By: Kevin Grace
Ninety-eight years ago in 1916, the Irish Republican Brotherhood staged an uprising during Easter Week, the intent being to reclaim Ireland from the British and establish a republic. Though the rebellion failed, as so many others had in the previous two centuries, the rising galvanized the Irish people in a way that would ultimately lead to the country’s independence following a bloody civil war. The Easter Rising and the years following it are complicated ones in sorting out the loyalties and issues, though there has been no shortage of histories and autobiographies and polemics.
In the Rare Books Collection, there is another view of the rising: a poetry chapbook by Maeve Cavanagh. Entitled A Voice of Insurgency, Cavanugh’s collection of verse documents the six days of the rebellion from Monday, April 24 through Saturday,April 29 and the men and women who were in the forefront of it as gunshots and cannon fire reverberated around Dublin. Cavanagh was a dedicated supporter of the republican movement, and friends with many of the leaders of the insurgency. Her poems capture the fear and exhilaration of that Easter week. Continue reading