March is always
for St. Patrick. April is for the Rising. On Easter Sunday in Newark, a group
of men & women commemorate the 1916 Easter Rebellion with a march from
Military Park to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Frank & Kathie Darcy are honored to carry the banner in the march. A
mass is celebrated in Irish Traditions and the Proclamation is read.
98 years ago, on Easter Sunday, 1916,
there were two conferences in Dublin: one, where the feeling was that because
of the countermand issued by the Volunteer’s Chief of Staff, there could be no
Rising; the other was held in Liberty Hall by the Volunteer and Citizen Army
Monday morning dawned; like all other
Irish Risings this one was to be inadequately prepared. But these men were
prepared to die, not for an island, but for a nation; a nation with a culture
of its own, based on its own language, its own heritage and perhaps most
important for”…the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland.”
great achievement of the 1916 Rising was that it brought about a change in the
attitude of public opinion. For although doomed to failure, it was a challenge
to conscience and to courage; that Ireland was the first country in the 20th
century to gain its own independence is evidence of this.
story of the Irish Uprising is one of intense dedication, of unvanquished
belief in the rightness of the cause, of hopes, of almost blind fidelity with
no chance of compromise to but one goal: a free and independent Ireland. This
was the common faith of the leaders.
that disaster was imminent, Eoin MacNeill attempted to call off the maneuvers
in an announcement made public Easter morning. The countermanding order was
considerable effective: only 1200 or so men turned out to parade.
Little attention was paid to the
marching of the Citizen Army and Volunteers on Easter Monday. By the time the
populace was aware that the “invasions” into public buildings were no longer
the mock attacks they had become accustomed to, The G.P.O. had been occupied by
forces of the Republic. Later in that day a new tri color flag was hoisted over
the Post Office, while on its steps, Padraic Pearse read the official
proclamation claiming authority for the Provisional Government of the Irish
As Republicans fortified the occupied
buildings and improvised barricades, the British in Dublin called for military
By the second day of the Rising,
British artillery was being brought into action. Meanwhile, small groups of
Irish Volunteers from the county were coming to Dublin to join their comrades.
They were shortly to find it impossible to make contact with Republican
the week that followed, position after position held by Republicans was given
up to the British. Connolly was wounded, the Post Office burning, and on Friday
morning Pearse issued a statement renouncing hope of military success.
of course we know the ending, the heroes, the Patriots were executed. And we
know that the ending as the Brits fought thinking it was the end, when it was
only the beginning. The Irish after six more years of rebellion, independence
for 26 counties was ultimately won. Finally after one hundred years, we may see
peace & freedom in our last 6 counties of Ulster. Maybe at last a United Ireland.