Ireland Celebrates Centennial of the Easter Uprising

A photo of Ireland's president, Michael Higgins after he lays down a wreath in Dublin for the anniversary of the Easter Rising

In some countries, such as Australia the Republic of Ireland, celebrate Easter on the Monday after Easter Sunday, which is called exactly what you think it is–Easter Monday.

This Easter Monday, the Irish have more to celebrate than the arrival of the Easter Bunny and the resurrection of Jesus.

This year, the Irish celebrated their 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising.

The Easter Rising was a rebellion created by Irish republicans to overthrow Great Britain’s rule and establish themselves on their own, paving the way for Ireland to declare their independence and become a republic on Easter Monday in 1949.

A thousand Irish citizens took over prominent buildings in the city center that day, sparking a fight that lasted throughout the rest of Easter Week and ended on the 29 of April. Presently, almost 500 people were killed and thousands were injured, most of the casualties being civilians.

Thousands of people took to the streets in Dublin to remember the rebellion, starting with a military parade by the Irish Army, followed by the Irish Air Corps participating in a flyover. A member of the military read from the 1916 Proclamation during a reenactment of the creation of the declaration during the revolt.

The most notable thing about this rebellion outside of historical significance to the Irish Republic is the timing of it all.

The rebellion came at a time when Great Britain and the rest of the United Kingdom were so focused on the war against Germany. They were putting all their time and resources into taking out Germany that they were completely unaware of the Irish’s plans.

And lots of Dublin citizens in the present day see the uprising as an act of treason, since (whether they liked it or not), Ireland was indeed with Britain fighting against German forces as well.

But the Irish are celebrating this Easter Week, 100 years later, knowing that without the Easter Rising, their road to independence would have been longer.