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Apart from Irish nationalists believing that Home Rule would follow the war if they fought for Britain; or the Ulsterman's belief that after their sacrifice, Britain 'would see them right,' there were other reasons too, that drove young men into the British army at this perilous time in history. Men joined for heroic reasons. There were propaganda warnings that Irish women would be raped, land and farms confiscated, churches burnt and looted if Germany invaded Ireland as it had Belgium.
Despite the crucial role many women played in the 1916 Rising, very few were given the credit they deserved. In fact some women were refused a pension for many years because they were not men.
‘The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers. She aims it at the creature’s head. And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.’
There was hardly a marriage of two minds greater than that between Hanna Sheehy and Francis Skeffington, who were married in Dublin in 1903, and who committed their lives to many causes, particularly feminism, pacifism, socialism, and nationalism. Hanna was one of the founders of the Irish Women’s Franchise League, determined to win votes for women. As part of its disobedience campaign, women were urged not to fill in the 1911 Census form correctly. Her husband Francis, totally supportive in all her endeavours, and as head of the household, submitted the following:
Padraic Pearse, the self-identified President of the Provisional Government, and Commandant-General of the Army of the Irish Republic was rushed to the gallows, or in this case to the grim stonebreakers yard at Kilmainham jail.
On Tuesday 25 April 1916, Galway became the only county outside of Leinster to take up arms against the British state during the Easter Rising. In fact, only three parts of provincial Ireland participated in the Rising: Enniscorthy in county Wexford; Ashbourne in north county Dublin; and county Galway, where several hundred rebels took over 600 square miles of the east of the county between Tuesday 25 April and Saturday 29 April. Commemorative documentaries and history books pay little attention to the Galway Rising with the focus tending to be on the more dramatic events that took place in Dublin, but Galway’s Rising was an important part of the story of the Easter Rising; and the story of the hundreds of brave Galway men who stood up to the British Empire in April 1916 deserves to be told in detail. In this series of five articles, FERGUS CAMPBELL will explain why Galway rose when so many other parts of provincial Ireland did not, and he will also tell the story of what happened in Galway during the Rising, and the impact that the Rising had on Galway society. This account is based on many documents, police reports, newspaper accounts and memoirs but most of the quotations are derived from the witness statements that Galway rebels made to the Bureau of Military History during the 1940s and 1950s, and these can be read online.
Bank of Ireland this week announced a programme of support for the development of Sports Clubs and Societies at NUI Galway. The significant investment from Bank of Ireland will help fund the development of the clubs and societies and help improve the overall quality of the student experience at the University.
IT MAY have been a miserable raiany evening, but that did nothing to deter or dampen the spirits of the many Cúirt enthusiasts who thronged the House Hotel on Tuesday evening for the programme launch of this year’s festival.
This remarkable photograph was taken in 1920/21. It shows a group of republican prisoners who are being held in the Town Hall. They are surrounded by barbed wire and are being carefully watched by a soldier you can see standing beside the tin hut. He is wearing a ‘Brodie’ helmet which was a steel combat helmet invented by Englishman John Brodie during World War I. There were probably more soldiers on duty inside the hut watching the detainees, the photographer, and anyone else who might have been was passing. A notice on one of the windows reads “No one is allowed within ten yards of this building.”
Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D. Higgins will launch a bilingual city initiative for the City of Galway as part of a programme of events for Seachtain na Gaeilge 2016.