The executions were supposed to crush, once and for all, the rebel spirit, but they ended up having the opposite effect. Shortly after the outbreak of the war, Casement travelled to Europe seeking German support for a Nationalist uprising in Ireland. We can count the family photos of her on one hand. There's a lot of evidence from women, especially widows. Dublin is preparing to welcome descendants from around the world, including 16 members of the Detroit branch of the Wisely family. British troops soon arrived to put down the rebellion, and for nearly a week Dublin was paralyzed by street fighting. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Later in the week, the Royal Navy began shelling Dublin from the River Liffey. They were precisely aimed and rang in unison. There were also a series of war crimes tribunals held by Cromwell in the 1650s.". The events they chronicle, however, poisoned Anglo-Irish relations for centuries, focusing attention on atrocities inflicted predominantly by dispossessed Irish Catholic rebels on Anglo-Scottish, Protestant settlers. “I was making field dressings in Tom Clarke’s house,” she said years later. It has been said that the Fenian rebellion was thus more successful for having failed. Dublin, the second city of the British Empire, lay in smoldering ruins. “Easter Monday. The rebels who launched it were locked inside Kilmainham Gaol, an 18th-Century stone fortress in the center of the Irish capital. But as we etch out a path for tomorrow, we stand on the stories of those who came before. It was May 3, 1916. In November, rebels besieged Drogheda and defeated an English relief force at Julianstown. “I was serving out food and munitions to the men,” she later told the pension board. Students of the Holocaust and more recent genocides – such as Rwanda and the Balkans – as well as groups supporting peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland have been among early users of the resources. Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, one of the principal investigators at Trinity, believes that new language analysis methods will allow the documents to be explored "in a way we couldn't have done 10 or 15 years ago during the Troubles". The lesson I take from Grandma's life is that there are, indeed, causes worth fighting for, and perhaps even dying for. In April of 1938, she was approved for a pension of 20 pounds, 4 shillings and 9 pence per year. The story ended there so dad never learned what happened to that man. Nonetheless, resistance continued until the rebels were finally defeated in February, 1787, by a force under the command of General Benjamin Lincoln, author of this letter. The Irish Republican Army that emerged after 1916 never attempted to replicate the tactics of Easter week, implicitly acknowledging that they were, from a practical point of view, useless. May Wisely is the grandmother my siblings and I never knew. The rebellion lasted only six days before it was put down by the British army. As late as the 1930s the Irish government intervened to prevent publication of historical research about the accounts of arson, communal murders, mass drownings, lynchings and robberies because it was deemed to contain such incendiary allegations. To prepare for the anniversary, the Irish government has been posting online archival material from the 1916 era, including records of our grandmother. “She marched him into the meeting and turned him over to the leaders, saying ‘You can tell them all what you were doing.’ ”. The 31 handwritten volumes of embittered 17th-century testimony have been alternately hailed as the world's first war crimes investigation or damned as a prototype dodgy dossier packed with black political propaganda. It is like doing a cold case review in the sense that we are using modern technological advances to provide insights into old evidence. Planned attacks in Cork, Tyrone and Donegal never happened. But even his memories of her were cut short. Taken together, along with the records of her brothers, and others who served with her, our family has begun to know a woman who was willing to die for a cause she believed in, an independent Ireland. John Wisely is a Detroit Free Press reporter. He wanted to crush Irish nationalism once and for all by making an example of the leaders of the Rising. The rebellion, which broke out in October 1641, was a significant moment in the formation of identity in Ireland, she told the Guardian. By then, it was the middle of the Great Depression with thousands of Irish men and women seeking pensions. She's buried in her old neighborhood in a family plot that includes her brother, Sean, and his wife, Ame, both of whom fought in the Rising. The board was scrutinizing every claim trying to determine who really fought. May Wisely was an Irish rebel; a real life, gun-toting, overthrow-the-government kind of rebel. Is there any evidence of that as it was being written down? Contact him: 313-222-6825 or [email protected] By then she was married and continued her fight, noting that she "obtained the use of my mother-in-law's house for men on the run and also storing arms and ammunition.". failure. The 24th of March 2016 marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, and the landmark documentary, 1916: The Irish Rebellion, recounts the details of this history-making and history-changing event. My dad instantly recognized her handwriting and he cried as he read it. Witness statements taken