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  • A What-if.

    OK, 20/20 hindsights are a popular activity for some people interested in history. So:

    It's 1916. In charge of the Irish Volunteers, you've told Pearse his idea for occupying the GPO is stupid, and have demoted him to stores clerk somewhere. You have a stronger hold on the movement than Eoin McNeill had.

    It's up to you to come up with a plan to achieve independence -what will it be?
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    With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

    Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

  • #2
    YJ - Thats a toughy. Public opinion in west brita....:-patriot: I mean Dublin was changed dramatically by the excecutions of the 1916 lads, which helped when Mick Collins started bumping of british figures and spies etc.
    Pearse and the rest knew it was a hopeless task in 1916 but wanted to draw attention to their cause - Although bloody and hard to understand, I think the guys in 1916 achieved the change of attitude in the public that they set out to do

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    • #3
      Have to agree with Johnny on that. However its not answering YJ question...

      mass rebellion would not have been too popular an idea at the time, as was the case with 1916. A better move would have been to do what mick collins did. Start by picking on small isolated barracks and RIC posts. Then cutting supply lines. basically make the area outside the pale ungovernable. At same time make populist decisions such as pushing landlords of the lands and allowing tenants to run them. Wait for the knee jerk reactions of the brits create a few martyrs. And then slowly surround and attack the population centers of dublin and cork. This is much the same as what castro did in cuba.

      J

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      • #4
        It's up to you to come up with a plan to achieve independence -what will it be?

        1. Wait for the end of WWI, and then demand that Home Rule be implemented in full.

        2. Continue to drill and arm as a 'reminder' to London.

        3. Using the electoral boundaries of 1918, hold a referendum on which areas wished to remain in the UK.

        4. Let them, until the pointlessness of three counties being isolated hits them and then move for a 'special arrangement'.

        5. Become a functional European democracy

        Comment


        • #5
          3. Using the electoral boundaries of 1918, hold a referendum on which areas wished to remain in the UK.

          4. Let them, until the pointlessness of three counties being isolated hits them and then move for a 'special arrangement'.


          You are pre-supposing the outcome of the referendum. It might embarrassingly result in a vote to stay in the union. In 1916 republicanism wasn't quite as popular as it became 5 years later when the IRA started shooting anybody who did not toe the republican line.

          5. Become a functional European democracy

          80 years later and we still haven't managed a functional democracy.
          sigpic
          Say NO to violence against Women

          Originally posted by hedgehog
          My favourite moment was when the
          Originally posted by hedgehog
          red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

          Comment


          • #6
            You are pre-supposing the outcome of the referendum. It might embarrassingly result in a vote to stay in the union. In 1916 republicanism wasn't quite as popular as it became 5 years later when the IRA started shooting anybody who did not toe the republican line.

            Given that the vast majority of the MPs elected to Westminister at that time were pro Home Rule, I'll take my chances. But you're completely right about public opinion.

            80 years later and we still haven't managed a functional democracy

            Which was my point. 1916 was not a revolution, it was a counter revolution by the forces of conservatism and religious radicalism against a 'solution' in the form of Home Rule which they thought would not deliver a sufficiently 'pure' state. They won, and we got Dev (and many others), doing his best to haul the country back to a golden era which never actually existed.

            Still, things are getting better. A few tribunals and the ritual humiliation of former demi gods always help.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, one thing would have been to cut the rail links (the only real means of rapid reinforcement for the Army) well away from the city to prevent reinforcement from provincial garrisons and possibly blockading Dublin Port and Dun Laoghaire.

              Controlling the GPO was the equivalent today of controlling the TV station in a coup, as telegraph / telegram was the only real means of rapid communication (I would say few enough place had wireless / radio).

              Possibly seek sniping positions on the Dublin garrison's barracks.

              Consider assassination of senior officers.

              However, in the end of the day, Pearse wanted blood shed, so as to create sympathy to his cause.

