Second-Generation Irish and Easter 1916

Sinn Fein commemorated the 1916 Easter Rising on Sunday. Fianna Fail is apparently holding its commemoration on the anniversary on 24 April.

One aspect of the Rising that is worth considering is the extent of the British connections on the republican side. The first signatory of the Proclamation of Independence, Thomas Clarke, was born on the Isle of Wight. James Connolly was born in Edinburgh. Padraig Pearse’s father was born in Nottingham.

Corkman Michael Collins was based in London in the period immediately prior to the Rising, and brought back with him a large contingent of English and Scottish-born volunteers who were based at Kimmage in South Dublin, and who were to make up a large proportion of the garrison in the GPO during the fighting.

This history is well-recorded in a recent book Choosing the Green? Second Generation Irish and the Cause of Ireland by Brian Dooley, which is full of ironic anecdotes like this one from London-born Joe Good:

"At one time I had clear sight of some of our Kimmage lads among the small group of Volunteers trying to restrain the looters," he recalled. "It was amusing to imagine the tone and accents of some of our Cockney or Liverpudlian admonitions to those celebratory citizens of this newly-taken ‘Fair City’. To these Dubliners they would have sounded more alien than the voices of Irishmen in the British Army."







2 responses to “Second-Generation Irish and Easter 1916”

  1. JK avatar

    Nice piece. I will have to get hold of that book

  2. DaithiO avatar

    I bought this book online from the publishers, a thoroughly good read, highly recommended.

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