Just a Thought: James Connolly and the Easter Rising

by Jordy Greenblatt

Along with several of his peers, Irish Revolutionary James Connolly was shot by a firing squad in Dublin in 1916 for his participation in the Easter Rising. However, unlike his comrades, he was wounded so severely that in order to allow the firing squad to have a straight shot at him, the British tied him upright to a chair. This dramatic image has appeared as a motif in Irish Republican rhetoric ever since as an embodiment of the brutality of the British occupation. I tell you this for two reasons. First, I hope that you will take this opportunity to read up on the remarkable events leading to the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the subsequent Irish Civil War. And second, do you think the guy who told his wife about it said, “Mrs. Connolly, you’re going to want to sit down for this…”?