Ethics and the Easter Rising

Johnston McMaster and Cathy Higgins

The 1916 Easter Rising has become the foundational myth of the Irish Republic. It was set in the wider context of nineteenth century militarised nationalism. There was a world before the Rising, larger than Ireland, and there were Irish risings before the Rising. There were watershed events that led to the Rising in 1916, and the Great War was the framing event of the whole decade 1912-1922, that shaped contemporary Ireland. Seven men signed the Proclamation and their characters are explored. Their executions, with the resonance of martyrdom for Irish Catholic sensibilities, turned a failure into success. Women were involved in various ways, some in the Rising, some with radically alternative voices. There was a gendered dimension to the Rising and Patriarchy was dominant and pervasive. These important themes are dealt with as the book moves into critical and ethical evaluation.