Born OTD in 1890, Irish revolutionary, soldier and politician who was a leading figure in the early-20th-century Irish struggle for independence, Mícheál Ó Coileáin (Michael Collins). The Rising was Collins’ first appearance in national events. When it commenced on Easter Monday 1916, Collins served as Joseph Plunkett’s aide-de-camp at the rebellion’s headquarters in the General Post Office in Dublin. There he fought alongside Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, & other members of the Rising leadership. The Rising was put down after six days, but the insurgents achieved their goal of holding their positions for the minimum time required to justify a claim to independence under international criteria.

Easter 1916

Now with a new preface for the centenary of the Easter Rising, a compelling interpretation of the rebellion that launched Ireland into a new world. Before Easter 1916 Dublin had been a city much like any other British city, comparable to Bristol or Liverpool and part of a complex, deep-rooted British world. Many of Dublin’s inhabitants wanted to weaken or terminate London’s rule but there remained a vast and conflicting range of visions of that future: far more immediate was the unfolding disaster of the First World War that had put ‘home rule’ issues on ice for the duration.

The devastating events of that Easter changed everything. Both the rising itself and-even more significantly-the ferocious British response ended any sense at all that Dublin could be anything other than the capital of an independent country, as an entire nation turned away in revulsion from the British artillery and executions.

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