Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Showing posts with label Ireland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ireland. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Luck of the Irish or Just Sheer Irish Grit?

Daughter, wife, mother, businesswoman, landowner, seafarer, leader, chieftain, rebel, pirate, legend—all these terms would accurately describe the infamous Grace O’Malley.

Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O’Malley) was born in 1530. Her father, Owen “Black Oak” O’Malley, was the elected chieftain of the Ó Máille (O’Malley) clan. He was also a seafarer successful in trading cattle, tallow, and salt fish as far south as Portugal and Spain. The O’Malley were one of the few on the western coast to sail beyond Ireland’s shores. As a result, they controlled much of County Mayo and all who fished off their coasts were taxed. Upon her parents’ deaths, she inherited her father’s trading business and her mother’s lands. That with and the land holdings from subsequent marriages, she was a wealthy woman.

Rockfleet Castle
Even as a child, Grace was a spitfire. She scorned societal conventions placed on girls and women, favoring adventure over what was suitable for her gender. She wanted badly to go to sea on a trading expedition to Spain with her father. Her parents forbade it. Ah, but she was fiery and independent. She cut off her long red hair to disguise herself as a lad in hopes to trick her father into taking her.
A stunt such as this was surely a precursor to what was to come.

At 16, she married Dónal O’Flaherty, who was heir to the chieftain of the O’Flaherty clan which controlled Connacht.  This was a good political match for the clans. Plus, bonus, he owned castles. One of these castles—Bunowen—is where she operated her first shipping and trade business, in part out of necessity as Dónal’s gallivanting brought the clan near to poverty.  Over the course of their marriage, she had three children with Dónal—Owen, Murrough, and Margaret. Not only did the family grow, but so did her pursuits. She controlled their fleet and oversaw all the business dealings, legitimate and otherwise. No doubt plying skills she learned from her father. And when she was not allowed to trade in Galway, a key trading port, for sketchy practices, she simply laid in wait off the coast for merchant ships, negotiating fair fees that guaranteed their safe passage. If they refused, she relieved them of their cargo. If they further resisted, well, things got violent and deadly.

Like Grace, Dónal was an ambitious sort. But he preferred warfare. Not surprisingly, that didn’t end well for him. He had taken an island fortress from another clan over some sort of revenge, but in the siege was killed. Grace didn’t take the death of her husband too kindly. She sailed to the island to avenge his death and successfully defended the castle. In another attack on the castle by the English, she not only defended it, but she alerted her fleet, launched an attack, and soundly defeated them. As you might imagine, she had many, many loyal men who followed her anywhere she went.

Grace O'Malley and Queen Elizabeth
She married a second time in 1566 to Richard Bourke, purportedly for more holdings, and the couple had one child together. But Grace still wasn’t one to settle down and quickly divorced him, keeping his Rockfleet Castle for herself.

Grace is known for many exploits that have become legendary. One thing for certain, she was not one to be slighted or crossed. She purportedly defeated a Turkish pirate ship, killing the crew, just one day after giving birth to her fourth son. Can you imagine how cranky she might have been to be disturbed while nursing her newborn? Grace had once abducted an earl’s grandson after she was denied hospitality by the family because they were having dinner. She released the boy only after the promise that the castle’s gates were always open and a place set at the table for visitors—a promise still kept to this day. Don’t underestimate a woman in love. She sought deadly revenge on a clan for killing her lover Hugh de Lacy, snatching away the lives of those responsible and seizing their castle. The woman was mighty!

How far will he go to rise up against her?
Get Your Copy HERE!
Her piratical ways both on sea and land eventually caught up to her. English power had increased over Ireland and set to control the chieftains who had been self-governing. She was no fool. Like most chieftains, she submitted her fealty. Ah…appearances. With a troublemaker like Grace, England took notice, especially Governor Sir Richard Bingham who, in 1584 was tasked with overseeing and controlling chieftains and their clans. Bingham made it a personal mark to take Grace down. He stripped her clan of wealth by overtaxing them, ordered the murder of her oldest son, raided her home, took her livestock, imprisoned family members for treason, and impounded her fleet. Ouch. In 1593, Grace intended to restore her clan’s rights and free her family. How? By petitioning Elizabeth I, Queen of England, of course.