after the Irish rebellion and massacres of 1641 – that provided Oliver Cromwell with justification for his infamous slaughter of the defeated garrisons at Drogheda and Wexford – are being put online and will for the first time be cross-checked, where possible, for accuracy and exaggeration. T… She died four days before Christmas 1946, at age 50. Radical Irish Nationalists refused to wait for the end of the war. They attracted no extra support but were not stopped – the largest force they faced was only 500 strong; Rebels defeated at Blackheath, outside London – at the symbolic spot where Peasants Revolt and Cade’s Rebellion men had camped. It is very possible that someone could try to bring them up again, but it would be met with strong resistance. My Grandma was headed there that morning but when the streets were blocked with fighting she ended up with a different group in a city park known as St. Stephen’s Green. As early as 1914, members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) were plotting to rebel and seize control of Ireland while Britain and its military forces were engaged in Europe. Clarke had been the first man to sign the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, Ireland’s equivalent of the Declaration of Independence. It was just before dawn on the morning of her 20th birthday when she heard the gunshots. BBC history site about the executions during the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland The rebels seized key buildings across Dublin but didn’t have enough soldiers to hold them because of Eoin MacNeill’s order cancelling operations. Because the games were one of the biggest reasons that the rebellion happened in the first place. On April 24, 1916, the Irish rebellion known as the Easter Rising began leading to the destruction of Dublin's city center, major loss of life and the eventual execution of the cause's leaders. We'll travel with our parents to dad’s hometown of Dublin to witness the ceremonies and learn a little more about where we come from and who we are. The rebels who launched it were locked inside Kilmainham Gaol, an 18th-Century stone fortress in the center of the Irish capital. The 350-year-old writing is barely legible, the spelling across 19,000 pages of text erratic. The rebels, including Grandma, were marched to Kilmainham, where a century of previous Irish rebels had been imprisoned. Trace your Irish heritage for free. My dad remembers that it "put food on the table," but Grandma accepted it under protest. "There are about 4,000 claims altogether. Setting Easter 1916 as the date for their rebellion, they worked with Nationalist supporters like Irish-born British diplomat, Sir Roger Casement. April 1916. A rebellion in Ireland in early 1867 was thwarted, and once again the leaders were rounded up and convicted of treason. A tobacco shop he opened in Dublin … Send essays (1,000 words or less) and your contact information to [email protected] Her group performed mostly First Aid functions and ambulance driving, but these women were committed fighters as well. The Rising was set for Easter Sunday, 1916. The barbarities are still emblazoned on Orange Order banners and loyalist murals in Northern Ireland. The file also included letters she wrote, in her own hand, pleading her case. Now we can systematically analyse how accurate they were. Yet almost 70 years after her death, we continue to learn new things about her. to the rebels. She was actively involved in the creation of modern Ireland. We plan to publish a few of these essays in an upcoming section of the Free Press. A small band of rebels — including poets and teachers, actors and workers — gathered in Dublin, intent on liberating Ireland from 700 years of British rule. Oftentimes, the challenges and triumphs of everyday women like Wisely are not fully appreciated or recalled. Together we learned things about her that even dad didn't know. ", Phillip Taylor late of the Portadowne in the County of Armagh husbandman ag sworne saith That about the xvj xxiiijth of October Last he this deponent was taken prisoner at Portadowne aforesaid by Toole mc Cann of now of Portadowne gent a notorious rebell and comander of a great number of rebells together with those Rebells his souldiers to the number of 100 persons or thereaboutes Att which tyme the Rebells first tooke the Castle and victualled the same, Then they assaulted and pillaged the towne & burned all the howses on the further side of the water And then the said Rebells drowned a great number of English protestants of men women and children in this deponents sight, some with their hands tyed on their backs And saith that the number of them that were soe then drowned amounted as this deponent was credibly tould and beleveth, to the number of 196 persons: And the same Rebells then alsoe threatened to shoote to death one Mr Tiffin a zealous protestant minister there & discharged a peece at him accordingly but as it pleasid god they mist him and at length he escaped from them: And further saith that the said Rebells kept this deponent in prison at portadowne aforesaid for the space of seven weekes and sett a horse Lock vpon his legg: but at length he gott a passe from the said Toole mc Cann & soe gotte away from them But whilest he stayd there many poore protestants were by the Rebells murthered in seuerall placs in about Loughgall aforesaid And they alsoe in that tyme stript of his clothes one Mr Jones a minister at Segoe nere