The Easter Rebellion

The Easter Rebellion

The Easter Rebellion

The Easter Rebellion

Excerpt

At four minutes past noon on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, a Red Cross nurse, returning to duty at the wartime hospital which had been set up in Dublin Castle, paused at the main gate. Half jokingly she asked the policeman on duty, "Is it true that the Sinn Feiners are going to take the Castle?"

"Ah, no, miss," answered Constable James O'Brien of the Dublin Metropolitan Police (D.M.P.). "I don't think so. Aren't the authorities making too much fuss?"

The nurse smiled and walked on into Upper Castle Yard through a stone archway surmounted by an imposing statue of Justice, standing with her back to the city -- a fact which Dubliners of rebellious sympathies liked to insist was significant. Upper Castle Yard itself was a quadrangle 280 feet long by 130 feet wide, enclosed by the various Crown administrative offices and by the Irish State Apartments. Among these were the gilded Throne Room and the age-worn St. Patrick's Hall, where for centuries the Viceroys of Ireland had given magnificent state balls, looked down upon by some rather undistinguished murals depicting the submission of the Irish chieftains to King Henry II -- a measure of the time England had wielded paramount influence in Ireland. Inside this short perimeter, then, lay the heart of British power in the sister isle.

At this same moment Mr. H.S. Doig, editor of the Dublin Mail & Express , busy writing a leader on Shakespeare's Tercentenary, heard one of his staff exclaim, "Good God! The Citizen Army are parading in spite of MacNeill's letter!" Doig, whose windows faced the Castle Gate, rose in time to see . . .

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