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2 July 2010

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Remembering the Past

Countdown to 2016 and beyond

THE centenary of the 1916 Rising and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is now six years away. In the decade ahead, the centenaries of pivotal events in Irish history prior to and after the Rising will be marked. These will provide a focus for many commemorative events, debates and publications while, as Michelle Gildernew stated in her Bodenstown speech, Irish republicans will see them as milestones in the progress of today’s struggle. Here we provide a quick preview of ‘decade of centenaries’.

1910-2010: In November, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, reorganised through the work of Tom Clarke and Seán Mac Diarmada, established a new monthly paper, Irish Freedom. This would feature the writings of republicans such as Pádraig Pearse and Terence Mac Swiney. (An Phoblacht will mark this centenary in our November issue).

1912-2012: With the Irish Party holding the balance of power in the Westminster Parliament, the Liberal Government was pledged to introduce a Home Rule Bill for Ireland. Unionist opposition escalated with the British Conservative and Unionist (Tory) Party stirring sectarian hatred to attack the Liberals. Ulster Unionists under Edward Carson signed the Solemn League and Covenant (September).

1913-2013: In January, the Third Home Rule Bill was passed in the House of Commons and the Ulster Volunteer Force was established.
In August, the Great Lock-Out, led by Jim Larkin, began and continued to February 1914.
In November, Óglaigh na hÉireann (the Irish Volunteers) and the Irish Citizen Army were founded.

1914-2014: In April, Cumann na mBan was founded and the UVF Larne gun-running took place.
The Irish Volunteers landed guns at Howth and Kilcoole in July and August.
Irish Party leader John Redmond split the Irish Volunteers by committing them to fight for Britain in the war which broke out in August.
Home Rule Bill passed but suspended.

1915-2015: Pádraig Pearse’s oration at the grave of veteran Fenian O’Donovan Rossa (August).

: Irish Volunteers paraded with arms on St Patrick’s Day.
The Rising began on Easter Monday, April 24th, and ended on April 29th.
Fourteen leaders executed in Dublin and one in Cork between May 3rd and 12th. Roger Casement executed in London, August 3rd. Thousands of Irishmen in the British Army killed in the Battle of the Somme in July.

1917-2017: In February, Count Plunkett in North Roscommon won the first of a series of by-election victories for Sinn Féin.
Thomas Ashe was the first republican to die on hunger strike (September).
Sinn Féin adopted a new republican constitution at its Ard Fheis (October).

1918-2018: A one-day general strike helped to defeat the threat of conscription (April). The general election in December saw overwhelming victory for Sinn Féin.

1919-2019: The First Dáil Éireann assembled on January 21st. Armed resistance by Volunteers escalated throughout the year.
In August, all Volunteers and TDs swore allegiance to the Irish Republic.
The British banned the Dáil in September.

1920-2020: This was the most eventful year of the war with the introduction of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, the struggle of the IRA flying columns, the deaths of republicans such as Terence Mac Swiney and Kevin Barry, Bloody Sunday in Dublin and the Partition Act (Government of Ireland Act) in December.

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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures

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