Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
The Signatories of the Proclamation

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sean McDermott

Sean McDermott was one of the original signatories of the Proclamation. Tom Clarke was his mentor and both were members of the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood). During the Rising, he also was staioned at the GPO. He was crippled and executed the same day and just prior to James Connolly.
A poem:
Awaiting freedom from my mother's womb
At Resurrection time, some glint of rebel steel
Pierced deep my soul, so deep
That fifty years have not erased the thrill
The names of Pearse and Plunkett, Clarke, MacDonagh, ConnollyCeannt and Sean Mac Diarmada arouse,
Of freedom born in blood.
Wresting freedom from a tyrant's hand
Had often been essayed on Ireland's soil.
Essayed at cost, at bitter cost
By men of eager hearts and giant mind, yet still
Each century brought fourthThe poets, princes of pen,
To thrill with their philosophy
A nation's captive hearts.
No lust of blood inflamed the freedom verse
To turn the ploughshare to the sword;
They unlocked hearts, e'en timid hearts
To dreams undreamt of within captive breasts,
And set vast floods of liberty afloat
Upon a sea too long content
With anchored hopes,
And flotsam fears.
Who can recall an Emmet or a Tone,
A Mitchel or a Davitt or Devoy,
Without a glorious surging of the blood
And anticipation of emancipation
From the long-remembered wrongs
Upon a nation's rights?
Just tribute must be paid by
Freedmen to felon's heirs.
Half a century ago our resurrection came
Heralded by another name, the name of Pearse,
An Apollo with a quiver of words,
Music-tipped arrows to reach the very souls
Of those who longed and longed for freedom's balm;
Gentle leader of a quiet fewWho braved a tyrant's might
To make a bondman free.
Let me praise him who close by Rossa's grave
Praised the virtue of a valiant man
From a heart and tongue pregnant then
With death-decision made for
Freedom's urgent birth;
A man whose spiritual eye could see the joy
Of a ladybird upon a stalk,
Or a rabbit in a field at play.
There were no deaths in Dublin on that
Easter day some fifty years ago-
Such music makers cannot die
As many mercenary soldiers do
With battles lost or won.
They have but set the music to a song
That ever holds us bound,
Yet leaves us ever free.
Like Pearse or Plunkett, MacDonagh and Mac Diarmada, Ceantt and Clarke,
And Connolly

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