On Easter Monday, April 24 1916, approximately 1,250 men and women from the Irish Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army and Cumann na mBan under the command of James Connolly and Padraig Pearse seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic.
The rebellion – the Easter Rising as it has since become known – ended six days later with an unconditional surrender by Padraig Pearse to British forces on Saturday, April 29, 1916 to avoid further bloodshed in the face of certain defeat.
Easter Week Timeline
Click on the dates below for detailed descriptions of what happened on each day of the Rising and delve further into 1916: The Irish Rebellion. Civilians, including the workers, women and children across Dublin, tell a very different story from rebels in the Irish Citizens Army and Cumann na mBan. It was different again for the British and police forces, who were called to defend the city.
- Key buildings seized in Dublin include the Four Courts, Boland’s Mill and the GPO, which acts as the rebels’ headquarters. Rebels make an attempt to seize Dublin Castle but are repelled to offices on the opposite side of the street. At the GPO the tricolour is hoisted and Patrick Pearse reads the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
- Martial law is declared as the British take up positions throughout Dublin including. Skirmishes continue throughout the city. Shops are looted and burned.
- British forces bring in heavy artillery. Liberty Hall, although unoccupied, is shelled. Volunteers attack Linen Hall barracks in the north of the city while British soldiers marching from Dun Laoghaire come under attack from the Boland’s Mill garrison at Mount Street.
- Heavy shelling causes fires and destruction. The South Dublin Union comes under attack from the Sherwood Foresters. Artillery is deployed in Sackville Street while sniping occurs throughout the city. At the GPO, James Connolly is wounded in the arm and the leg. Fires and looting become more widespread.
- British General Sir John Maxwell arrives in Dublin. Shelling intensifies and the GPO is evacuated by rebels who establish a new headquarters in Moore Street. Michael (The) O’Rahilly, a prominent nationalist is killed during that evacuation.
- Shortly after 12pm Padraig Pearse and the other leaders decide to surrender. After meeting with General Lowe, Pearse signs an unconditional surrender. The garrison at the Four Court also surrenders. Prisoners are taken to the Rotunda Hospital and held overnight.
Explore the Rising in the Regions
While most of the fighting took place in Dublin, our special feature Rising in the Regions examines the rebellion across Ireland. As plans proceeded in Cork and Kerry to transport munitions, there were also attacks on British army and RIC positions in Wexford, Galway and Meath.