1916 Easter Rising

The Irish Volunteers had a membership of 180,000 by mid 1914 but split over whether its members should enlist in the British Forces and fight in the European war. About 11,000 strongly opposed this and kept the original name. The remainder became known as the National Volunteers.

The Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret revolutionary body, effectively took over control of the Irish Volunteers and using it, planned and directed a rebellion in 1916. The Rising was virtually confined to Dublin.

On Easter Monday the Volunteers occupied a number of strategic buildings within the city that commanded the main routes into the capital. As the week progressed fighting became intense and was characterised by prolonged, fiercely contested street battles. On Saturday the insurgent leaders, based mainly in the General Post Office, were forced to agree to a surrender. Their decision was then made known to and accepted, sometimes reluctantly, by the garrisons still fighting.

The Irish Volunteers had fought with discipline and skill. Fifteen of the leaders of the Rising were executed between 3 and 12 May 1916.


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The Badge Design

The Badge design (common to all Corps and Services and all orders of dress) is derived from the badge of the Irish Volunteers and was designed by Professor Eoin MacNeill, Chairman of the National Executive of the Irish Volunteers. This badge was originally adopted by the Irish Volunteers in October 1914. [Read more]