The Row in the town: The Easter Rising
The Easter rising is the founding myth of the modern republic of Ireland.
Our Storming of the Bastile: Our declaration of Independence. Irish
history books described it as the resurgence of 1916. The blood sacrifice
of the rebels put new heart into the
Irish people, who stirred, and became a nation once again.
Itís in the news again.
Scroll down, ignore the stuff about battle groups.
``MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.''
Ahh tis a grand auld song
The actual rising itself was postponed, countermanded, and met with
incredulity. One of the first responses from a Dubliner, on hearing the
proclamation of the Republic, was to urinate in the street, on the grounds
that now the republic is here, we can do what we want. The surviving
rebels had to be protected, in some case, at Bayonet.
Collins would describe the event of having an air of a Greek tragedy;
whilst Connolly held no illusions. ďWe are all going to get
slaughtered!'' Macbride would tell his men before it was over. Never let
it happen again, never hole yourself up in one place, and where they can
turn all their strength against you. O Rahily sent many young men home,
and then stayed behind to fight.
It is in the ashes of Dublin where reputations were made. Lemass, Dev,
Collins, Mulachy were all veterans of the rising. Some claim that the
Irish civil war is a spat between Dublin, (Collins) and Cork, and Kerry,
(Lynch, Barry), with Cork having let down the side for its inaction during
the Rising. Kerry for allowing Casement to be taken with no opposition.
(Casement had in fact returned to Ireland to talk the Irish out of such
A brief run down of the events leading up to the Rising is in order. With
the passing of the Parliament Act, Irish Home rule could no longer be
postponed by the House of Lords. The reaction to this was in Ulster the
signing of the Solemn league and covenant and the forming of the UVF. The
Ulster Volunteer Force. Estimated by some to be 100000 strong, and with
supporters in the British army, and amongst the British upper classes
The reaction in the rest of Ireland was the formation of the Irish
For a while, it looked like Ireland was about to drift into civil war.
Then as Churchill observes the First World War happened, and the Parishes
of Fermanagh and Tyrone faded out of view. The UVF marched off to the
Somme. The Irish volunteers split. The majority
took Redmond's (the leader of the Irish party in the House of Commons)
advice and joined the British army. However a small group remained at
home. Around 10k. They would be called the National Volunteers. (or
incorrectly later, the Sinn Fein volunteers. Griffin is just not in the
loop at this point).
Itís worth noting that, one of the reasons why the Rising occurred when
it did, is that Plunkett expected that the Allies were going to win a
decisive victory soon.
So lets play the Patriot Game.
The volunteers will quietly acquire more arms: not a lot. Guns sent from
supporters in the US, the odd rifle pinched, or bought from Army Barracks.
More home made bombs. We can also have a few Irish American volunteers
slip in. According to the AOH. Irish American Ethnic association, they had
5k of volunteers ready to assist the Rising.
So a few Irish Americans turn up in Ireland. Perhaps some Europeans around
Dublin drift into Connollyís ICA. The rising got a Finn and Norwegian
ready to strike a blow for small nations
The Volunteers had been treated quite laxly by the British authorities.
They had been drilling and practicing marching of Dublin.( This was due to
the British indeed Connolly was brought into the plans for the Rising at
gunpoint, to prevent him and the Irish citizen army from jumping the gun).
Incidentally Plunkett a Papal count, informed the Pope, to assure him. The
Rising was not communist inspired. His Holiness asked can it not be done
without Bloodshed. When told not, the Pope, deferred to the Bishop of
Dublin, who was ill that weekend.
So back to the Liffey after our brief stop on the Tiber.
McNeill, one of the leaders of the Volunteers, will have a bad fall on the
streets of Dublin. Perhaps he's pushed. It takes him out of the equation.
He will not be able to countermand the orders. In short the hard liners
will be in control.
If your wondering, what the RIC and secret service are doing at this time,
we will assume that the Volunteers and IRB are much smarter. Perhaps have
Collins travel back from London earlier and take charge of security.
The plans are drawn up. Ireland will be risen again with its saviour.
Good Friday, May 1916.
We will have Casement arrive with 2 German U boats: one filled with
English speaking Petty officers; the other with say a company of Irish
volunteers recruited from Prisoners of war. In OTL the Germans tried to
raise a force of Irish Volunteers. In both World Wars, however, both
attempts failed. Yet this time Casement will be smarter: he will single
out troops, individually rather than address camps.
The idea of the German petty officers is that they provide some more cadre
for the Irish rebels. We will ignore the fact that the English spoken in
Cork, is related to English one would learn in a German gymnasia. How
closely related, is another story.
However Casement is buoyed by this, and decides to chance his arm.
Casement makes contact with the local IRB and volunteers. Including the
car Collins sent to meet Casement. The passengers of which, crashed and
drowned. Austin Stack will not go into a Police station and ask. So where
are the ships, with the notorious traitor, and Guns we have been
expecting? (Yes this did happen)
So the Cork IRB/ Volunteers have 20 000 rifles. Mostly captured Russian
stock, a few Machine guns, and some gold actually. The IRB get a few
hundred rifles into Dublin, again we will ignore the problems of supply
Itís worth noting that Volunteer manuals of the time discussed how one
would set ambushes armed with pikes and shotguns. So they were prepared to
give it a try.
