AB | ET Student
As I ride the tour bus through Dublin, I notice all of the places associated with the Easter Uprising of 1916. This was a pivotal moment in Irish history, and it has not been forgotten.
From the time of the Great Famine, some Irish people had lost faith in the British government. The people felt that the British government didn’t care about them. There had been many promises of Home Rule for Ireland, but none were fulfilled. A group of people decided to take action against the British government and fight for Irish independence. The Irish Republican Brotherhood had been formed in 1858. This group of rebels hoped to encourage the public to rebel against Britain, but it didn’t work. The brotherhood seized several buildings in Dublin, including the General Post Office. Patrick Pearse declared that Ireland was an independent republic. Fighting ensued between the British and the Irish, destroying much of Dublin and killing 450 people. At the end of the Easter Uprising, fifteen men who were identified as leaders were executed at Kilmainham Jail. This resulted in a major shift in public opinion. The executed leaders were seen as martyrs.
Ireland continues to struggle with its identity as a former British colony. Our tour guide in Dublin stated, “I’m not sure that I will ever see a unified Ireland in my lifetime.” Although Ireland has a unique culture, there is still a strong British influence. In an article in the Irish Times, Fintan writes, “It says much for the complications of this relationship that, although the founders of the State would jump at the chance to finally break the British connection, their descendants would find the choice an agonising one.”* Even though the Irish have won their independence, it is still a long process to carve out an identity for themselves.
I am struck by the similarities between Ireland’s fight for independence and ours. America also wrote a proclamation declaring our independence, and we ended up fighting the Revolutionary War as a result. Both of our countries wanted independence from Britain. The desire for independence is one that transcends time and is still a huge fight for many countries today.