Elizabeth must have been intrigued by the intrepid Irish woman with such a colorful reputation for she granted Grace an audience…in private. Perhaps they were a lot alike. Perhaps there was a mutual respect. Whatever the case, it must have been quite a meeting that September day between the two powerhouses. The queen granted all of Grace’s requests, including monetary aid and the release of her impounded fleet. In the queen’s letter to Bingham, she also stated that Grace O’Malley had her permission to act as a privateer on England’s behalf. And so a-pirating Grace did go.

Grace finally retired in 1601. Two years later at the age of 73, she died, the same year as the queen.

About the Author 

Jennifer is the award-winning author of the Romancing the Pirate series. Visit her at www.jbrayweber.com or join her mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and giveaways.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day! And a bit of history...

Top 'o the morning to ye! And a very happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today, I've been featured on USA Today's HEA Blog where I'm talking a bit about the history behind St. Patrick's Day.

Please join me!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Highland Cows vs. Other Cows

When I went to Ireland a decade ago, we had to pull over onto the side of the road because a herd of massive, black and white cows were coming down the road. I'd never seen cows so huge before! I was amazed then with the differences between American cows and Irish cows. Subsequently, did you know that dairy cows are black and white, or brown and white? (Holsteins specifically are the white/blacks.) Now, I never did find out exactly why the Irish cows looked so much larger, but I'm guessing, looking back at pictures, that it might have had something to do with sitting in a tiny car :)

Now onto the Highland cattle! I'd seen pictures before and always wondered about their breed. Highland cows are shaggy, with these long, thick coats. I finally got to see some cows in person when I went to Scotland--the Highlands specifically. They are beautiful.

Funny story... My friend and I stopped at a castle ruins. We parked near a fence and when we got out of the car, we heard these great snorting and scary mooing sounds. Glancing up, we saw four Highland cows barreling toward us, horns down. I was certain they'd come tearing through the flimsy fence to gore us. So I ran. Screaming. Hilarious really... My friend called me back over. The cows had stopped at the fence and looked up at us docilely. I'm guessing they'd just been excited, and maybe were looking for some treats. My dad has a cattle farm (beautiful blacks and browns) and they run over to the fence for us to give them treats all the time.

But these thick, shaggy coats--what's the deal? Why do Highland cows look so different?

The answer is quite simple. Highland cattle were bred to withstand harsh weather -- heavy rains, wind, freezing temperatures, snow. Their thick coats protect them, keep them warm.

Hope you all are staying warm this winter season!


Hey, check it out! I have THREE new books out!

Something to entertain you this post-holiday season... A KILTED CHRISTMAS WISH,  something to keep you warm any night of the year -- THE HIGHLANDER'S SIN. And if you're looking for steaming HAWT check out the 3rd and final installment in the Highland Bound trilogy -- DARK SIDE OF THE LAIRD.

Down on her luck with men, Darla Strider wonders if she’ll ever meet her own kilted hero. Considering she lives in present day New York City, the likelihood of that happening is nil. She’s certain only a Christmas wish could make her dreams come true. Until the day Aaron Sutherland walks into her café, and changes her whole world.

Leaving his pain in Scotland for life in the States, the last thing Aaron has in mind is hooking up with a city girl. But one look at Darla and she’s got him singing All I Want for Christmas is You.

Available as an ebook only

He stole her away… But she set him free…

They called him The Priest. Maybe because of his billowing black robes and the steel crucifix that hung around his neck. Or perhaps it was because those who met him were compelled to pray. But Duncan Mackay was anything but a saint. He was a sinner—a paid mercenary. Until he met her, and she made him want to change his ways.

Lady Heather Sutherland, has never been compelled to follow rules. And this time, she’s gone too far. Following in the footsteps of her brothers and cousins, she chooses to join the fight for Scottish freedom—and gets herself abducted by a handsome, rogue warrior, whose touch is sweet sin.

