I have copied and pasted a very moving moment in Irish History and I wondered if it would work on my blog. Unfortunately it doesn’t, at least not for me, perhaps someone smarter can make it work. I have left the link up just in case. This is something I cannot convey in words alone, the video brings this special moment in history to life. I can only describe it with my eyes and my own feelings of pride. I have stood on O’Connell Street (Once Sackville St) in recent years and have felt the history vibrate through my soul. I have stood in awe in the General Post Office, such an impressive building that seems more like a large bank or indeed a major City Hall. The place where the Irish tricolour was raised and the provisional Irish Government was proclaimed in 1916.
The General Post Office was the scene of the most deadly fighting, and was the place where the surrender took place. Many Irish members of the Citizens Army were executed as traitors to the Crown. James Connolly, one of the leaders, was so badly wounded he could not stand. He was tied in a chair to be shot. While the Easter Rising was seen as another failure, it was in fact the first step to the freedom of Ireland. I will not go into the long and terrible struggle that followed, it is suffice to say the English occupation that had lasted since the days of Cromwell was over.
I was born in Belfast Northern Ireland, the province of Ulster that was partitioned by the British Government in 1921. Since that time there has continued a struggle to re-unite this last Province to the rest of the Republic. Indeed the struggle burst into flames in the 1960’s-80’s and was known as the troubles. The conflict in the north is one of Protestant against Catholic, the Protestants controlled the government the police and all that that entailed, they feared a Catholic majority taking over if re-united with the South.. I grew up a protestant, one who was proud to call myself British, I avoided and feared my Catholics neighbours. However, as a young man I began to question why we were so anti Irish. I can in part, blame the school system, we were only taught British history, never a mention of the struggle in the South. I have since made it my endeavour to read and learn the true history of Ireland. I still have respect for the people of England, they are not to blame for their history. Nevertheless, you will never hear me claim I’m British, I’m Irish born and proud of my heritage. Although I had no part in the Easter Rising or indeed the celebrations 100 years later I feel that all consuming urge to cheer and cry out in victory for my homeland. Things are changing slowly, as an example the Royal Ulster Constabulary is now known as the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the crown and royal are gone. There is complete freedom to travel south or north without the restrictions of a border. In fact, my last time in Ireland we were miles into the North before we even realized it. I believe that in time Ireland will once again become a united country, perhaps not in my lifetime, but it will happen some day.
I have posted three photos with this blog, the Irish Flag, the Proclamation and the Celebration Parade in and around O’Connell Street Dublin. This was the biggest parade gathering in Ireland’s history with tens of thousands of people paying respects, praying, waving flags and cheering. God Bless the land of my Birth, My Ireland.
God Bless and keep reading.