              Originally posted by Aidan
              1916 was not a revolution, it was a counter revolution
              Technically a rebellion (a nominal failure) rather than a revolution (a nominal success)
              Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

              Comment


              • #8
                I know the leaders of the rising knew they would be executed should they get caught but I find it hard to believe that pearse would want to sacrifice his men as to create blood shed.
                To close with and kill the enemy in all weather conditions, night and day and over any terrain

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                • #9
                  It was a blood sacrifice pure & simple,with Pearse et al thinking it romantic at heart!!
                  Live long and prosper!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    you've told Pearse his idea for occupying the GPO is stupid, and have demoted him to stores clerk somewhere.
                    I for one find that a small bit offensive. If it wasn’t for men like Pearse we’d still be a colony. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the military history of the Rising will know that the objective was not to secure a military victory; it was to strike a blow for freedom and draw attention to the cause. In that it was a success. Contrast that to areas like east Galway where a certain amount of military success was achieved – which had the greater long term result?

                    Incidentally the actual communications hub of the city at that time would have been the telephone exchange at Crown Alley and an attack was launched on that. The telephone wires out of the city were also cut in many places and the rebels took control of some of the railway lines.

                    Sniping positions on the Barracks would have achieved little as it being a holiday weekend many were half empty anyway.

                    Personally I think that a bunch of teachers, trade unionists and boyscouts who put their lives at risk by taking on the best army in the world while it was fully mobilised for war is an example of heroism that no member of this board, or probably of this army will ever have to repeat.
                    Anybody that analyses the Rising from a solely military standpoint without taking into account the political aspects is doing them a disservice; and to judge them in hindsight using a solely military yardstick is to miss the huge historical impact of Easter week.

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                    • #11
                      as it became 5 years later when the IRA started shooting anybody who did not toe the republican line.
                      I'd be interested in seeing the specific examples of this. Certainly I'm not aware of any IRA campaign to harass non-republicans; and the results of the 1918 referendum which showed only a slender majority for Sinn Féin over the Irish Parlementary Party (the first past the post system used by the British skewed the results in SF's favour)would suggest that a huge proportion of the electorate were not republican, and excepting examples of informing the IRA didn't involve civilians.

                      Don't confuse the IRA - whose uniform we wear - with certain groups active today.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Western Commando
                        Certainly I'm not aware of any IRA campaign to harass non-republicans
                        IIRC Tom Barry, in his book seems to indicate systematic harassment (burning of farms, etc., maybe the odd bit of ethnic cleansing) of "protestants".
                        Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          couple of things
                          1) Commando. There was no referendum in 1918. there was an English general election. Of which SF took 73 of the 105 seats available 6 went to nationalist and the rest unionists. So there was no slender majority. but this sucess is more probably due to the fact that the nationalists (Home Rule) party were a spent force. And also that the 1918 electoral act extended the frachise to non landed people. This would not favor the mostly landed Home rule party.

                          2) I think Aidans point about the "5 years later when the IRA started shooting anybody who did not toe the republican line." he is refering to the civil war. I dont think any one can argue that anti-treaty (republicans) and pro-treaty (Home rulers ???) were shooting each other. the ango-irish treaty (1921) referendum is probably what commando is refering. And the results of this are still clearly in the pro-treaty camp.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That 5 year comment wasn't me, but I still think you're taking it up the wrong way, I'd imagine Groundhog was referring to the propensity of the IRA (in 1919-22) to shoot or intimidate any party or individual who publicly disagreed with their views or methods.

                            And the franchaise had already been substantially extended before 1918 (1906 I think), of much more importance in the result of 1918 election was the still lingering threat of conscription.

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                            • #15
                              There was no referendum in 1918. there was an English general election
                              Sorry – I said 1918 referendum when I meant election. However, the referendum jeebus refers to was actually a general election in June 1922, although it was in reality in referendum in all but name.
                              Of which SF took 73 of the 105 seats available 6 went to nationalist and the rest unionists. So there was no slender majority
                              What I said about the UK first past the post system was that it skewed the result in favour of the largest vote, i.e. to say that the vast majority of seats went to Sinn Féin is not the same as saying that the same proportion of voters voted Sinn Féin. In many cases they got barely 50% of the vote, but still got the seat. The 70-odd seats they took is not a particularly accurate reflection of the electorate, although I am certainly not saying that the country for the most part wasn’t in favour of some kind of home rule. The point I was trying to make was that the plenty people in the 1916-1922 period were either Unionist or devolutionist, and yet few examples exist of the IRA targeting civilians for purely political reasons.

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