(K. Brent Tomer),
“AFTER I am hanged my portrait will be interesting but not before,” wrote Patrick Pearse, a leader of Ireland’s Easter Rising, in a letter to Seamus Doyle, a fellow rebel, as Pearse awaited execution at the hands of the British in 1916. Pearse was one of fifteen men executed for the armed uprising against the British, after decades of fractious relations between the colonial power and the Irish people. The rebels had hoped that the Irish would rise with them, and that the British might be forced to relinquish control of Ireland, distracted as they were by the first world war. Instead the rebels failed to attract the support that they had counted on, and were brutally suppressed, with Dublin shelled by gunboat, and troops sent from Liverpool to fight with rebels in the streets. The insurgents surrendered after six days. Thousands of Irish were arrested and imprisoned, and the subsequent executions followed hasty military trials, a story commemorated in pictures at a new exhibit at The Photographer’s Gallery in London.
Pearse was right. After his death a pre-uprising…Continue reading