Duncan’s duty was clear—steal Heather away from Dunrobin Castle. What he didn’t expect, was to be charmed by her spirit and rocked by her fiery kiss. Now, he doesn’t want deliver her to those who hired him, instead he wants to keep her all to himself.

Available in print, ebook and audio

Bound by passion. Freed by love.

When the damaged and tormented Emma first meets the equally broken Logan, they embark on a torrid, emotionally provocative affair that irrevocably changed their lives. Emma has sacrificed her entire being and just when she thinks Logan is willing to do the same, he holds back. Reluctant for their love to be a thing of shadows, Emma issues an ultimatum: commit or say goodbye. Fearful of losing her, Logan agrees.

In order to keep her, he must gain permission to marry from the one man he’s sought to avoid: his brother, the King. His appeal is denied and instead, Logan is seized and sent to the dungeon with no hope for escape. While in Hell, Logan’s dark past haunts him, threatening to consume him. He must fight to remain the man he’s become with Emma by his side and relinquish the control he’s held onto for a lifetime.

Fearing her lover is dead, Emma decides once and for all she must leave history where it belongs and return to the present. But when she tries once again to break the bonds of time, she is struck down. Emma must choose her destiny. Must answer the cries her body makes in the dark for her laird. They’ve always been strongest when together, but now Emma must find the courage on her own to see her fate fulfilled—and Logan returned to her.

READ IT!  Amazon / Barnes and Noble 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Vikings in Ireland by Suzanne Barrett

Welcome back to History Undressed, guest author, Suzanne Barrett! Today she's hear to talk with us about Vikings and Ireland!

The Vikings in Ireland
by Suzanne Barrett

By the ninth century Irish education had advanced to the degree that at the court of Charlemagne Irish masters taught at palace schools. However, as learned monks now had practical reasons to leave their homeland, the way was paved for the Viking expansion.

Many of the Norsemen were pirates and traders, and they came from the Scandinavian North. That they were Norwegians and Danes is known, however, ancient historians dealt harshly with all Viking invaders and it is not clearly known if those called Finn-Gaill were of Norwegian descent and those called Dubh-Gaill were of Danish stock. The term Gaill means Gentile or foreigner.

Ireland had been free from invasion since prehistoric times and Christian for three hundred years by the time of the first Viking incursion. The land was nominally ruled over by the Árd Rí, or High King of the Irish. In truth, it was more a collection of petty kingdoms which gave lip service only to the ceremonial overlordship of the Ui-Naill and was constantly warring over one thing or another. The North of Ireland was ruled by the Ui-Naill family. Meath was ruled by the Southern Ui-Naill, while Ulster was ruled by Njall-Caille of the northern Ui-Naill. By the advent of the Vikings, the Árd Rí was no longer "King of Tara" except in name, for inasmuch as he ruled, he did so from Derry, which was not even in the kingdom of Meath where Tara stood.

The earliest record of Viking attacks is around 795 A.D. The islands of Inismurray and Inisbofin on the northwest were among the first places attacked. After the initial shock, the Irish rallied, but the nature of the raids also changed, and settlement succeeded raid. By 807, the Vikings had won a foothold on Inismurray and Lindisfarne. During the early years they were beaten back, but by 820 Viking fleets once more appeared along the coasts of Ireland and plundered Howth, Wexford and Cork. In 841 Vikings founded a permanent settlement at the mouth of the River Liffey on the east central coast. This rugged settlement was the foundation for the city of Dublinwith similar bases established at Waterford in 914 and at Limerick in 922. These bases most likely were wooden stockades built around beached longboats but eventually they would become trading centers and the forerunners of urban centers in Ireland, setting them apart from the prior rural pattern of Irish history.

The Irish kings built fleets against the invaders, and the Norsemen built towns. Stone superseded wood and eventually became the chief building material and round towers became lookouts.

