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The University of Southampton

"The Irish at Easter 1916: a Pro-German and Anti-Imperial Rebellion?" Event

Great War: Unknown War
23 April 2015
Avenue Campus University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email Tracy Storey at .

Event details

This lecture series, “Unknown War”, is designed to show-case original research at the University of Southampton from across the Faculty of Humanities.

On Easter Monday, 1916, a small group of Irish revolutionaries occupied the General Post Office and other prominent sites in central Dublin and declared an Irish republic. They held out for six days, but their defeat at the hands of the British military was near inevitable and just weeks later the leadership was tried by courts martial and executed by firing squad. What lay behind these extraordinary events? Why, when tens of thousands of Irish men were fighting for the British Empire on the Western Front, did this small group of revolutionaries mount an insurrection? This lecture will examine the background to the Easter Rising, exploring the declining fortunes of the home rule movement, the development of explicitly anti-imperial thinking among Irish nationalists, and the opportunity apparently provided by the First World War. Would the Rising have occurred without the war? Would the rebels have made so bold had they not been promised German assistance? The lecture will conclude by looking at the contemporary debate in Ireland about how to commemorate the centenary of the Rising in 2016. Can the Rising be made to fit the pluralist historical narratives that have dominated Irish political discourse since the Northern Ireland Peace Process, or does this risk obscuring the historical reality of an armed rebellion that professed to represent a subject people of the British Empire?

This is a free lecture, to attend please book a place via the Online Store. Closing date for bookings is Monday 20 April 2015.

Watch the lecture live

Follow this link to watch Dr Kelly's lecture.

Speaker information

Dr Matthew Kelly,Associate Professor of History

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