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In the year 325, Constantine 1, Roman emperor convoked the Council of Nicaea. Who unanimously ruled that the Easter festival should be celebrated throughout the Chrisian world on the first Sunday, after the first full, moon after the vernal equinox. If the full moon should occur on a Sunday and thereby coincide with the passover festival, Easter should be commemorated on the Sunday following. Coincidence of the feasts of Easter and Passover was thus avoided.

By our calculations, Easter should fall on the following dates for the next 10 years.

8 March 23 April
28 Febuary 15 April
13 Febuary 31 March
5 March 20 April
25 Febuary 11 April
9 Febuary 27 March
1 March 16 April
21 Febuary 8 April
6 Febuary 23 March
25 Febuary 12 April
17 Febuary 4 April

The last time Easter Sunday fell this late was in 1916 and the very next day the Easter Rising took place.

The Easter Rising, was an armed uprising of Irish Nationalists against the rule of Britain in Ireland. The uprising began on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, and was centred in Dublin. The chief objectives were the attainment of political freedom and the establishment of an irish republic.

The Rising began on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916. At noon a group of about 300 men lead by Pádraig Pearse took over the General Post Office in Dublin. Pádraig Pearse stood in front of the building and read the proclamation of the Irish Republic.

Other important buildings, such as the College of Surgeons, Boland's Mill and Jacob's Biscuit Factory, were also occupied. The people of Dublin were taken completely by surprise. So were the British, many of whose officers were at Fairyhouse Races that day.

By afternoon the British had begun to attack the rebels, and fierce fighting continued throughout the week. On Wednesday a British gunboat sailed up the Liffey and fired on the rebels.

By Saturday the GPO was a burning ruin, and the leaders of the Rising knew that there was no hope of victory. In order to prevent further death and destruction, Pearse and his followers agreed to surrender unconditionally on the afternoon of April 29th.

Picture of the seven men who signed the declaration
The seven signatories of the Irish Proclamation (from the left):

Padraig Pearse, James Connolly, Thomas Clarke, Thomas MacDonagh, Sean MacDermott, Joseph Plunkett & Eamonn Ceannt

All of the above men were executed by the British for their efforts in trying to secure a free Ireland!

The names of those who died or were executed (* means executed)
Padraig Pearse * Thomas MacDonagh * Thomas Clarke * Joseph Plunkett *
Edward Daly * Michael O’Hanrahan * William Pearse * Sean McBride *
Con Colbert * Eamonn Ceannt * Michael Mallin * Sean Hueston *
James Connolly * Sean McDermott * John Adams Thomas Allen
William Burke Andrew Byrne James Byrne Louis Byrne
Charles Carrigan Philip Clarke Sean Connolly James Corcoran
Edward Costello John Costello Henry Coyle John Crenigan
John Cromien Charles Darcy Brendan Donelan Patrick Doyle
John Dwan Edward Ennis Patrick Farrell James Fox
George Geoghegan John Healy Sean Howard Sean Hurley
John Keely Con Keating Gerald Keogh Francis Macken
Peader Macken Michael Malone Peter Manning James McCormack
William McDowell Charles Monaghan Michael Mulvihill Richard Murphy
Daniel Murray Richard O’Carroll Patrick O’Connor Patrick O’Flanagan
John O’Grady The O’Rahilly John O’Reilly Thomas O’Reilly
John Owens James Quinn Thomas Rafferty George Reynolds
Fredrick Ryan Domhnall Sheehan Patrick Shortis John Traynor
Edward Walsh Philip Walshe Thomas Weafer Patrick Whelan
Peter Wilson Richard Kent Roger Casement * (1) Thomas Kent * (2)
Thomas Ashe (3) . . .


(1) Roger Casement was executed in Pentonville prison London.
(2) Thomas Kent was executed in Cork jail.
(3) Thomas Ashe died on a hunger-strike in 1917.

A poem:

Awaiting freedom from my mother’s womb
At Resurrection time, some glint of rebel steel
Pierced deep my soul, so deep
That fifty years have not erased the thrill
The names of Pearse and Plunkett, 
Clarke, MacDonagh, Connolly
Ceannt and Sean Mac Diarmada arouse,
Of freedom born in blood.

Wresting freedom from a tyrant’s hand
Had often been essayed on Ireland’s soil.
Essayed at cost, at bitter cost
By men of eager hearts and giant mind, yet still
Each century brought fourth. The poets, princes of pen,
To thrill with their philosophy
A nation’s captive hearts.

No lust of blood inflamed the freedom verse
To turn the ploughshare to the sword;
They unlocked hearts, e'en timid hearts
To dreams undreamt of within captive breasts,
And set vast floods of liberty afloat
Upon a sea too long content
With anchored hopes,
And flotsam fears.

Who can recall an Emmet or a Tone,
A Mitchel or a Davitt or Devoy,
Without a glorious surging of the blood
And anticipation of emancipation
From the long-remembered wrongs
Upon a nation's rights?
Just tribute must be paid by
Freedmen to felon's heirs.

Half a century ago our resurrection came
Heralded by another name, the name of Pearse,
An Apollo with a quiver of words,
Music-tipped arrows to reach the very souls
Of those who longed and longed for freedom's balm;
Gentle leader of a quiet few
Who braved a tyrant's might
To make a bondman free.

Let me praise him who close by Rossa’s grave
Praised the virtue of a valiant man
From a heart and tongue pregnant then
With death-decision made for
Freedom's urgent birth;
A man whose spiritual eye could see the joy
Of a ladybird upon a stalk,
Or a rabbit in a field at play.

There were no deaths in Dublin on that
Easter day some fifty years ago-
Such music makers cannot die
As many mercenary soldiers do
With battles lost or won.
They have but set the music to a song
That ever holds us bound,
Yet leaves us ever free.

Like Pearse or Plunkett,
MacDonagh and Mac Diarmada
Ceantt and Clarke,
And Connolly





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Last modified: April 16, 2000