By 822 Viking raids occurred annually, and a few years later, they made incursions inland. By 840 their attacks were concentrated on the monastic communities. The monasteries were early targets. These undefended sanctuaries, the deposits of treasures of the kings, were primarily of wood and were destroyed by the raiders. Many of the illuminated manuscripts were among the treasures that were destroyed by the illiterate Norsemen–the Book of Kells being a notable survivor. Still later, they established settlements along waterways: Dublin by the River Liffey, in Waterford by the River Barrow, in Limerick by the River Shannon, and in Anagassan by the River Boyne. (Dublin would remain a separate kingdom and would be ruled by a Norse king from 853, when the dynasty of Olaf was created, until long after the final dissolution of Viking political power in 1014, a period of more than 160 years.)

After many incursions into parts of Ireland, the Irish began fighting back. While the Norwegian Vikings held their main winter camps, new aggression by Danish intruders held off any advancement. In the mid 800s many Vikings were killed by the Irish, however, by the end of the century, the Scandinavians had integrated into Irish life through the taking of wives and settling on the shores. In the latter half of the century, the Danes and the Norwegian Vikings were fighting each other.

Eventually the raids ceased and many of the Vikings became mercenaries, fighting for whichever warring faction of the four provinces needed aid. But after this period, most Norse became known as merchants and traders. Second generation Vikings often had Irish names and many converted to Christianity. Furthermore, ancient Irish and Viking design became intermingled as the dual cultures thrived. The Norse towns and adjoining regions–primarily Dublin, and later, Limerick–became client kingdoms after the Irish pattern. In 1000 A.D. the Norse introduced the first native coinage into Ireland.

The Viking period in Ireland lasted about 220 years, with the period of strongest influence lasting a mere 140 years--from the establishment of Dublin until its sack by the King of Tara. But aspects of Irish culture, linguistics, and politics would be influenced for all time by the Norse presence.
This is but an overview of the Viking period. A later article will go into detail about the conflict between the high Kings of Ireland and the Viking rulers. For further reading the Viking Answer Lady has an excellent, detailed history of the period. Also check out an article by Renee Vincent, author of the recently published novel Ræliksen set in Viking Ireland.

If this whets your appetite to learn more about Viking Ireland, why not visit Dublinia, a Viking and Medieval Museum right in Dublin City Centre located at the crossroads of St Michael’s Hill, Patrick St., and Thomas St. Dublinia is connected to Christ Church Cathedral by a medieval footbridge. Open daily throughout the year (10.00am to 5.00pm April to September and 10.00am to 4.30pm October to March). Admission is €6.95 for adults, €5.95 students and seniors and €20.00 for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children). Group and combined rates also available (combining Dublinia and Christchurch Cathedral), also there's a guided tour of Viking and Medieval Dublin with costumed guides stationed around the exhibits to provide more information.


After working twenty-five years for a major defense contractor, Suzanne left engineering to write full time. Nine years after beginning her first novel (set in Ireland) she “got the call.” Suzanne has published eleven novels, both contemporary and historical and now writes exclusively for Turquoise Morning Press. But writing is only one of her hobbies. Suzanne creates artisan jewelry, gardens in her mountain acreage in Northern California and enjoys cooking, water fitness, searching the coastal beaches for sea glass and many other hobbies. She reviews for major publications and writes non-fiction articles for an Irish website.
Her latest books are Loving Luke and The Prodigal Lover, available at Amazon and other online stores. Both novels are set in Northern California. In Love and War, a novel of Ireland is set in County Waterford where Suzanne spent a winter researching Irish history.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Castle of the Week: Bunratty Castle

Almost a decade ago, I left the airport in Shannon, Ireland, driving on the left side of the car and the left side of the road for the very first time. 'Twas a nightmare! I had no idea what I was doing and nearly killed myself. Luckily, I had seven days to get used to it, and before you know it, I was a pro--even driving at night on the treacherous cliff-side road in the Dingle Peninsula after a rousing evening at a local pub (but that's a whole other story!)

Back to my arrival in Ireland... We took the red-eye, and although we found little sleep on the flight we were determined not to lose a minute of touring time. Minutes after landing and getting our rental car, we found ourselves at our first Irish castle: Bunratty.

The castle as it stands today originally built in 1425, was the fourth castle to be built on the spot. The site has been used since 970 when it was held by the Vikings as a Trading camp. It has since been restored and filled with furnishing from the 15th and 16th centuries, along with tapestries and other art work. I often point people in the direction of this website to view the Bunratty Collection. 'Tis impressive!

