By Elizabeth Willoughby on
On Easter Monday one hundred years ago, 1,200 Irish men and women gathered in strategic locations throughout Dublin city to fight British forces in order to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent republic.
Organizers had planned for the 1916 rebellion to take place during the Easter Sunday parade, which would provide the camouflage of many people celebrating on the streets, and provide better odds because British forces were already distracted with WWI. Unfortunately for the rebels, their secret shipment of weapons was discovered and confiscated by the British, causing some leaders to call off the event, while others insisted on going through with it on the Monday instead. The rebels were divided. Those determined to participate headed to the General Post Office, where their Republican flag was raised and the Proclamation of the Republic was read before rebels took their positions throughout the city centre.
At first there were only 1,000 British troops available to respond, and they did so using artillery bombardment, which gave nothing for the rebels to fire back at. Since no ports or train stations were captured, British reinforcements were able to arrive. Facing over 16,000 British troops (many of whom were Irish), the uprising lasted six days, from Monday, April 24 to Saturday, April 29. Against such overwhelming odds, the Irish rebels lost. Nevertheless, this uprising is seen as a turning point in Ireland’s struggle for independence, which was finally achieved over 30 years later, in 1949.
A virtual tour of Dublin Rising has been created by Ireland 2016 and Google. In a show of patriotic support, Irish actor Colin Farrell narrated the interactive website which identifies 22 key locations of the uprising in Dublin city, some which exist today as intended 100 years ago, some rebuilt and modernized, and some now used as museums. The website also includes archival photos, brief texts and eye witness accounts.
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