Weekly Comment:
The Irish America Guide
to Easter 1916

Fr. Matthew Bridge, looking north. British troops shelling the Four Courts.

By Irish America Staff
March 25, 2016

This Easter weekend Ireland will be awash with commemorative events, the centerpiece of a year of commemorations taking place all year.

In Dublin, Easter Sunday is the main day, with a parade through the city center and the reading of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic by a contemporary Defence Forces officer outside the General Post Office on O’Connell Street. President Michael D. Higgins will lay a wreath at the historic site that was the headquarters of the rebel forces during Easter Week 1916.

On Easter Monday, the day the Rising officially began, separate, coordinated ceremonies in Dublin and throughout Ireland at the historic sites of the Rising will commence at exactly 1:15 p.m., the time the first shots of the Rising were fired at Dublin Castle in 1916.

At Irish America, we published an entire issue in commemoration of the Rising and the events leading up to, surrounding, and following the 5-day rebellion. Check out the links below for the complete story, including a tour of the key Rising locations in Dublin, the American influences, and profiles of the leaders.

As we wrote in our introduction to the issue, the Rising commemorations haven’t always been as critical as this year’s.

“There was no probing questioning, no critical examination, no scrutiny of the revolution’s motives,” Notre Dame professor Tom Bartlett says in Jason Kelly’s excellent piece, “A Strike Against the Empire.”

This year, however, we called the issue “a launch pad for our readers to begin their own investigations into the Rising and it’s legacy – a space to learn new information and a space to raise and posit questions.”

There’s no better week to do that than this one. Click the links below to start exploring, and let us know in the comments what you find.


Tour the Rising – Sharon Ní Chonchúir takes a CIE tour of the most famed Rising locations.

A Strike Against the Empire – Jason Kelly writes on the global implications of the Irish Rising for the continuation of the British Empire in the early 20th century.

A Poets’ Revolution – Quinnipiac University professor asks if the Rising can be framed in a literary narrative.

Printing the Proclamation – How the text came to be.


Profiles in Courage – Profiles of the 15 executed leaders of the Easter Rising.

Roger Casement – The British knight who arrested and executed for attempting to secure German guns for the Rising has been called the “father of 20th century human rights investigations.”

Michael Collins – Why does the legacy and myth of Collins endure?

Éamon de Valera – Even though he was the dominant political figure of Ireland’s 20th century, he was an enigma to the end of his life.

Countess Markievicz – How Constance Gore-Booth cultivated both refined and rebel personalities.

Women of the Rising – Written out of the official history following independence, the role of women fighters and poets in the Rising could not have been more crucial.

Eoin MacNeill – The scholar who tried to call off the Rising.

David Neligan – Michael Collins’s spy.

Joe McGarrity – De Valera’s right-hand man in America.


New York City – The city was a home away from home for Ireland’s exiled Fenians.

Boston – In the aftermath of the Rising, Boston took a sharp turn.

The German ConnectionWhen German spies came to America, they went straight to the Irish dockworkers.

American Labor Unions – The mutually beneficial relationship between Irish rebels and the American trade union movement.

Cable News – How was the Rising covered in American papers?

The United Irishmen and their American Legacy – Before the Rising, there were the United Irishmen. ♦

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