Also, if you want to see a great picture of the layout of the castle, I suggest visiting this page: A Tour of Bunratty Castle. I actually use this model a lot for my fictional stories.

Shannon Heritage takes care of the grounds and has created a folk park surrounding the castle. A real-life little village with re-enactors, so you feel like you are really in that time period. It was truly a fascinating place. The scent of the peat fires still linger in my mind. I did not get to stay for the medieval banquet, but they do have one I think almost every day. There is also a hotel you can stay at to enjoy the park day in and day out.

While I was at Bunratty, I enjoyed the village, got put in the stocks and learned a lot about Irish history. We finished our tour with tea at the Bunratty Hotel. It was truly a memorable time, and I look forward to returning there soon!

Some pics...

The great hall

Outside the keep... just around here that I was put in the stocks

Part of the folk park

A very short bed. I asked if the Irish were shorter and the guide told me
 they slept sitting up as lying down was for the dead. 

Another folk park pic

The hotel where we had tea.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 1916: The Fight for Irish Freedom

Welcome back to History Undressed, guest author Suzanne Barrett, with more fascinating facts about Ireland, and this time she's highlighted the Easter of 1916.

1916a: Liberty hall from a Valentine's
Collectors Series Post Card

Easter 1916:  The Fight for Irish Freedom

by Suzanne Barrett

Just before noon on Easter Monday, April 24th, a group of 150 men strode out of Liberty Hall, then marched toward Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street) a few hundred yards away.  About one fourth of the marchers wore the dark-green uniform of the Irish Citizen Army, others wore the grey-green of the Irish Volunteers.  Still others--perhaps most of them--wore no uniform.  Armed with an odd mixture of rifles, shotguns, and handguns, they moved in step, heading straight for the General Post Office (GPO).

The Dublin citizenry took little notice.  Such sights had become quite common over the past three years--groups of men playing at soldiers. Today was different.  When the men arrived at the post office, their leader, James Connolly, gave the order to charge.  The guards on duty were taken completely by surprise.

Once inside, the men took control of the building, removing the British flag and replacing it with two others, a plain green one with the words 'Irish Republic' and a green, white, and orange tricolor.  It was the first time that flag had flown over Dublin.  The man who hoisted the flag was Skibbereen-born Gearoid O'Sullivan, later to become Adjutant General of the Irish Free State.  O'Sullivan was a distant cousin to Michael Collins and a few years later, would marry Kitty Kiernan's sister, Maud.

In addition to affiliation with Irish Volunteers or the Irish Citizen Army, many of these men had connections to the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB).  This secret society, sometimes called Fenians, was founded in 1858 and conspired to overthrow British rule by force.  Earlier rebellions had failed, and by the turn of the century, the group had achieved little.  At this time, however, younger men joined, men with new ideas and fire.   Within ten years, the revitalized IRB had planned the Easter Rising.

Two of the most active IRB men in the Dublin area were Tom Clarke and Sean MacDiarmada (MacDermott).  Clarke had served prison time for his part if the dynamite plot of the 1880s; Leitrim-born MacDermott, a generation younger, was a born organizer who traveled throughout the country on behalf of the Brotherhood.  Clarke, MacDiarmada and a few others in the Brotherhood formed the military council and included Padraig Pearse and Joseph Mary Plunkett.  James Connolly, the leader of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, was planning a rising of his own.  The IRB wisely let him in on the plans.  Connolly proved to be their best commander in the field.  Michael Collins, adjutant to Plunkett, was also an IRB man.

The military council's greatest need was for arms.  Roger Casement, a British Foreign Office employee, was a passionate nationalist.  At the outbreak of WWI, he went to Germany and arranged a shipment of arms to arrive off the southwest coast of Ireland aboard the Aud.  Good Friday 1916 was the date set for the arms arrival.

