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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.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0209/defence.html

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 nonsense)


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 generally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Volunteer_Force_%281912%29

The reaction in the rest of Ireland was the formation of the Irish Volunteer Force.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Volunteers

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 and training.

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 blinded.

Macbride, commandeering some motor cars, horses and bikes, sends men across
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 theological events)

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
driven south.

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 stops.

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 dies.

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 shipped, 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 as
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
manpower.



Padioagh Regina


Ruairi

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