A-Z Dramatis Personae

A-Z Dramatis Personae

Many people know the backgrounds of the seven signatories of the Proclamation of Independence. They have featured on television and been the subject of books and ballads. However, many of the lesser-known characters who played major roles in the Rising are also fascinating in the contents of modern history.

Women such as nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell carried out heroic deeds and saved civilian lives, while some of the insurrectionists and British military had even studied at the same schools. The picture to the right is a sketch by Grace Gifford, wife of Rising leader Joseph Plunkett. It is from the collection at Military Archives, Cathal Brugha Barracks.Read more...

Seven Signatories

Seven Signatories

Joseph Plunkett

They were teachers, poets, musicians and policitians. The seven signatories of the Proclamation of Independence were: Thomas J Clarke, Padraig Pearse, Sean Mac Diarmada, James Connolly, Thomas MacDonagh, Joseph Plunkett and Eamonn Ceannt.

These biographies paint a picture of men gripped by a new nationalist fever that was sweeping Ireland since the late 1800s. As their rhetoric became more militant, so too did their belief that Ireland could only achieve freedom from British rule through violent revolution. In the context of the recent Arab Spring, the actions of these seven men cast a dramatic new light on how modern Ireland was shaped. The picture to the right is a portrait of Joseph Plunkett, from the collection at Military Archives, Cathal Brugha Barracks. Read more...

The British

The British

The British

An already turbulent and complicated relationship with our closest neighbours took a bloody and dramatic new twist with the Easter Rising.

The decision by the British military to execute the leaders of the rebellion, coupled with the threat from Asquith’s government of conscripting the Irish to fight in the Great War, alienated public opinion and would produce massive support for Sinn Fein in the 1918 general election.Read more...

Women of the Rising

Women of the Rising

Women of the Rising

The Seven Signatories of the Proclamation of Independence were all men.

But the part played by women revolutionaries in the Easter Rising has left an indelible mark on Ireland today.

They fought and died side-by-side with their male comrades and performed daring missions as sniper fire rained down in Dublin city centre.

No story of Easter week can be told without recording the role of women like Elizabeth O’Farrell in the years before, during and after the Rising.Read more...

Pearse brothers

William Pearse chats to his brother Padraig before the Rising (Image courtesy Pearse Museum/Kilmainham Gaol)