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Easter Week

The declaration of independence on Easter Monday was followed by five days of fierce street fighting as British forces, aided by artillery brought from Athlone and a gunboat, the ‘Helga’, on the Liffey, slowly encircled and isolated the various garrisons. Some of the heaviest fighting took place around Mount Street Bridge as British reinforcements, advancing from Dún Laoghaire, met fierce opposition. Heavy hand-to-hand fighting also took place around the Four Courts and other posts. The failure of the insurgents to capture Trinity College or Dublin Castle allowed the British to drive a wedge between posts north and south of the Liffey and bring artillery to bear on the GPO. Finally, on Saturday 29th, with the GPO in flames and the city centre in ruins, Pearse gave the order to surrender.

Outbreak of Rebellion

Following the capture of the German ammunition ship, the ‘Aud’, and MacNeill’s countermanding order, Volunteer mobilisation was incomplete and there was little activity outside Dublin.In Dublin, on 24th April, a force of 1,200 Volunteer and Citizen Army members took over the centre of the city. At the GPO, the Proclamation of the Republic was read and an Irish Republic declared, with P. H. Pearse as President. The Proclamation was signed by Pearse and six others: Thomas Clarke, Seán MacDiarmada, James Connolly, Thomas MacDonagh, Éamonn Ceannt and Joseph Plunkett. Garrisons were set up at the Four Courts, Boland’s Mills, Jacob’s Factory, the South Dublin Union, the College of Surgeons and other strategic points, but the insurgents failed to capture Dublin Castle, which was a serious blow to their plans.