Portadowne aforesaid: whoe afterwards escaped from them to the towne of Lisnegarvy: And the deponent hath credibly heard that one Mr ffullerton a minister & another in his company were alsoe murthered by the Rebells before the drowning of the protestants aforesaid And that the rebels signum dicti Phillippi Taylor [mark], 'Ultimate' cold case analysis may heal ancient quarrels and offer genealogy and linguistics treasure trove, An illustration showing images from the 1641 rising by Catholic rebels of an alleged massacre of Protestants during the Irish rebellion known as the Depositions. Pearse and 14 other leaders of the rebellion were court-martialed and executed by British authorities in the weeks that followed. "I was most moved by the account of one man who escaped to Dublin where he heard that his wife and children had been killed. It is hoped to have all the documents available online by the end of this year. The aftermath of the Rising led to a broader War of Independence and eventually a Civil War. The Easter Rising he spearheaded was put down with overwhelming British force. May Wisely, who is lovingly remembered on these pages by a grandson whom she had never met, is a reminder that all of our families have tales to tell — some grand, some small. "All the years we worked for the cause and went into action, willing to give our all, and went to jail and came out to carry on the good work,"  she wrote. This database contains details of Irish convicts who were transported to New South Wales in the period 1788 - 1849. One letter described her "reliable and steadfast, and a most enthusiastic worker, both prior and subsequent to the Rising.”. Grandma, and other citizen soldiers of the Rising, concluded their cause was just. He speaks of the Disqualification Act, passed by the One hundred years later, the moral question remains: In a historic grievance between peoples, at what point is violence justified? The Young Irelander Rebellion was a failed Irish nationalist uprising led by the Young Ireland movement, part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 that affected most of Europe. Academics from Trinity College, Aberdeen and Cambridge Universities are now co-operating on a series of research projects that could not only help bring resolution to ancient quarrels but will open up a treasure house of genealogical, linguistic and census information. He's returned to Ireland many times but this Easter, he is taking our mom, Joan; my four siblings; Kathleen, Kevin, Maryanne, Sheila, and me; plus seven grandchildren and some in-laws. Some of the Irish rebels were executed by the British, and the making of martyrs contributed greatly to Irish nationalist sentiment. They came from a firing squad that was executing Tom Clarke, a man she knew and admired. "They did it in the hope of obtaining evidence against the rebels and also as a crude form of insurance claim against lost property," Ohlmeyer said. Our daily interactions with each other, and the world, will write the tale of days to come. They will be real echoes of the past. On March 31, our cousins from England and France will visit to help celebrate his 84th birthday in his hometown. Cromwell's commissioners were still taking evidence in the 1650s and the records form an extraordinarily detailed portrait of contemporary life, occupations and possessions in every Irish county. The following day the rebels were marched across the city on their way to prison. The rebellion's leaders were executed inside the … The transcript, and other documents supporting her pension claim, were stored in a military archive for almost 80 years before the Irish government posted electronic copies online. After the Rising, most of the surviving rebels, including Grandma's two brothers, Patrick and Sean, were deported to internment camps in Wales before eventually being released. Did she regret her idealism, her courage, her hopes? Easter 1916: the Irish rebellion by Charles Townshend (Allen Lane, 2005) Ireland and the Great War by Keith Jeffery (Cambridge University Press, … "In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom,” the proclamation began. The ships that these Rebels came in were: Friendship (1800) The partition remains today. They were not random. He held military courts and more than 90 of the rebels were sentenced to death. Converted to dollars and adjusted for inflation, it would be like getting about $136 per month today, as best as I can figure. British artillery bombardments compelled Pearse and his colleagues to surrender on April 29. Her maiden name was May Moore, though it often appears as O'Moore. The uprising spread southward and soon most of Ireland was in rebellion. Her manners were gracious, but she was full of fight. The depositions were ordered by government commissioners, many of the Church of Ireland clergymen, who recorded the victims' testimonies. I've tried to imagine the scene of my Grandma on her 20th birthday, locked inside a prison cell, hearing gunshots and knowing who was on the receiving end of them. I think … It began in Ulster but spread across the country. The Easter Rising (Irish: Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916. The pension file provides a view of Grandma that is spontaneous and unfiltered. As the Rising approached, Grandma was preparing for a fight that was likely to be bloody. The historians say that Cromwell exaggerated the accounts to justify his actions. Irish Rebels to Australia 1800 - 