West European Studies

“The Triumph of Failure”: The Spark that kindled the flame for Irish Independence


At four minutes past noon on April 24th 1916- Easter Monday- the proclamation of freedom and open rebellion was read aloud by Patrick Pearse on the steps of the General Post Office in Dublin. The proclamation declared a new provisional government and called on the people of Ireland to strike now for their freedom “In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom” (1). The Irish Volunteer Army and The Irish Citizen’s Army responded to Pearse’s proclamation and attempted to hold the city of Dublin from the British forces, killing 500 British troops. However, The British overcame the rebels and put most of the insurrection’s leaders to death by firing squad. Despite this, The Easter Rebellion of 1916 has been called the “Triumph of Failure” because of how it changed public sentiment against British rule in Ireland. Pearse’s rebellion was the spark that quickly kindled the flame of independence and led to partition in the spring of 1921.