Learn all he can and put his training to the best advantage: Irish republicans in the British Army

It is probably not coincidental that the passing of the very last of the generation who fought in the first world war has coincided with a rise in overt nationalism centred around displays of the poppy as a symbol of British military commemoration. With the second world war generation, too, now dwindling rapidly, an aggressivelyContinue reading “Learn all he can and put his training to the best advantage: Irish republicans in the British Army”

James Connolly’s time as a British soldier, some new evidence

James Connolly, signatory of the 1916 proclamation, is widely accepted to have served as a British soldier in Ireland. Remarkably little is known about this period of his life and its impact on his political formation and views. It is assumed that he joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment, although direct documentary proof has yet toContinue reading “James Connolly’s time as a British soldier, some new evidence”

Truckling to Treason: Belfast Newsletter reflects on the Rebellion, 4th May 1916

The following is the editorial in the Belfast Newsletter on 4th May 1916, entitled ‘Reflections on the Rebellion’. It gives an insight into the immediate response to the Easter Rising. What stands out is the obsession with particular aspects of the Easter Rising. This can be seen in the criticism of the British governments administration in IrelandContinue reading “Truckling to Treason: Belfast Newsletter reflects on the Rebellion, 4th May 1916”

James Connolly Heron reading 1916 Proclamation, Glasnevin, 24th April 2016

On the day marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the 1916 Easter Rising, James Connolly Heron read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic at the republican plot, Glasnevin at one of many great events on in Dublin during the day (the Glasnevin event was organised by the National Graves Assocation). James is aContinue reading “James Connolly Heron reading 1916 Proclamation, Glasnevin, 24th April 2016”

The first shots of the 1916 Easter Rising?

Were the first shots of the 1916 Rising fired in County Tyrone on Easter Sunday? As part of the planned Rising, the Belfast Battalion of the Irish Volunteers and Belfast IRB Circles mobilised on Saturday 22nd April, 1916, and traveled by train to Coalisland in County Tyrone. There, they were to drill and parade, while theContinue reading “The first shots of the 1916 Easter Rising?”

Charlie Monahan’s fateful journey, 20th-21st April 1916

Charles Monahan was the first Belfast casualty of 1916. He had been born on 21st March 1879 to Robert and Johanna Monahan, who lived at 23 Reilly’s Place, off Cromac Street in the Markets. Robert was originally from Wexford, where the surname Monahan is mainly found in the area between New Ross and Hook Head in the southContinue reading “Charlie Monahan’s fateful journey, 20th-21st April 1916”

They told me how Connolly was shot in the chair…

How was James Connolly executed? The popular image is of Connolly strapped into a chair to be shot. This may not exactly be the case, though. I found this recent post on the 1916 Easter Rising Historical Society Facebook group. It concerns a graphic account of Connolly’s execution (posted by Kevin Good). A subsequent commentContinue reading “They told me how Connolly was shot in the chair…”

Proclamations of an Irish Republic, 1803, 1867, 1916

The proclamation issued in 1916 wasn’t the first of its kind to be issued in Ireland. At least two other proclamations were direct precursors of the 1916 proclamation, the first issued in 1803, the second in 1867. On 23rd July 1803, the last official communication from the Society of United Irishmen was printed in Dublin.Continue reading “Proclamations of an Irish Republic, 1803, 1867, 1916”

National Graves Association book online: 1916-1966 Belfast and Nineteensixteen

As the centenary of the 1916 Rising is being commemorated, it seems fitting to post up a copy of the booklet produced to mark the fiftieth anniversary in Belfast. Ostensibly, the booklet was one of two produced to raise funds on behalf of the National Graves Association in Belfast and defray the cost of erectingContinue reading “National Graves Association book online: 1916-1966 Belfast and Nineteensixteen”

From Belfast Town, 1916-2016

From Belfast Town by Jimmy Steele (as published in 1916-66: Belfast and ninteensixteen,followed by a list of republican dead, 1916-2016)   A Cause was born upon Cave-Hill. For it men vowed their blood to spill, And Belfast Town answered the Call, “Break the Connection with the Gall.” On Antrim Town they marched with pride ToContinue reading “From Belfast Town, 1916-2016”