1806. The volumes were eventually donated to Trinity College in 1741, where they languished, rarely seen. Dad remembers seeing her coffin draped in the tricolour flag of the nation she fought to create. That young woman who left her teenage years in a jail cell and awoke to the sound of her comrades being executed was my grandmother, May Wisely. She received full military honors including a rifle volley. Although a 'little war' continued in the Wicklow mountains for some time afterwards, in effect, after Vinegar Hill, the rebellion in the south-east was over. The Easter Rising took place in Dublin, and a few outposts across the country, between Monday 24 April and Sunday 29 April, 1916. The following month, many Anglo-Irish Catholic lords joined the rebellion. He was reported to have died of grief. That year was on record as one of the coldest winters and people died of starvation and cold. The Rising started on Easter Monday and was over by the following weekend. The Irish government will mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, the beginning of a bloody struggle to birth a new, independent nation, now called the Republic of Ireland. Follow him on Twitter @jwisely. "I am now a married woman, with five boys and two girls and a husband out of work, so you may imagine what a godsend it would be to me to receive pension.". The Wexford rebellion was smashed about a month after it broke out, when over 13,000 British troops converged on the main rebel camp at Vinegar Hill on June 21, 1798 and broke up, though failed to trap, the main rebel army. After the rebellion of 1857 by Indian sepoys with many leaders from different parts of the company , the British parliament ended the 100 years old company rule in Indian . As St. Patrick’s Day arrives this week, we’ll certainly celebrate her, but the bigger celebration comes later this month. The experience didn't appear to chasten her. We are the history makers for future generations. Grandma, like most of the women prisoners, was released from Kilmainham after about 12 days. Thomas Clarke: An Irish rebel who had spent time in British jails for being part of the late 19th century Fenian campaign before being exiled to America, Clarke returned to Ireland in 1907 and worked to revive the IRB. A bloody episode in Irish history, the 1641 rebellion erupted in the first instance in Ulster, when rebel Catholic elements surprised Protestant settlers, massacring large numbers. The rebels didn't keep a lot of written records, which could be seized by the government they were attempting to overthrow. She wrote that she delivered hand grenades to outposts in the green, provided First Aid to the wounded and delivered food and munitions, under fire, to soldiers. She worked to re-establish her Fairview Branch of Cumman na mBan and began collecting donations to support the families of the fighters who were dead or deported. A group of rebel leaders was meeting near Dublin and feared being raided by police. "In my claim for pension, I have made no outlandish claims, merely stating a few facts," she wrote. The Proclamation of the Irish Republic was read out in front of Dublin's General Post Office on April 24th, 1916 by Patrick Pearse. The rebels were overmatched and, eventually, overwhelmed. With British troops bogged down fighting World War I in France, the Irish figured the time was ripe to break free of the British Empire once and for all. "These collections are unique in early modern times. He immigrated to Detroit in 1954. A research project in Dublin created a book titled “We Were There, 77 Women of the Easter Rising" about those who were jailed in 1916. The chief effect of the rebellion was Prime Minister William Pitt ’s Act of Union, which abolished the Irish Parliament, Ireland being henceforth represented in the British Parliament at Westminster. In this lesson General Lincoln comments on the punishment given . “She crept up on him and pointed her revolver at his head,” my dad remembers her saying. Six days after the Rising began, it ended in unconditional surrender. "We know that different commissioners had different manners of speaking and writing. A mix up in orders delayed the attack but on Easter Monday, armed rebels stormed a series of buildings across Dublin and proclaimed a provisional government of the Irish Republic. "I want you to know where you come from," he said. The proclamation, which echoed in many ways the American Declaration of Independence, began with a battle cry. "But the Irish government blocked them because it was too contentious. When the fighting intensified, her garrison retreated into the Royal College of Surgeons, a medical school across the street. He says it will be his last trip home and I asked him why he's doing it. The war ended with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 that partitioned the island into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. Nine times out of 10 they are not far off the mark because we have other sources we can check from the period. Then something remarkable happened. The kind of rebel people sing songs about this time of year. Much of the world was outraged at their callousness and the spirit of Irish nationalism spread. My parents even scored an invitation to a state celebration at Dublin Castle with the president of Ireland. Six days after the uprising had begun, the rebels surrendered. The Rising was launched by Irish republicans against British rule in Ireland with the aim