In Easter Week of 1916 while war was raging in Europe, Irish republican revolutionaries mounted an armed rebellion to establish an Irish Republic independent of British rule. The Rising was planned by 7 members of the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood - Tom Clarke, Sean McDermott, Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, Joseph Plunkett, James Connolly and Eamon Ceannt. On Easter Monday Patrick Pearse read the Proclamation (Poblacht na hÉireann) outside the General Post Office (GPO) declaring Ireland a sovereign independent republic and they hoisted the flag of an Irish Republic.They occupied and held the GPO as well as various positions around Dublin for almost a week. Fighting was fierce but the British suppressed the Rising, forcing the leaders to surrender. 16 of the rebel leaders were arrested and executed following the surrender - including all 7 signatories of the Proclamation. The executions caused outrage and swung public opinion in support of the rebels. The Easter Rising was certainly not the first attempt by republican revolutionaries to free Ireland from British rule but it was one of the most significant. The War of Independence would follow, but the Rising is widely viewed as a major catalyst in the creation of an Irish Free State and Republic.
2016 marks the centenary of the Easter Rising. As part of the commemorations, the national flag will be delivered to all schools and Proclamation Day will take place in all educational institutions on 15th March 2016. So, remembering the 1916 Rising will be the focus of many classrooms this coming year. This guide aims to pull together our top picks of the many resources on the Rising as an aid to teachers.
Senior Library Assistant for Education Services and Resources, DCU St. Patrick's Library