Dublin Castle knew something was going on, but they couldn't be sure what exactly.  Then came the news that the Aud had been intercepted by a Royal navy ship.  The German captain scuttled the arms cache, and Casement was captured from an accompanying German submarine.
1916d: Rebel Barricade from
National Library of Ireland

With the arms gone, everyone assumed the rising was off.  On Easter, the day originally set for the encounter, the military council gathered and decided to plan the action for the following day, despite the arms shortage and the fact that Volunteer leader, Eoin MacNeill, ordered all activities canceled.

The men leading the charge on the GPO, therefore, were the secret military council.  Once inside, they sandbagged and fortified their garrison against the expected British counter-attack.  Barricades were set up in the streets, and snipers moved into position.

The counter-attack began on Tuesday morning.  Troops under the command of General W. H. M. Lowe arrived from the Curragh, thirty-five miles away, and took up positions in several areas.  They cordoned off Dublin from west to east which brought them into immediate conflict with some rebels.  A British machine gun crew positioned themselves on the fourth floor of the Shelbourne Hotel, the tallest building around St. Stephen's Green, and began shelling the rebels who had retreated to the College of Surgeons.  By seven o'clock, the rebels there had been reduced to about 100 counting men, women, and boys.  Their position hopeless, they would hold on for five days until the surrender.

Around the city, other rebel commands maintained as much pressure as they could on British troops, however, it was now clear that MacNeill's orders canceling activity had taken its toll.  Turnout was much lower than hoped, and Dublin was virtually on its own.

By nightfall of the second day, General Lowe had nearly 5,000 British troops at his disposal, vastly outnumbering the rebels.  Four pieces of artillery had arrived earlier, and Lowe began to cordon off the northern suburbs which, with the southern cordon already established, would trap the rebels' GPO and Four Courts garrisons.

On Wednesday, the Helga, a grey fisheries patrol boat, sailed up the Liffey and tied up on the south quays opposite the Custom House.  Her duty: to shell the rebel positions.  The first target--Liberty Hall.

By now, the fighting centered on the Mendicity Institution.  Twenty men, commanded by rebel Sean Heuston, inflicted casualties on over one hundred British, but soon the rebels were surrounded on all sides.  After the British forces lobbed hand grenades into the building, Heuston was forced to surrender.  The Helga sailed down the Liffey to begin shelling the rear of Boland's Mills garrison, commanded by Eamon de Valera.
1916h: Pearce Surrender to
Gen. Lowe from Weidenfield Archives

Meanwhile, at the port of Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire), British troops landed and marched toward the Royal Hospital, some nine miles away.  En route, they marched into the rebel forces at Mount Street Bridge, where twelve men held off the British for the remainder of the day, inflicting over two hundred casualties. Four of the rebels survived.

The Helga now shelled the GPO, the British forces' main objective.  By late afternoon, they added the boom of artillery to the barrage.

Sackville Street burned on Thursday following a 10 am non-stop artillery attack.  Inside the GPO, the flames were so intense the rebels had to hose down the sacking on the barricaded windows.  By 10 pm, an oil works directly opposite the GPO caught fire.  As sparks began to hit the roof, the rebels moved their explosives to the basement.

The leaders knew their position was hopeless--had known it from the start-- but felt the need for an armed rebellion.  National honor demanded it and the IRB principle demanded it.  The rebels could now only delay the inevitable for as long as possible to get public opinion on their side.

James Connolly was full of energy and directed GPO operations in a brisk, no-nonsense way until that afternoon he was struck just above the ankle by a ricocheting bullet.  The pain was intense, and greatly weakened by it and the loss of blood, he was not the same afterward.  Clarke and MacDiarmada also took leading roles, Pearse busied himself with writing proclamations and bulletins.

A furious gun battle ensued at the South Dublin Union between British troops and the rebels under the command of Eamonn Ceannt and his second in command, fiery Cathal Brugha.

On Friday, James Connolly was carried into the public office of the GPO, in pain, but wanting to stay at the center of the operation.  He dictated a lengthy address to his troops which was taken by his secretary, Winifred Carney.  It spoke of victory, when in fact there was defeat, of the entire country taking up arms, when in fact, it was just in Dublin, of armed Volunteers marching on Dublin when there were none.  Connolly knew the Rising was a gesture, but the longer the gesture went on, the longer Irish patriots were seen to be fighting the might of the British Empire, the greater the rebels' chance of winning the hearts and minds of the Irish people.

