What happened in 1916 in Cork and Kerry, Galway, Wexford and Meath
A special supplement by the Irish Examiner
As the nation remembers the momentous historic events in Dublin throughout 1916, it is important that we should not forget those that also occurred around the country during the same pivotal period.
|Disaster in Kerry|
|Mixed messages for Volunteers|
|March to Macroom|
|Easter Week in Cork|
|Battle of Ashbourne|
|1916 in Galway|
|1916 in Wexford|
|Na Fianna Éireann|
A WWI recruiting meeting at Shandon St, Cork, in October 1915. Picture: Irish Examiner Archives.
For while the violence was mostly restricted to the capital, thousands of members of Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan and other organisations frustratingly awaited orders to take up arms, as news of the Rising reached the provinces.
In this Rising in the Regions supplement, we tell some of their stories, including those of the bloodshed that occurred in counties Meath, north Dublin and Galway where Volunteers and police faced each other.
The story of what happened in Cork and Kerry is also detailed, explaining the various errors that led to little or no violence taking place. (Except, of course, for the shootout at the Kent farm in north Cork, where the death of police head constable William Rowe led to Thomas Kent becoming the only man other than Roger Casement to be executed outside Dublin in the aftermath of the Easter Rising.)
But what is the relevance of these stories, when the rebellion was largely confined to Dublin?
One of the main reasons that public opinion swung towards the rebels — in the wake of an otherwise unpopular Rising — was that so many Volunteers and others were rounded up by British authorities, imprisoned and held for months without even facing any charges.
In addition to the execution of 15 men in the immediate aftermath, and that of Casement in London later in 1916, the harsh disproportionate treatment of these men and women also helped to bolster the movement that would form the nucleus of the later War of Independence.
Many of those who were interned in English and Welsh jails and prison camps had mobilised during Easter week, including some of the 1,000-plus Irish Volunteers who marched through Co Cork on Easter Sunday, 1916.
But for the confusing orders emanating from different figures in Dublin, and for the capture of thousands of guns shipped from Germany to Co Kerry, the history of 1916 might be much, much different.
The stories that are told in the Rising in the Regions only give part of the picture of what happened outside Dublin, focusing on the centres of some of the main episodes.
We hope that through those stories, public understanding of those events — and the potential outcomes, had circumstances been different — will be increased; and that the history of Easter 1916 will be seen as a national one.
It is a history that deserves to be told — and shared — in full.