Dublin Remembers 1916

From the GPO to the Western Front

Citizens in ConflictCitizens in Conflict #3. In 1914 thousands of Irishmen joined the British Army to fight in the Great War. They were motivated by a variety of reasons, some encouraged by their political leaders, others out of economic necessity. The huge casualties suffered in the first two years of the war greatly dampened enthusiasm for volunteering. By 1916 recruitment was slowing to a trickle and many would assume that the Easter Rising killed it off. But there are at least four intriguing cases of men who fought as Irish Volunteers in 1916 and who then subsequently joined the British forces and fought in the Great War.

The 'GRs'

Citizens in ConflictCitizens in Conflict #2. A controversial incident occurred on Easter Monday at Beggars Bush. The 1st Dublin Battalion Associated Volunteer Training Corps were part-time reservists, many of them middle-aged professionals. The ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ as they were nicknamed wore civilian clothes and an armband emblazoned ‘GR’ (Georgius Rex).

On Easter Monday they were on exercises in the Wicklow Hills, heard about the rebellion and marched back to depot at Beggar's Bush in two columns. They came under fire on Northumberland Road and suffered four killed and several wounded. A larger column, nearly 100 strong managed to get to the barracks and eventually engage the rebels. It was widely believed that the GRs had either no weapons or rifles with no ammunition. Among Dublin's loyalist population it was asserted that 'They made no demonstration against the rebels, and were shot down without any warning.'

The Sinn Féin rebellion?

Citizens in ConflictCitizens in Conflict #1. The Rising was immediately dubbed the ‘Sinn Féin Rebellion’ and the participants almost universally described as ‘Sinn Féiners.’ In recent years many have suggested that this title is misleading, because neither Sinn Féin the political party, nor its leader, Arthur Griffith, played a role in the Rising. Indeed some even suggest that Griffith was opposed to violence and that Sinn Féin was not a revolutionary organization. In fact Sinn Féin and its members played leading roles in 1916.

Dublin Remembers 1916 Programme

Dublin Remembers 1916To mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Dublin City Council has announced an exciting programme of commemorative events. You are encouraged to remember and reflect on the events of Easter Week 1916, which shook the capital’s streets 100 years ago.  An tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh launched the Dublin Remembers 1916  programme on Wednesday, 13 January at Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, at a preview of the specially commissioned exhibition Citizens in Conflict, Dublin 1916.

The programme is packed full of lectures, talks by expert historians, exhibitions and conferences in Dublin libraries, City Hall, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and other venues in the city. This rich programme of events provides something for everyone. View the Dublin Remembers 1916 Programme of Events.

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