IRSM Belfast Easter Commemoration Sunday 24 April 2016
After the outstanding success of Dublin IRSM’s 1916 Centenary commemoration in the Irish Capital City, the Irish Republican Socialist Movement will be holding their Belfast Easter Rising commemoration on the auspicious date of Sunday, 24 April, 2016. All members, bands, family members and supporters are asked to assemble outside Dunville Park, Falls Road, Belfast at 11am “for a march to the Republican Socialist plot in Milltown cemetery where our annual commemorative event will be held.” (IRSP NEWS)
The 24 April marks exactly 100 years to the day that the Proclamation was first read outside the GPO at the commencement of the Easter Rebellion. Although the Irish Citizen Army, Irish Volunteers, a small contingent of Hibernian Rifles and Cumann na mBan fought bravely against the overwhelming forces of British imperialism, the Rising failed militarily.
The Irish revolutionaries’ armed actions were at first heavily condemned by reformist politicians in both the media of the day and Westminster for having a lack of mandate, accusing them of being being ‘traitors to Ireland’ etc. However, within a short period of time public opinion had changed drastically into admiration of their bravery and principles. A significant reason for the sea change in Irish public opinion were the excessive punitive actions of the British military industrial complex, that included secret courts-martial that sentenced many of the Rising’s leadership to death, including:
- Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Thomas J. Clarke on 3 May, 1916
- Joseph Plunkett, William Pearse, Edward Daly and Michael O’Hanrahan on 4 May, 1916
- John MacBride on 5 May 1916
- Eamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin, Sean Heuston and Conn Colbert on 8 May, 1916
- James Connolly and Sean MacDiarmada on 12 May, 1916
In London, some months later, Roger Casement was tried for high treason and hanged at Pentonville Prison on 3 August, 1916 for his part in the military preparations for the Easter Rising. Around 1500 Irish revolutionaries most of whom were involved in the Rising were interned and exiled without trial, mainly in Frongoch concentration camp, Wales. It is widely accepted that the military actions of the revolutionaries of the 1916 Rising acted as a catalyst for what became known as the ‘Tan War’, a popular armed guerrilla war that began in 1919 against British imperialism in Ireland.
Saoirse go deo!