Remembering the Pillar

Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Brian's Blog | 0 comments

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, the Irish rebellion that gave rise to what Yeats called “a terrible beauty.” Some 400 lightly armed insurgents marched down Sackville Street (now, O’Connell Street) in central Dublin and seized the General Post Office. Their intent was to proclaim a sovereign Irish republic independent of Great Britain.

The uprising failed, at the time. The rebels surrendered, their leaders were executed, and Ireland remained a part of Britain. But only for a few more years. The executions had made martyrs of the leaders, and public sympathy soon turned in their favour. In 1922 the Irish Free State was established.

I lived in Dublin when the 50th anniversary of the Rising was observed in 1966. Some republicans decided to mark the occasion by blowing up Nelson’s Pillar, a landmark British monument that had stood on O’Connell Street since 1809. The bombing shocked and saddened me. The Pillar had been a part of my life since childhood. I’ve now written about that, in an essay for the online journal, Facts & Opinions. You can read the piece by clicking HERE.

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Copyright 2016 Brian Brennan - Writer

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