Who’s afraid of the Easter Rising? by James Heartfield and Kevin Rooney

January 2023 Forums Events and announcements Who’s afraid of the Easter Rising? by James Heartfield and Kevin Rooney

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    One hundred years ago Irish men and women rose up against British rule, and the waste of life in the First World War. The Easter Rising began the revolution that founded the Irish state. But today its rulers shrink from the memory of the Rising and the sacrifice the volunteers made.

                Though they have been forced to commemorate the events, it is clear the government in Dublin do so with embarrassment and even distaste at Ireland’s debt to the revolutionaries of Easter 1916.

    In their new book Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising?, James Heartfield and Kevin Rooney tell the true story of 1916, and explain why it has always been poison to the elites in Dublin and London, but an inspiration to lovers of freedom everywhere.


    On Tuesday, 3rd November, at 7.00pm we will have a launch party for the book in London, at the Accent London Study Centre, 12 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3JA. Please come if you can.


    Before then, at midday, on Sunday 18th October, James and Kevin will be debating the legacy of the Rising with Professor Paul Bew and historian Ruth Dudley Edwards, at the Battle of Ideas conference at the Barbican. You can buy tickets herehttp://www.battleofideas.org.uk/2015/tickets


    If you are in Dublin on Friday 13 November, you can see Kevin talking about the book with Anthony McIntyre, Derek Molyneux and Margaret O’Callaghan, at 7.00pm, at the College of Computing Technology, 30-34 Westmoreland St, Dublin 2


    Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising? 168 pages, pbk, £11.99


    You can buy Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising? here: http://www.heartfield.org/buy.htm

    has always been poison to the elites in Dublin and London, but an inspiration to lovers of freedom everywhere.

    That it was an inspiration most definitely cannot be denied and numerous romanticised myths have grown up around it but can we say the Rising was the proper strategy for those claiming to be socialists to have embarked upon alongside nationalist anti-socialists, much less an example to be emulated by future generations.In fact, shouldn't the German socialists in the abortive uprisings of 1921 and 1923 have taken heed of the lessons of Dublin, 1916. In saying that, i look forward to reading this book sometime, for i do possess a certain amount of empathy for Connolly even if i do think he picked the wrong options in his life…i know…i know…heresy to confess that on this forum..and i have always like Irish Rebel songs…

    Young Master Smeet

    IIRC at the time they had little popular support, it was the British reprisals and clumsy ghandling of the aftermath that really galvanised supprot.  let's not forget, the Home Rule act had been passed (but not implemented).  The Easter Rising and the subsquent civil war achieved the Square Root of bugger all, and the outcome we have now could have been got without lots of bloodshed.  As Bernard Shaw put it: "And so we settled the Irish Question, not as civilised and reasonable men should have settled it, but as dogs settle a dispute over a bone." (Might make a good splash for the Easter 16 Standard?).Next Years events will be interesting, because Corbyn is son clearly attached to the Irish Nationalist cause (during the GE campaign he found time to remark that the first woman MP was in Islington, because Connie Markievicz was in Holloway when she was elected in '18).


    There are two angles to be tackled. The easier is the simple Irish nationalist one of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the division between those that heeded the call and those who heeded the counter-command not to participate. And then there is the Irish Citizens Army position. Connolly was increasingly taking a pro-German stance and the banner over their HQ  "Neither king nor kaiser" wasn't quite accurate.Any analysis i think must speculate with mind games about just what Connolly was thinking and all that blood-sacrifice motivations he could achieve and will be i think imprecise without having the before-mentioned lying on a psychiatrist couch.I go with our own and Sean O'Casey's using the preponderance of evidence …it was effectively a betrayal of the working class. As YMS mentions the aftermath was a tragedy and generations suffered. Imagine if the Rising was only an IRB affair and the ICA remained intact…A whole alternative history could be written. In 2016 despite all the sympathetic articles that will appear elsewhere, we should not shy away from the unpopular view.As an aside, where i worked we had a shop-steward who was actively involved with the Orange Order, not just the mainstream but in independant lodge that had been expelled for its extremism, (he was also a very early member of UKIP), yet he raised no objections whatsoever when the James Connolly banner would appear on our pickets, arguing that there were two Connolly's…the nationalist who he objected to, but also the trade unionist Connolly who he had no problems with. In that sense his views was very similar to mine…on Connolly, i hastily add. 


    Just finished reading this book. It's terrible with its relentless Irish Republicanism. Not worth buying, only worth slating in a review.

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