By 4 pm on Friday, the roof of the GPO was on fire and the Volunteers were forced to evacuate.  Pearse and Connolly were the last to leave.

As the GPO was burning, Gen. Lowe ordered a savage frontal attack on the North King Street rebels that lasted until Saturday morning.  The South Staffordshire Regiment, unused to fighting men who didn't always wear uniforms, took out their wrath on the civilian populace by murdering fifteen innocent men.

By 9 am Saturday morning it was over.  The last headquarters of the Irish Republic was established in the back parlor of Hanlon's fishmonger's shop at No. 16 Moore Street.  No further retreat without the possibility of high civilian casualties was possible.  The military council decided to surrender.

Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell made her way up Moore Street wearing Red Cross markings and carrying the white flag of truce.  She was taken to see Gen. Lowe who demanded an unconditional surrender.  She returned to No. 16 and half an hour later, returned with Pearse.  Pearse took off his sword and handed it over to Lowe in a formal act of surrender.  The photo of Pearse surrendering to Gen. Lowe shows the general with his son who served under him.  Lowe's son later became known as John Loder, a British actor of minor note.

Pearse was driven away to see General Maxwell at army headquarters where he drafted the formal surrender document.  Nurse O'Farrell then delivered this document to the other rebel garrisons.  Shortly afterward, the wounded Connolly was taken to the Red Cross Hospital.  The main body of Volunteers was marched under military orders into Sackville Street where they laid down their arms before the British.  The Four Courts garrison surrendered next and joined their comrades, now totaling about 400 men.  They spent the night in the open, huddled under guard in the gardens of the Rotunda Hospital at the top of Sackville Street.
1916f: Street Barricade and Looters
from National Library of Ireland

On Sunday morning, they were marched off to Richmond Barracks.  As they passed through some areas of the city, people hurled rotten fruit and vegetables at them.  On their return from imprisonment, these same Volunteers would be hailed as heroes.

The leaders were court-martialed, and fifteen of them were sentenced to execution by firing squad.  On May 3, they shot Padraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, and Tom Clarke.  The executions continued until May 12 with the shooting that disgusted everyone.  There was little outcry at first, but as the executions continued, public figures pleaded for clemency.  Maxwell refused.  To him, they were traitors who had committed treason and deserved to die.

On May 12, Sean MacDiarmada was executed, followed by James Connolly, who was too ill to stand and had to be tied to a chair.  Countess Markievicz had her sentence commuted to life imprisonment, as did Eamon de Valera--Markievicz because she was a woman, de Valera because he was born in America.

The Rising was over, but it was not over.  It has been called 'the triumph of failure' because it made martyrs of its leaders and their deaths revived the spirit of republican separatism.  Within a year, the Sinn Fein party which had nothing to do with the rebellion, would be taken over by the republican survivors of the Rising and would win numerous by-elections.  The quest for freedom became a national pursuit, run by IRB men, 1916 survivors and inmates of Frongoch, the prisoner of war camp in Wales known as the 'University of Revolution.'

There are many sites throughout Dublin that visitors will find of interest, particularly at Easter when a number of commemorative events take place.  Some of Dublin's most interesting sights are those associated with the Easter Rising.

Suzanne Barrett is the author of award-winning historical and contemporary romance. She currently writes for Turquoise Morning Press. In addition, Suzanne writes content for an Irish travel website ( www.irelandforvisitors.com) and is a wire jewelry artist ( www.bellerustique.com). Her novels are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other fine retailers.
Find out more about Suzanne at www.suzannebarrett.com.


Embittered war correspondent Quinn Lawlor returns to his ancestral home in Ireland where he finds solace in the arms of Waterford dairy farmer Meaghann Power.

Meaghann must separate her daytime life as farmer and daughter of Irish rebels from nights of blazing desire for the one man she shouldn't love.

Will their passion prove strong enough to overcome a decades-old bitter struggle?