to fight against their neighbours is just a bizarre thought these days, for instance).

The Easter Uprising is more relevant as a turning point of thought and action in Ireland than it is a success itself - the Uprising was crushed, ruthlessly. British forces outnumbered the Irish rebels to an obscene degree, the rebels didn't have popular support unanimously and they were outgunned in every way. The British were not prepared to have a rebellion on 'home' soil whilst the Germans were trying to bleed them dry so stamped the rebellion out. The Uprising's successes largely came about because they hit without warning and moved quickly - the moment their intention and actions were clear it was only a matter of time.

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fairly good 3 part series narrated by Liam Neeson that was on RTE recently which I thought was quite fair and balanced if people had a look at it, has some fascinating flashback interviews from 1966 to people who were on both sides

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I find 1916 more interesting that the Proclamation the leaders drew up was genius and well ahead of its time. Most of the leaders werent military men but artists and intellectuals, Rising never really had a chance based on that

as for whats happening here well you will get the odd clearing in the woods trying to hijack but I think we as a people have moved on a lot in last years but as said will find the odd rocket polisher around

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18 minutes ago, Zatman said:

fairly good 3 part series narrated by Liam Neeson that was on RTE recently which I thought was quite fair and balanced if people had a look at it, has some fascinating flashback interviews from 1966 to people who were on both sides

Do you happen to know if that can be found online anywhere? 

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2 hours ago, Chindie said:

It's a spectacularly interesting period that is under discussed and acknowledged in the UK (largely because it's in the shadow of WW1 and a convoluted mess of a situation). All of the Irish independence struggle is fascinating, even down to the nitty gritty of day to day life in parts of Ulster (bits of land being owned by London guilds and employing their own enforcers to fight against their neighbours is just a bizarre thought these days, for instance).

 

Regarding WWI and the UK/Ireland, I would thoroughly recommend reading the book "The Sleepwalkers", which does an excellent job of digging into the backgrounds of all the major WWI parties and specifically with regards the UK, how the Irish question almost resulted in what could be characterized as either a military coup d-etat or civil war. As such, one could argue that it was the Irish question that lead to the UK taking its eye off the ball w.r.t. the impending continental situation.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sleepwalkers-Europe-Went-1914/dp/0061146668

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What I find most interesting about the Rising is that by the early 20th Century, Ireland was well on its way to establishing itself as a 'loyal' constituent nation of the UK. Following emancipation, the rise of the Catholic middle class, the Land Acts and the extensions of the franchise were among the factors which had seen Ireland establish itself as a functioning part of the UK rather then an imperial possession with John Bull's boot on its throat as had been pretty much the case until the mid 19th century.  

The natural progression appeared to be a devolved Irish home rule parliament responsible for domestic affairs with Ireland staunchly committed to remaining in the empire and Westminster being the imperial parliament. 

I find it amazing how these decades of integration were shattered so comprehensively in the years before and after the Rising.

Another aspect is finding out how comprehensively the presence of the old order was erased post independence. In my immediate area there are abandoned churches, graveyards, schools, Big Houses, military bases etc. which have long fallen into decay and disrepair. I think its only being in the past few decades that 'revisionist' histories have emerged and challenged the narrative that Ireland was oppressed for 800 years and achieved independance. The relationship between Ireland and Britain was a lot more interlinked and complex then that by the time independence was won.

The site linked below is the work of a photographer who has done great work recording the above, sadly however I note that now he has now taken down most of his images as he wants to people to buy his books instead 

     http://www.abandonedireland.com/start.html    

Edited by Corcaigh
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9 hours ago, mjmooney said:

Do you happen to know if that can be found online anywhere? 

sadly I havent seen it online but I have heard that it was a joint production with BBC and they will show it later in year. BBC to their credit are devoting a lot of time to it though rather not hear Bob Geldof opinion on things

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2016/easter-rising

Quote
Brendan O’Carroll, Michael Portillo, Heather Jones, Diarmaid Ferriter and Bob Geldof to present a range of programmes.
  • In a new film for BBC Two Brendan O’Carroll (Mrs Brown’s Boys) takes viewers on an ancestral journey through the history of the events of 1916.
  • Michael Portillo follows the British chain of command during The Easter Rising, telling the story from 'enemy files'; while Bob Geldof reflects on the events in Ireland and the impact they had on the works of WB Yeats.
  • On BBC Radio 4, historians Heather Jones and Diarmaid Ferriter tell the story of the Easter Rising, as well as exploring the key landmarks in Anglo-Irish relations over the subsequent century; and BBC Radio Cymru explores the rebellion’s connection with Wales.

Marking 100 years since the Easter Rising the BBC is broadcasting a range of programming on TV, radio and online this spring, looking back at the events of 1916 that saw the attempted rebellion against British rule in the midst of World War One.

Martin Davidson, Head of Commissioning History & Business, Specialist Factual, Science and Religion, says: “The events of 1916 in Ireland had an immense impact on Anglo-Irish relations. In this anniversary year, BBC audiences will be able to tap into a variety of programming that sheds a light on the lasting influence of the attempted rebellion that took place whilst the rest of the country was distracted with World War One.”

Mohit Bakaya, Commissioning Editor, Factual, Radio 4, says: “The Easter Rising of 1916 was a key moment in 20th Century history. I am delighted that Radio 4 will not only be able to explore the circumstances and stories connected with the events of a century ago, but also tell the extraordinary story of relations between Britain and Ireland in the subsequent 100 years, culminating with an up-to-the-minute account of the debate surrounding the prospects of a united Ireland today. With Diarmaid Ferriter, Heather Jones, Fergal Keane and Fintan O’Toole, we are in expert hands.”

