The Easter Rising

Children collect firewood from ruined buildings damaged in the Easter Rising Children collect firewood from ruined buildings damaged in the Easter Rising

On 24th April 1916, Easter Monday, the Easter Rebellion, otherwise known as The Rising, saw a seven-man Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood seize important buildings and locations across Dublin, proclaiming an Irish Republic.

The Rising was organised by Irish language activist Patrick Pearse, Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly and 200 women of Cumann na mBan. This group of women was an Irish republican paramilitary organisation formed in Dublin in April 1914.

The Easter Rising was the biggest uprising since the 1798 rebellion. Irish republicans wanted to end British rule in Ireland and chose to rebel whilst the U.K. was deep in WWI.

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Joseph Plunkett was born in Dublin, son of George Noble Plunkett, a papal count and Irish nationalist. Plunkett contracted tuberculosis at a young age and which afflicted him for the rest of his life.

Throughout his life, Joseph Plunkett took an active interest in Irish heritage and the Irish language. He joined the Gaelic League and began studying with Thomas MacDonagh, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. The two were both poets with an interest in theatre, and both were early members of the Irish Volunteers, joining their provisional committee.

Plunkett persuaded his father to let a family property at Kimmage be used as a training centre for Irish Volunteers. Sometime in 1915 Joseph Plunkett joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and soon after was sent to Germany to meet with Roger Casement, who was negotiating with the German government on behalf of Ireland. Plunkett successfully got a promise of a German arms shipment to coincide with the rising. Plunkett was one of the original members of the IRB Military Committee that was responsible for planning the Easter Rising, and it was largely his plan that was followed.

Shortly before the rising was to begin, Plunkett was hospitalised and had an operation on his neck glands days before Easter and had to struggle out of bed to take part in what was to follow. Still bandaged, he took his place in the General Post Office with several other of the rising''s leaders such as Patrick Pearse and Tom Clarke, though his health prevented him from being active.

Following the surrender Plunkett was held in Kilmainham Gaol, and faced a court martial. Seven hours before his execution by firing squad at the age of 28, he was married in the prison chapel to his fiance, Grace Gifford. His widow became a prominent republican, opposed the 1921 Treaty and was imprisoned by the Irish Free State government. In 1941 she refused to attend a ceremony to receive her husband''s 1916 Rising medal. This was probably a protest against the government''s wartime policy of internment of IRA members, many of whom were known to her. When the medal was posted to her she threw it in the bin, where it was rescued by Cathal Gannon; Grace told him to keep it as she didn''t want it. She was also embittered with the Plunkett family as they prevented her from receiving anything from her husband''s estate and she had had to sue Count George Plunkett to receive a settlement of only £700 in 1934.

Rising portraits of the leaders by Brian P. Mulvany Rising portraits of the leaders by Brian P. Mulvany

The Good Friday agreement

1998, April 10, Good Friday Agreement, Memorandum regarding Final Agreement signd by participants. Signed by sixty participants including John Hume, David Trimble, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, George Mitchell, Harri Holkeri, Seamus Mallon, Mark Durkan, Billy Hutchinson et al., mounted. h:16.75 w:12.75 in. Provenance: Signatures collected by an SDLP counsellor, who was a participant in the talks. 1998, April 10, Good Friday Agreement, Memorandum regarding Final Agreement signd by participants. Signed by sixty participants including John Hume, David Trimble, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, George Mitchell, Harri Holkeri, Seamus Mallon, Mark Durkan, Billy Hutchinson et al., mounted. h:16.75 w:12.75 in. Provenance: Signatures collected by an SDLP counsellor, who was a participant in the talks.

On 10th April, 1988, the Good Friday Agreement was signed in order to bring an end the 30 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland known as 'The Troubles.'

At 5.30pm on Friday 10 April 1998, George Mitchell stated: "I am pleased to announce that the two governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland have reached agreement.''

The agreement allowed for a Northern Ireland Assembly with a power-sharing executive, new cross-border institutions with the Republic of Ireland and a body linking devolved assemblies across the UK with Westminster and Dublin. The Republic of Ireland has also agreed to drop its constitutional claim to the six counties which formed Northern Ireland.

By 2006, the deal proved difficult to implement and was amended by the St Andrew's Agreement that year.

All historical items featured will be included in Whyte's Eclectic Collector sale on 21st January. Check out the full sale here.

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