1916 Easter Rising: Desmond Fitzgerald and the German Prince

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

During the occupation of the GPO during the 1916 Rising, Desmond FitGerald commented “I was bemused by the general attitude of security”. At the height of the battle he was in the midst of the conflagration that shook the GPO garrison. Ever the sceptic, Desmond FitzGerald, who was in charge of rations, mentions in his memoir of the 1916 Rising the sudden and unexpected mobilisation, followed by a description of conditions in the GPO, the rebels’ headquarters. While many accounts describe the Rising as a form of blood sacrifice, FitzGerald discussed its wider rationale with the leader Pádraig Pearse, and with Joseph Plunkett who had travelled to Germany in 1915 for assistance. They expected that Germany would win the First World War and that a rising of at least three days would allow Ireland to take a seat at the peace conference.

The O’Rahilly talked of the Rising as a…

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