Six years after the Easter Rising a new organisation was formed to honour “Men of Easter Week”. Named the “1916 Club”, they held their first annual church parade. Before the procession that began at St. Mary of Angles on Church Street and continued to Glasnevin Cemetery, where some of the fallen of Easter Week were buried. At the time, the Republican Plot didn’t exist as such, as many of who are now buried there, were still alive at the time. None of the executed leaders of the Rising were buried their neither, their final resting place in Arbour Hill Cemetery.
In spite of the political tension between the pro and anti Treaty supporters, which could have erupted at any moment the commemorations continued. Large crowds lined the route from Church Street to the Parnell Monument, stopping all traffic on the route. When the parade reached O’Connell Bridge, they slowed down and the St. James Pipe Band began playing a lament, as the reached the GPO, still a burnt out hollow behind it’s facade at the time.
On the approach to Glasnevin Cemetery, the parade slowed down again to the solemn music of the “Dead March”. Again a crowd had formed to greet them at the cemetery gates. Inside wreaths were laid on the graves of the dead heroes of more recent times and of old in various locations throughout the cemetery. The Rosary was recited in Irish, which formed a Republican tradition, that still exists, regardless of the patriot’s religious faith.
The event concluded by the band playing “The Soldier’s song” and “Wrap the Green Flag Round Me.”
On this day one hundred years ago, on Good Friday the Anti-Treaty IRA occupied the Four Courts. Led by Rory O’Connor, and about two hundred men took possession of the building. He issued a statement to make it clear that the action was no coup d’etat, that he required a building to house his men and no more.
From February to May 1922, The Shelbourne played host to its most historic meetings: the drafting of Ireland’s first Constitution. Under the chairmanship of Michael Collins, the committee met in room 112, to write the Constitution of the Irish Free State. This room is now The Constitution Suite, and contains the original table and chairs.
In February 1922, when the Irish Free State was about a month old, the provisional government held a special meeting to set the Constitution.
“The team: Mr. Michael Collins, Chairman; Mr. Darrell Figgis, Acting Chairman: Mr Hugh Kennedy, Mr. James Murnaghan, Mr James MacNeill, Professor Alfred O’Rahilly, Mr. Kevin O’Neill, Mr. John Byrne. Assistance is being given by persons who are acting in specialized capacities.”
Munster News 01 February 1922
The Constitution took about six months to complete was ratified by the Dail in October 1922. Darrell Figgis, vice-chairman, did the lions share of work on it as chief, Michael Collins was frequently absent from the committee, due to his other political commitments. Having spent so much time working on it, later that year he published a book entitled; The Irish constitution explained.
Collins issued the following press release: ‘The Members of the Provisional Government received the surrender of Dublin Castle at 1.45 pm today. It is now in the hands of the Irish nation’.
If Emily was in the crowd that day, it was only to have the pleasure of seeing a foreign power leave, and certainly not in support of the Irish Free State instead the Republic proclaimed on the steps of the GPO in 1916.
One Hundred years ago today the Anglo Irish Treaty was ratified by Dail Eireann. It was signed in London on December 6th 1921, by a negotiation team of Michael Collins, Arthur Griffiths, Arthur Robert Barton, Eamonn Duggan and George Gavan Duffy. When they made the return journey to Dublin they did so with heavy hearts knowing well that it would spit political and public opinion.
Eamon de Valera, who had refused to travel to London as part of the delegate rejected it completely, as did many other Dail members. Democratically the terms of the Treaty was opened to debate inside the Dail chambers. Tempers flared, members quit and the discussion continued throughout Christmas 1921 and into the first week of the New Year. On January 7th, the matter finally went to vote, resulting in the Treaty being ratified by a very slim margin of 64 to 57.
Emily along with the majority of Cumann na mBan rejected the terms of the Treaty completely. A convention to for early February to; “reaffirm their alliance to the Republic of Ireland”. At the convention every member cast their vote. A staggering eighty six per cent of members were against the Treaty.