At noon on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, approximately 1000 men and women stormed buildings in central Dublin and rose against the British government. The area of Dublin between the Canals was taken by an amalgamation of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army (ICA), Cumann na mBan, and the Fianna. Padraic Pearse was appointed Commandant-General and James Connolly was appointed Commandant-General of the Dublin Division. By the end of the week, about 2100 men and women were in the garrisons. Though some women carried weapons, most of the Cumann na mBan women saw their roles confined to nursing, cooking and dispatch carrying. Not only were they the primary dispatch runners, they also passed through the British lines to get food supplies and ammunition, often hiding these in their clothes. These were all dangerous missions, and the women often held up vans, commandeering their contents at gun-point. Most of the women who wrote accounts of their activities eliminated any trace of heroism when relating their experiences. Few of the accounts give any indication of the excitement and colour of the week. They wrote that there was little drama attached to their duties, and so they just ‘got on with it’.
This book lists those who made up the garrisons, and gives a short biography of them. For all of the men and women listed here, they were not living history, they were living their lives. We should remember each of them who made their lives a little less ordinary by participating in the extraordinary events that took place.
Joe E. A. Connell Jnr is the author of Dublin Rising 1916, published earlier this year by Wordwell. He writes a regular column in History Ireland: Countdown to the Rising and is a regular contributor to Newstalk’s Talking History programme.
|Joseph E. A. Connell Jnr
|21 October 2015
|1916, revolution, Irish history
Who’s Who in the Dublin Rising 1916
- ISBN: 978 1 905569 94 6
- Author(s): Joseph E. A. Connell Jnr
- Availability: In Stock