The Irish rebellion of 1916 - PDF by John F. Boyle

The Irish rebellion of 1916: a brief history of the revolt and its suppression

The Irish rebellion of 1916
The Irish rebellion of 1916 



My t aim in writing this short account of the Rebellion that broke out in Ireland during Easter-week, 1916, has been to present the facts in a clear and lucid manner, so that a just appreciation of what actually occurred may be gleaned by readers in Great Britain and Ireland as well as abroad. 

The facts I have set forth are obtained from official sources, as well as from the accounts of the rising that appeared in the Press from well-informed correspondents. It has been a task of considerable difficulty to collate and re-arrange them so that a complete and graphic pen-picture of the whole affair may result from the chaos, but I trust the work will be found to have been at least not negligently performed in the following pages. It is too early yet to estimate the real causes of the revolt or its probable consequences, and I have ventured no opinions, merely confining myself to as plain and impartial a presentation of the actual facts as I could, under all the circumstances, set forth.

The Irish words " Sinn Fein " mean, literally, " Ourselves Alone." Irishmen should depend on themselves, and not on outsiders, this was the essence of the teaching in the Sinn Fein movement. They should think in Irish, speak in Irish, write in Irish, dress in Irish, develop Irish resources, support Irish industries, and generally progress on purely Irish lines.

 This, too, was, in a great measure, the program of the Gaelic League, which was founded some years in advance of the Sinn Fein movement. There were, however, wide divergences, at first, in the policies of the Gaelic League and the Sinn Fein movement. 

The Gaelic League was not political. Its propaganda was purely educational. Its chief aims were to restore the Irish language as a medium of conversation, to re-create Irish literature in the vernacular, to foster Irish games and amusements, and in every way possible to render Ireland a distinctive cultural entity. It hoped to enlist in this work Protestant and Catholic, Unionist and Nationalist, and for this purpose, it eschewed politics and religion. 

Not alone was it non-political, but it was also non-sectarian. The Sinn Fein movement was, from the first, political. It was Nationalist in the widest and most extreme form of that word. Founded in 1905, some five years or so after the Gaelic League, to a large extent, it left to the latter organization the educational work it might, under other circumstances, have itself undertaken, and proceeded to supplement that work by the wider means at its disposal owing to its free constitution.

 Though strictly non-sectarian, it was not, like the Gaelic League, trammeled by non-political bonds, and it was able to expound a policy and formulate a program that the Gaelic League, committed as it then was to a severe estrangement from all that politics mean, could not undertake. The Sinn Feiners, from the first, were dissatisfied with, and disapproved of, the Irish representation in the Imperial Parliament. 

They held that, under the best circumstances, such representation was bound to be prejudicial to Ireland, and, under the worst, to be absolutely disastrous to the country. They based this belief on the futility that had followed nearly a hundred years' agitation in the British Parliament for a measure of self-government for Ireland. 

They were also convinced of the truth of some saying attributed to Charles Stewart Parnell that a couple of years in the British Parliament was sufficient to sap the nationality or even the strongest Irishman. Holding such views.



Author:

John F. Boyle

Publication date:

1916


Keywords:


Irish revolution, Irish History, History Easter Rising, 1916


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