Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

A guide to Dublin’s rebel museums for the 1916 centennial (PHOTOS)

“This year, 2016, marks the centennial of the Easter Rising, the seminal event in Irish revolutionary history, which led, in six short years, to the establishment of today’s Irish Republic.

The Rising lasted only six days, from Easter Monday to Saturday, but the brutal British reaction to it galvanized the Irish people into action. Initially, the Rising was unpopular with the locals. Many Dubliners had close ties to the British establishment, such as the “separation women,” the wives and family of Irishmen off fighting in the Great War for Britain. But the swift British military trials and executions of the leaders shocked the Irish people and turned the fifteen martyrs—Sir Roger Casement, the sixteenth and last rebel executed, would be hanged on August 3 in London—into national heroes.

In Dublin today there are nine museums—including three new ones—and landmarks dedicated to the men of 1916 and the heroes of the War of Independence. Their efforts eventually secured 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties from the British for the first time in 700 years—a David and Goliath quixotic feat that still amazes a century later.”

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