Back to the Liffey
Pearse will be morbidly elated and thus confine himself to making speeches
and delegate command authority. To a triumvirate of Collins-Connolly,
Macbride, will strike out to the country side, and fight a Boer style
civil war. Raiding RIC stations, Coastguard posts, banks, and burning
houses and property of notable Loyalists. Collins will use infiltration
and assassination in Dublin. Connolly will look after the defence of the
GPO etc. In OTL he did a reasonable job of this. Closing the circle of
buildings the Irish took, once the British responded. Dev will be not have
a nervous breakdown.
So the Volunteers turn out, several thousand strong. This time now here is
there big success. Collins leads around 100 men to capture Dublin castle.
The Castle is taken. Collins has his men copy some of the files, and then
burn the rest. The Castle provides the odd musket and a few pistols.
Collins gets to raise the Green Flag over the Castle. So avenges Emmet.
Collins is relived by an able but unnamed officer. Releasing him to raise
hell behind British lines. The capture of Dublin castle and the GPO allows
some communication between Cork and Dublin.
Collins recruits some likely lads, they shoot several British officers,
and Dublin castle officials, RIC and DMP G-Men. The British have been
Macbride, commandeering some motor cars, horses and bikes, sends men
the country. Volunteers, to show that the rising in Dublin is happening.
They act as flying pickets. They reach Galway, Limerick and Belfast. In
Belfast, the 100 men turn out on the Falls road, start shooting, and are
followed by youths with petrol bombs and rocks. Boosted, by a car from
Dublin, with news and Guns, they raise the Green flag and open fire.
The Germans shell some British towns and manage to get a Zeppelin to sneak
across to Bomb the port of Dublin (In OTL, I think they did hit some
British towns. Whitby familiar to historians of Irish history for its
So it has happened
Key points of Dublin are controlled by Irish rebels. Belfast is alight.
Cork is taken by a German Irish force. Across Ireland men are attacking
RIC barracks and heading for Dublin. The Germans have struck against
England and can be seen aiding Ireland
Is the dream about to come true? No
In Belfast, UVF volunteers, the RIC, and the Loyalists return the
compliment. It does not end well. Hundreds of men are killed, thousands
more are burned out of their homes, or
The British start to get their act together. RIC and Army units begin to
act. They act slowly. No command authority just local commanders acting on
their own authority. Using Artillery from the Curragh, they slowly grind
the defenders of the Irish republic down.
The War Cabinet meets in London. A force is assembled to take Dublin, with
some naval support. Whatever ships are available will sail for Ireland.
Redmondís offer of the services of the Irish volunteers, loyal to him,
is rejected. A few thousand men are cobbled together to link up with
forces in Ireland, bring the country back under control. Even if the lines
of communication with Dublin are cut, Belfast will still hold out.
In the rest of Ireland, the Volunteers, have now lost the momentum and are
facing resistance. Dublin is also beginning to grow cold and hungry. In
OTL there were problems, with a much smaller rising. Here national trade
The RN sails into Dublin Bay. It begins to shell the Rebel positions with
naval guns. There is no means of a reply. A smaller force is dispatched to
Cork, dodging the mines at Passage west. They repeat Daltons descent on
Cork, during the Civil War.
Give the British a few months to chase down the surviving rebels, who are
short of ammo, food, and shelter, die lonely deaths on Irish hillsides.
Old scores are settled. Names given at gunpoint and for gold. The Dream
In short Ireland is brought to heel in a number of months. Even if we give
every man and woman and child in Ireland, a rifle. It changes nothing. The
RN will still uphold The Tyranny of the seas. Say 50 k dead from the
troubles, most of which would be Dubliners relieving shops of their
property. The Irish rebels cannot get any help from Germany, other than
the odd U Boat and Zeppelin raid. Does not the Saxon yoke shake. God is
too High, and the Kaiser too far. Ireland is out gunned, out manned, out
factorised, out moneyed.
So what happens?
Ulster is cleansed. Fewer Catholics in Belfast, and the surrounding areas.
Perversely, after the War, Ulster should still get its own Parliament.
Ireland is knocked down for a generation. I don't think the British will
enforce conscription as such in Ireland. A lot of military age males will
be dead or fled. I can see Irish Labour Battalions doing construction work
in front of Bored Tommy Akins in Egypt. Shuffle a few Irish regiments out
of the front lines
A new Diaspora, to the USA, and the British dominions possibly Argentina
well. Riots in NYC and Boston, and Newfoundland.
Wilson will have a much harder time bringing the USA into the War. He will
achieve it but at cost to his party. American politics will have a greater
Anglophobic and isolationist slant.
Ireland will not have the 1918 election. Martial law, no extension of the
Franchise to younger voters for a while. Irish independence is off the
cards until after WW2.
Chalk a few months extra on WW2. With the Loss of Irish production and