of establishing an independent Irish Republic while the United Kingdom was fighting the First World War. She served in a group known as Cumann na mBan, Gaelic for “League of Women.” Her branch was based in Fairview, the northeast Dublin suburb where she lived. Other attacks on British barracks in Meath, Galway and Wexford didn’t get very far either. As you go through the full text, be sure to note the passage referring to the "gallant allies in Europe", which in the eyes of the British marked Pearse and his co-revolutionaries as working together with the German Empire. The multi-disciplinary project has been funded by both Irish and British research councils. "The bloodletting was on both sides but Oliver Cromwell used this as justification for his [massacres at] Drogheda and Wexford. A few Irish onlookers jeered them. Coin was killed, and she was going to continue them. In what has been dubbed as the ultimate in cold case reviews, historians, linguists, software specialists and the public are being invited to trawl through newly transcribed versions of the original documents held in Trinity College, Dublin. Public opinion began to turn. We never felt her embrace or heard her voice. The rebels raised an Irish tricolour flag atop Dublin's General Post Office, which became the headquarters of a rebellion. Fifteen of them were executed within two weeks after perfunctory military trials. Rebel remnants of the 1798 and 1803 Irish Rebellions were transported to NSW during the period 1800 - 1806. As a newspaper reporter, I've always prized original documents for background research on the people I write about. And Irish independence didn’t come until 1922, after the War of Independence. "We hope to be able to synthesise some of the voices and make recordings of what they would have sounded like. Rebellion. Another lead researcher, Barbara Fennell, a senior lecturer in language and linguistics at the University of Aberdeen, said: "These depositions tell us a lot about what English was like at the time. Her description of her activities appears in a transcript of an interview she conducted on July 1, 1937 with a military pension board. So as we celebrate Women’s History Month, we ask that you share the stories of the beloved women in your family. "During all that time one thought of an award never entered our minds, but now that the country is in the position to give awards, I certainly think they ought to be given in a fairer and more generous spirit.". My dad remembers a story his mother told him about catching a spy in the weeks leading up to the Rising. When my dad learned they were available, he asked me to find hers. My grandmother was standing watch outside when she spotted a man approach the door and crouch outside, taking notes on what was being said. They attacked farms and settlements killing and turning many people away and robbing and stripping them of all their goods. Place: Gaelic League/Irish American Club, 2068 Michigan Avenue, Detroit. The rebellion's leaders were executed inside the high walls of the Stonebreakers' Yard. Historians of that era have mostly neglected the contributions of women, and the project is an effort to offer a fuller account of their contributions. Pearse and the other leaders had hoped that the Volunteers would rally once the rebellion began but that didn’t happen. Photograph: Board of Trinity College/PA, Witness statements taken after the Irish rebellion and massacres of 1641. A large number of the Irish rebels were transported to the penal colonies of Australia. Estimates of the numbers killed vary from 4,000 to up to 200,000. It went on to promise women’s suffrage, equality of opportunity and an end to religious discrimination. He was just 14 when she died. My dad, whose name I share, can recount the stories that she told him. "There were clearly some atrocities such as the drowning of Protestants at Portadown where around 100 people lost their lives. The rebels in Wexford held most of the country for a month before being defeated at Vinegar Hill. But it was breathtaking to find such detailed records on my Grandma. For a week after the rebellion, these instructions were adhered to but many of the rebels had lost their lands to the Protestant planters and they wanted revenge. "In the 1930s a group of Irish scholars tried to publish them," Ohlmeyer said. In addition to the transcript, the file included reference letters vouching for her service. My dad is her youngest child and the last one still living. England court-martialed and speedily executed fifteen of the rebellion's “I think a couple of nights a week I went down there.”. The language analysis software should be able to match up styles of speaking and writing ... so it may give us insights into any bias of evidence being introduced by a third party's influence. Irish rebels are executed after the uprising S oon after 15 leaders of the rebellion, including the seven signatories of the proclamation, were held and executed by firing squad. 5,000 rebels marched more than 250 miles to London. Shortly after the rebellions, the Canadas were united under the Act of Union 1840 to form the Province of Canada Those rebels who were arrested in Upper Canada following the 1837 uprisings were put on trial, and most were found guilty of insurrection against the Crown. Grandma’s in there, too. His last trip home and I asked him why he 's doing it is preparing to welcome from! 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