Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Easter Rebellion

"On this day in 1916, the Easter Rebellion began on the streets of Dublin. The British police extinguished the rebellion a few days later. Called "the poet's rebellion," it was led by six patriotic poets and men of letters including Patrick Pearse and James Connolly. They barged inside and read their "Proclamation of Independence" to a baffled crowd."

Ok....at this point i have to stop quoting this lovely piece to allow us all to step inside this Irish Post Office. Follow me. What do you see? Bored postal workers? Women rocking their prams? Men with small parcels tied up with string? Just another day in the life....when suddenly 6 poets rush in reading their announcement that they would no longer live under British rule? Can you see the looks on the postal patrons' faces? I ask you.. Is this any way to start a rebellion?

We now return to our quote.....

"The rebellion seemed hopelessly unsuccessful until the British government valorized many of the rebels by executing them a few weeks later. The executions set in motion a movement for Irish nationalism, and in 1921 Ireland finally achieved independence from Great Britain—except for the six northernmost counties of the island that comprise Northern Ireland." (quote from today's Writer's Almanac w/Garrison Keillor)

My grandmother was a young career woman during this period. She was probably referred to as Miss Dowling in the insurance office where she was employed. One day several men rushed in, knocked out the front windows and pointed them towards the street. She didn't know whether to keep typing or run like the wind. She told me that part of her was terrified but a bigger part of her was exhilarated and alive like never before. She grabbed a rifle and told those men to step aside - that she would finish what they couldn't.....ok...ok...that last line was made up.....but i like the imagery of my grandmother taking on the British.....She was told to get the hell out of there which she did....

I looked for a picture to go along with this story.......this was the closest i could find - a real photo from that time......(a chemist is the pharmacy).....I do miss my Granny today.....

1 comment:

Gin said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing.

Gin