Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

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

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

29 April 1916

A Group of British Officers with the Captured 'Irish Republic' Flag from the GPO

On surrender, Pearse is taken to General Maxwell who demands that he write out surrender orders for the other rebel commands around Dublin. Connolly is instructed to do likewise for the men under his command in the Irish Citizen Army. These orders are then taken to the different rebel positions in the city by Elizabeth O Farrell. By 3:45 pm on Saturday afternoon, the rising which began at noon on Monday has effectively come to an end. All rebels are now instructed to lay down their weapons and line up in O Connell Street.

The Easter Rising brought large scale death and destruction to the streets of Dublin. In all, 142 British soldiers and police were killed while 64 rebels were killed. A total of 254 civilians were killed during the week, many of them caught in crossfire. An estimated 2,000 people were injured during the fighting. In addition to the loss of life, large sections of the centre of Dublin had been destroyed especially in and around O Connell Street.

General Maxwell decided to pursue a tough policy against the leaders of the rising. Following court martial, Pearse, McDonagh and Clarke were executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol on the morning of May 3rd. This was followed in later days by the execution of the remaining signatories of the Easter Proclamation and any others thought to have been involved in its planning. In addition, General Maxwell ordered the arrest and imprisonment of a further 3,500 people thought to be sympathetic to the rising. This meant that about three times the number who took part in the rising had now been arrested.

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