The 1916 Easter Rising in 15 facts

15 interesting facts, some well known and some unknown, that summarise 1916.

By Joanne McDonagh, Irish Examiner


1.The Proclamation was signed by seven men: Thomas Clarke, Sean McDermott, Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, James Connolly and Eamon Ceannt.

2. Thomas James Clarke, a proclamation signatory, was born on the Isle of Wight. James Clarke his father, was posted there as an Irish sergeant in the British army. Thomas was raised Catholic, even though his father practised under the Church of Ireland. The family later went to live in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.

3. The first actual shot in the 1916 Rising was in Laois. Other Rising’s also occurred in Co.Galway, Enniscorthy in Co.Wexford and Ashbourne in Co.Meath.

4. The General Post Office, the Four Courts, Jacob’s Factory, Boland’s Mill, the South Dublin Union, St. Stephens Green, and the College of Surgeons were all taken over successfully by members of the IRB, Irish Volunteer Force and the Irish Citizen Army.

Patrick Pearse

5. During the early stages of the rising James Connolly was injured, leaving Patrick Pearse as the highest in command.

6. With James Connolly was so seriously injured he had to be carried to his execution on a stretcher. He was then tied to a chair in order to face the firing squad.

7. The most fatalities during the Easter Rising took place on Dublin’s Mount Street Bridge.

8. Michael Collins was present in the GPO, serving beside James Connolly.

9. Women – including countess Markieviz – played a strong part in the rebellion with over 200 members of Cumann na mbhan recorded as participating in the fighting.

10. Joseph Plunkett and Grace Gifford married eight hours before his execution at Kilmainhaim Goal and she donned her widow’s clothing for the rest of her life.

11. Towards the end of the Rising, British troops had risen to 19,000 whilst Irish Republican Groups had only gathered 1,600 fighters. This was mainly due to the mix up of dates, as nobody was sure when the rising was to take place.

12. Beginning with “Irishmen & Irishwomen”, the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is the only one of it’s period to mention women equally.

13. A strategic attack by the British on the GPO resulted in a republican surrender on Saturday, April 29.

14. A German ship carrying arms for the Irish Republican Army failed to contact local volunteers and was captured by British troops. This changed the course of the Irish Rebellion.

15. All leaders of the 1916 rising faced trial, sixteen were executed, approximately 3,000 more associated with the groups were arrested.

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