Category Archives: Padraic Pearse

Who drove the Rising?

imagesI’m well-disposed towards the 1916 Societies, so this short piece should be taken as a disagreement in a comradely spirit.

A recent article on their site says, “The driving force behind the Rising was the IRB; it was in effect a Fenian Rising.”  (See here.)

I think this is not only wrong historically but it has some important political implications for today too.

The IRB was not the driving force behind the Rising and nor could it be.  Connolly, Mallin, Markievicz and the Irish Citizen Army made up the driving force.  From the time the First World War broke out, Connolly determined on a Rising and began preparations.  The IRB position was rather more confused.  The left of the IRB – Clarke, Pearse, Mac Diarmada etc – also wanted a rising, but the situation in the IRB was far more complicated as the organisation contained far more equivocal figures, like Bulmer Hobson, and wavered continually.

The classic example is that the IRB capitulated to Redmond’s demand for a bunch of his sycophants – 25 of them I think! – to be added to the leading body of the Irish Volunteers.  If you are the driving force for an imminent rebellion you don’t agree to have a large number of opponents of such a rebellion being added to the leadership of what is ostensibly to be the main force of the rebellion.

And, utterly predictably, when war came, the Redmondite element of the Irish Volunteer leadership supported British imperialism and they and Redmond took the vast majority of the members of the Volunteers out of the movement and into the British Army and onto the imperialist killing fields in France.  The IRB leaders who were responsible for the capitulation of Redmond had not only made a serious political error, they had in effect sabotaged the Volunteers.

While the IRB floundered about, with its left elements wanting an insurrection but not really understanding how to proceed, Connolly was pursuing a consistent Read the rest of this entry

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Dublin South-Central 1916 Centenary Committee being formed; bigi linn

Dublin South Central has a rich wealth of history connected to the 1916 Rising.  From the local IRB circle to Na Fianna, from the local Irish Volunteers to the Irish Citizen Army and Cumann na mBan, many local residents took part in the Rising and local areas, including the Phoenix Park and the South Inner City ,saw important battles during Easter Week 1916. Join us as we organise community celebrations of the most important event in modern Irish history.

The Dublin South Central 1916 Centenary Committee has been formed by local residents to organise community celebrations of the 1916 Rising in Dublin South Central.  Its launch will take place at a public talk on “1916 and the Irish Revolution” by Dr Ruan O’Donnell on Saturday July 4, at 4pm, in the Bosco Centre Drimnagh. Bigi Linn; All Welcome.

1916, 2016: them and us

This first went up on the site back on April 28 this year; I’m putting it back up on the home page because it remains relevant.  I’ll be highlighting it continuously as long as I need to!

indexOne of the products of the end of the Provisionals’ armed struggle in the six counties and their signing up to, and enthusiastic participation in, an internal settlement there is that the kind of historical revisionism that was officially-backed from about the mid-1970s until the end of the 1990s has become outmoded.  The kind of nonsense delivered up by the likes of a would-be Sebastian Flyte such as Roy Foster is now surplus to requirements.

Instead, there is a new war over ‘1916 and all that’.  The southern establishment is much more relaxed about recognising and celebrating the importance of 1916 than they have been at any time since the explosion in the six counties at the end of the 1960s and start of the 1970s.  On the other hand, the establishment is vitally keen on tying the 1916 rebellion and subsequent war for independence into its own history.  They want to present the events of 1916-21 as finding their natural and logical conclusion in the establishment and development of the 26-county state.

Moreover, they want to show that this state and its population, or certainly its ruling elite, have ‘matured’ to the level of putting the old ‘enmity’ with England behind them.  ‘We’ can now recognise the ‘sacrifices’ made by Orangemen in the First World War and also commemorate men from nationalist Ireland who joined the British imperialist army and died on the slaughter fields of that war.  It’s all just part of Ireland’s rich and diverse Read the rest of this entry

éirígí New Year Statement 2014

imageséirígí extends New Year greetings to our members and supporters in Ireland and overseas.  We also take the opportunity to offer ongoing solidarity to all who stand against the exploitation and domination of capitalism and imperialism across the Earth.

During the course of 2013 our party members and supporters continued to be targeted by the forces of both the Six and Twenty-Six County states.  éirígí offers particular solidarity to all those who were harassed, assaulted, arrested and jailed in pursuit of the struggle for a Democratic Socialist Republic during 2013.  As has been the case for centuries past the determination and courage of the individual republican activist remains the greatest strength of our struggle, a human bulwark which has defended the integrity of the Irish Republican movement since the time of Wolfe Tone.

Our comrade Stephen Murney has now been interned in Maghaberry Jail for over a year.  He and others have been targeted by the British state because of their political beliefs and their political activism.  éirígí repeats its demand for the immediate release of Stephen Murney and all other internees, and again calls for the abolition of the legislation that facilitates the internment of political activist on both sides of the border.

2013 was another challenging year for the Irish working class as the austerity programme of the Leinster House and Stormont regimes heaped further misery upon communities the length and breadth of the country.  Unemployment and enforced emigration remained the tools of choice for a ruling class intent on driving down the living and working conditions of Read the rest of this entry

Commemorating founding of the Irish Volunteers, 1913

irishVols

Public meeting: The founding of the Irish Citizen Army (100th anniversary), Dublin, Sat, Nov 2

Saturday, November 2 at 5.00pm at the Cobblestone, Smithfield

Organised by the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People’s History Project

Speaker: Dr. Brian Hanley

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The next public talk organised by the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People’s History Project takes place on Saturday 2nd November at 5.00pm in the Cobblestone pub, Smithfield and marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Citizen Army.The Irish Citizen Army was founded in November 1913, almost two months after the commencement of the Lockout.

During the early weeks of the Lockout the Dublin Metropolitan Police brutally attacked workers on the streets of the capital and two workers died as a result of injuries inflicted by police. The ICA armed itself with hurls and batons and its primary role was to protect marches organized by the ITGWU from police attack.

Its membership was Read the rest of this entry

Constance Markievicz and the Irish Revolution

imagesJust in case there are any readers in Christchurch, New Zealand or any readers who know anyone in Christchurch, New Zealand, you might be interested in this talk on Thursday, September 5:  http://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/irish-night-at-the-canterbury-wea-constance-markievicz-and-the-irish-revolution/

The talk is likely to end up in two parts, with the second part on Thursday, September 19.  Further talks will be on Padraic Pearse and also James Connolly; followed by some film screenings – for instance, “Off Our Knees”, made by Bernadette (Devlin) McAliskey in 1988, on the previous 20 years of struggle; plus a talk on the 1981 hunger strike and a talk on 1913 in Ireland and New Zealand.  (During the Great Dublin Lockout, NZ also saw its largest-ever industrial dispute in terms of the numbers of workers involved, with many of the activists being influenced by the same ideas as Larkin and Connolly.)

Articles on 1916 figures

The éirígí site has been running a series of pieces on activists from the 1916 Rising, including those who survived and fought on.

Kathleen Lynn: http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest110513.html

Winifred Carney: http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest050513.html

Eamonn Ceannt: http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest070513.html

Michael Mallin: http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest010513.html

Tom Clarke: http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest290413_2.html

Padraic Pearse: http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest210413.html

 

 

éirígí Easter commemoration, Belfast, a great success

About 800 people attended the Easter Rising commemoration in Belfast organised by éirígí and the Republican Martyrs Commemoration Committee.  The video of it begins with a stunning version of “Where is our James Connolly?”

http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest020413.html

 

 

Easter Rising – then and now

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