Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

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

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

25 April 1916

On hearing about the rising, General Lowe takes charge. He has 4,678 men under his command at the Curragh. Within hours these are mobilised and on their way to Dublin. Another 1,000 soldiers are on their way from Belfast. Arrangements are also being made for additional troops to be sent from England. By dawn on Tuesday these forces are in Dublin and the rebels are already outnumbered by 4 to 1. However, General Lowe is still unsure of the number of rebels he is facing and decides to hold off making a direct attack on their positions. Instead he begins to cordon off these positions in the hope of isolating the rebels from each other. Martial Law is declared at about 11.30 am and this restricts the movement of people on the streets to daylight hours. Anyone found moving about outside of these times is liable to be shot.

Amongst the first to feel the presence of the British reinforcements are those holding St. Stephen's Green. Unknown to them, a party of over 100 soldiers take up positions in the Shelbourne Hotel, overlooking St. Stephen's Green, before dawn. At first light they open fire on the rebels in the park below them forcing them to flee into the nearby College of Surgeons. Several rebels are killed and taking St. Stephen's Green proves to be a major mistake.

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