‘The Class of 1916’ by Brian John Spencer

The rebels of 1916 came from all ranks of society, but a majority were lower-middle-class. In a time of high unemployment, the vast majority of the rebels were employed. David McWilliams wrote, “most were from the class that Marx would describe as the hated petit bourgeois.” The Irish rebellion of 1916 was a moment precipitated…

Edward Carson, father of the Irish revolution? 

How can unionists condemn a rebellion when they threatened rebellion? During a recent discussion on BBC Spotlight on the Easter Rising, Jim Allister of the TUV said the Ulster Covenant was an “entirely peaceful exercise”. He was responding to David Ford who said it was a “seditious document”. Like the leader of the Alliance party,…

Brian John Spencer revisits Easter Monday 1916

The seven signatories of the Irish Proclamation Maurice Joy wrote in her account of Easter Monday 1916 that Dublin that morning “seemed as peaceful as any place on earth.” In contrast with the city at large, Liberty Hall was abuzz with activity from day break. All morning it was converged upon by Irish rebels –…