TV

In a deeply personal film, writer and comedian Brendan O’Carroll (Mrs Brown’s Boys) tells the story of the Irish Easter Rising, in Brendan O'Carroll: My Family At War on BBC Two. Exactly one hundred years ago in Easter week 1916, some 1,600 Irish rebels took over the centre of Dublin. Despite overwhelming odds, the rebels held out against the forces of the British Empire for six days until they were shelled into submission. Three of those rebels were Brendan O’Carroll’s uncles.

Now, on the centenary of the revolt, Brendan tells the dramatic story of the Rising and looks at the part his family played in it. He explores how the Rising, though a complete military failure, sent shockwaves through the British Empire and signalled the birth of today’s Irish Republic. With access to freshly released records, Brendan shines new light on to a dark and tumultuous chapter that would go on to shape the history of the British Isles for the next century.

Brendan O’Carroll explains: “My relationship with the 1916 rising is personal. Three of the rebels who held Dublin city that week were my uncles. I knew about the rising and learnt about the rising but never knew anything about my family’s part in it. So, on the 100th anniversary of the 1916 rising, I’m going to retrace my uncles’ steps and in doing so tell you the story of 1916. And it’s an extraordinary story - a story of subterfuge, violence, of cock-ups, catastrophes but also one of idealism and sacrifice.”

Later this spring BBC Two airs Easter 1916: 'The Enemy Files'. In 1916, at the height of WW1, armed insurgents raised up against the British in Dublin, The Empire's second city. Using secret documents, cabinet papers, intelligence reports, military orders and diaries and letters, Michael Portillo pieces together the story of this uprising from the British point of view. Was Dublin just another battle at a time of war where military justice was immediate and brutal - or by their actions, did the British men who wrote these documents hasten the end of an empire? Did an unlikely band of Irish rebels, led by playwrights and poets, do more to advance the cause of Irish freedom in five days than nationalist politicians had done in the previous 50 years, or did they damage the cause and condemn the island to a history of violence?

Michael Portillo looks for the answers in 'The Enemy Files'. This is the story of Ireland’s Easter rising as told by British politicians, soldiers, spies and bureaucrats.

On BBC Four, Geldof On Yeats is a 90-minute film which sees Bob Geldof reflect on the events of 1916 in Ireland and the impact they had on the works of WB Yeats.

Also showing on BBC Four is an acquisition film, 1916, narrated by Liam Neeson. This landmark documentary examines the Easter Rising and the subsequent events that led to the creation of an independent Irish state and, indirectly, to the start of the breakup of the British Empire. Looking at the Rising from an international perspective, 1916 will broaden public understanding of the historical interconnections between Britain, Ireland and the United States -  connections that continued to have significance up to and including the recent Irish peace process.

The documentary combines rarely-seen archive with contemporary filming all over the world, together with revealing interviews by the world’s leading experts and historians. It is a COCO TV production in association with the University of Notre Dame.

 

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Attending the raising of the tricolour at my kids school with the reading of the proclamation later should be interesting .......hard to leave an opinion on this subject as I have experienced both the english schools version of the famine & the rising and also the Irish version .....Living in both Tipperary and in Meath also gave me a range of history and with it emotions about the past (templemore barracks to having "lord" henry mouncharles)  but to me the past is the past I love my english neighbours like one of our own.

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It was a very interesting programme and I certainly fancy some of the books which were mentioned but I couldn't help feeling that the programme was designed to comfort a British audience, which in my case it certainly did.

But having known a few Irish guys in my time who were likely to get irate when discussing Irish history, especially if your opinions strayed from the subjunctive mood, I couldn't help but doubt the assurances which were offered that a neutral view now prevailed in Ireland.

Very likely in Dublin but not so likely in the 'rebel city' of Cork et al, I would have thought.

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22 hours ago, mjmooney said:

For those that haven't listened to it, the historians on that Start the Week discussion were pretty much unanimous about several points. In a nutshell: 

1. The legendary "Seven" feted as the founding fathers of the revolution were a very motley crew, with no agreement on their aims whatsoever - a romantic poet, a Marxist revolutionary, a wannabe Catholic martyr, and so on.

One of this motley crew, the last to be executed, was James Connelly. His sister's family fled to New Zealand, and eventually produced my wife - I think Connelly is her Great Great Uncle. This has earned me much kudos among many Irish friends over the years!

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Wow, there's a name drop!

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Watched the Brandon O'Connell show on BBC just now ( assume it's not just me who has no idea who he is ? )

 

was as quite an interesting show for an event I admit I knew very little about ... I went with my lad to Dublin a couple of years back but all the focus seemed to be on the great famine rather than the uprising at that time ....

Can't help but think Ireland like most of the commonwealth would have been better off staying under British rule though :)

 

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1 hour ago, tonyh29 said:

Watched the Brandon O'Connell show on BBC just now ( assume it's not just me who has no idea who he is ? )

 

well except for the O' you got his other 2 names all wrong ;)

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4 minutes ago, Zatman said:

well except for the O' you got his other 2 names all wrong ;)

Obviously that was  .. Errm yeah deliberate :blush:

i just googled him seems he was in Mrs Browns boys which having never watched would explain why I didn't know who he was ... And also explains why he made a Mrs Browns boys reference in the program ( nobody can say I'm not quick on the uptake !! )

 

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On 3/14/2016 at 14:04, mjmooney said:

Do you happen to know if that can be found online anywhere? 

that documentary looks like its on Monday night on BBC4

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