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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

5/6‭ ‬March‭ ‬1867:‭ ‬The Fenian Rising happened on this day.‭ ‬Long planned it turned into a complete fiasco.‭ ‬Thousands of volunteers turned up at various locations in Dublin,‭ ‬Cork,‭ ‬Tipperary,‭ ‬Limerick,‭ ‬and to a lesser extent in Clare,‭ ‬Waterford and Louth.‭ ‬However most were armed with pikes if at all.‭ ‬Very few firearms were available.‭ ‬There was no coherent plan of operations.‭ ‬Attempts were made to take a number of police barracks and engage the Constabulary in action but all ended in failure.

‭ ‬An‭ ‬informer,‭ ‬Corydon,‭ ‬betrayed the plans and to add to the woes of the insurgents a great snow storm made absolutely impossible not only all communications but all organised movements of men.‭ ‬The Constabulary knew something was afoot but decided to allow events to take their course and then take action.‭ ‬In the Dublin area it is possible that as many as two thousand men assembled with perhaps twice that number in county Cork and a few hundred elsewhere.‭ ‬One of the greatest Irish movements of the century had - ended apparently in complete failure.

While the British Government was caught off guard the Rising was over before they could react.‭ ‬Hundreds of men were rounded up and imprisoned.‭ (The Fenian flag shown above was taken in the skirmish at Tallaght, then a little village outside Dublin.) ‬Some were sentenced to Death but all these were commuted and no one was actually executed for their part in this affair.‭ ‬However long terms of imprisonment were handed down and many of the prisoners were subjected to very harsh conditions while in captivity.‭ ‬On top of this the Rising showed that Irish Republicanism was still a potent force and had by no means been crushed by the British.‭

This event did have important repercussions however as it led to a reorganisation of much of the underground activities of the IRB and the formation in America of Clan na Gael that was determined to prosecute a campaign against British rule notwithstanding recent setbacks.‭ ‬The failure of the‭ ‬1867‭ ‬Rising did not mark an end but a new beginning for those who were determined to end British rule over Ireland.