The Context and Development of Irish Literature:
History, Poetry, Landscape

Chapter Four:  From Home Rule to Civil War:  Ireland in the Early 20th Century, page 4

The rebels seized the General Post Office on Sackville Street, in the heart of North Dublin, and declared it their headquarters. Their leader, Patrick Pearse, read a proclamation declaring the establishment of an Irish Republic. (View the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.)  It took the British army, and the Irish citizens too, some time to realize that this was a rebellion in earnest. But because the attack had not been coordinated with the bulk of the Irish Volunteers, no other significant revolts occurred throughout Ireland. The British army could turn its attention wholly to the small force in Dublin.  A half-dozen or so battle sites raged throughout the city, some mere skirmishes, and others, such as the battle at Stephen's Green, more prolonged and deadly conflicts.  The British adopted a strategy of isolating the rebels' positions, and compelling surrender one at a time.  Ultimately the British brought gunboats up the Liffey River and soon they were shelling the rebels’ small outposts with full artillery and destroying entire sections of Dublin. The British superiority in manpower and artillery was overwhelming, and after holding out heroically for nearly a week, Pearse finally surrendered unconditionally on Saturday.  64 rebels had been killed, 132 British military, and over 200 civilians.  In addition, much of central Dublin was in ruins.  All the major leaders--Pearse, Connolly, de Valera, Plunkett, MacBride, and others--were captured.  The Irish populace had not risen up to join the rebels, but on the contrary, many hissed and spat at them as they were taken away to prison.  The insurrection seemed a total failure.

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