this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising in Dublin which was the violent curtain-raiser on England's final departure from Ireland.
Its important to remember that the seven original members of that short lived "provisional government" proclaimed in the Dublin Post Office were by and large of a romantic disposition. They had no illusions as to their final fates, in fact they'd all be court martialed and executed about ten days later by revenge minded British Forces.
No...they were looking for an sort of ultimate act of expiation, deliberately surrendering their lives to rouse Ireland to a final show down with England.
And...despite the initial disdain of the Dublin citizenry....the scheme worked. Of course British "fell for it" indulging violent reprisals (including shooting Dublin's beloved town lunatic Sheehy Skeffington) and standing up the Provision Government up against a wall and gunning them down. It was a melodramatic end for one and all, worthy of Dickens...and it was more than enough to touch off a powder keg. We disdain purely romantic notions at our peril when making revolutions.
Of course the irony is, the men who finally freed Ireland, the De Valeras, The Collins'...were very hard ruthless antagonists indeed, nothing of the romantic about them. They were reconciled to doing "reddish work at night" sans qualms.
And that my friends is the enduring Irony That Is Ireland....Romantic Start, Realist Finish.