As a departure from my usual opinion pieces, I’m trying my hand at simple “description” over at On This Deity today.
On the 29th April 1916 poet, teacher and revolutionary, Pádraig Pearse, issued the following statement from a beseiged building on Dublin’s Moore Street,
In order to prevent the further slaughter of Dublin citizens, and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, the members of the Provisional Government present at headquarters have agreed to an unconditional surrender, and the commandants of the various districts in the City and County will order their commands to lay down arms.
It signalled the end of the Easter Rising, the most significant campaign in the struggle for Irish independence since the rebellion of 1798. The Rising had left large parts of the city decimated and resulted in thousands of casualties. It was also, unambiguously, a spectacular military failure. And yet it was the spark that lit the fuse on the War of Independence which would, within five years, force the British government to the negotiating table to discuss the terms of Irish independence.